Fitness instructors to scale Ben Nevis
FITNESS instructors usually seen in Cantley Park are heading off for Scotland tomorrow – to run up and down Ben Nevis, writes Sally Bryant.
Karen Burles and Debbie Forrest are making the herculean attempt to raise money for Children with Cancer UK.
It will complete their City to Summit challenge, which was thwarted by bad weather in July. And now they have their fingers crossed the elements will be kinder to them on Saturday.
Karen, of Roughgrove Copse in Binfield, told The Wokingham Paper on Tuesday: “I think it is looking wet, but hopefully the wind will stay on our side.”
Karen and Debbie, who lives in Evendons Road in Wokingham, are Elite Conditioning instructors. They work from Cantley Park to put local people through their paces – but their City to Summit attempt stretched a few more muscles.
They started from Edinburgh with the aim of completing a 13.1 mile road half marathon, a 112mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile trail marathon including up and down Ben Nevis to finish at Fort William.
But six months of gruelling training, including the Brighton marathon and cycling 86 miles around the Chilterns, couldn’t compete with Mother Nature. Mum-of-three Karen, who tackled the challenge days before her 40th birthday, said: “We saw all seasons in one day, from the summer sunrise in Edinburgh to the winter winds and torrential rain from mile 15.
“When we were on the bikes, the wind was unbelievable. We knew we were not going to make the checkpoint, we knew we were too slow.”
Then officials began stopping people from going any further and the dream was over for that day. Karen said 250 had entered the event, 177 started and only 30 finished but now she and Debbie are determined to get over that mountain this weekend and reach their goal for the charity.
“I wanted to push the boundaries and I have never started something and not finished it. And although Children with Cancer is the chosen charity for the event, now one of my clients’ daughter has been diagnosed with leukaemia, so there is extra heartfelt emotion for us.”