This is the epilogue to the challenge. The day after, and bringing it all to an end.
With the celebrations done, our tired bodies wanted to sit down, and our tired brains wanted to shut down. It had been epic, but exhausting, and we now had a quick hop to Birmingham where we had an hotel booked.
The drive went on. And on. And on. Fair play to Tim who’d driven us to Ben Nevis, climbed it, driven us to Scafell Pike and grabbed 4 hours sleep, then driven us to Snowdon and then run up it in trainers…
I remember we stopped at a petrol station for petrol and a comfort break. I stumbled out of the car, into the shop, and had no idea where I was. I foraged in my wallet, finding an odd Scottish £5 that I didn’t recognise. Which country was I in? What day was it? The events of the last 36 hours had played havoc with my brain.
We got to Birmingham, dumped our bags, had much needed showers and then finished the event as we’d started it – by drinking lots!
The next day, we drove to Milton Keynes, and dropped off our driver Tim. Next stop was Rickmansworth, then Farnborough, Aldershot and finally Farnham. By now, I was driving alone on my way to return the car to Guildford. The car felt empty. Hollow. Lifeless. There were almost ghosts. I now longed to be cramped into a tight space with 5 team members. As I emptied the last remnants of forgotten possessions out at Avis Guildford, it was the end of an adventure. A great adventure, with shared highs and silent lows.
I’d suggest going North to South, starting at about 17:00. This minimises to every extent night walking, and reduces the chance of traffic delays as a big chunk of the driving is in the dead of night.
We were blessed with the most amazing weather, apart from about 15 minutes at the outset. This undoubtedly helped. I cannot begin to imagine doing it in driving rain or cloud. We had spectacular views from all 3 summits, which statistically is freakish, given how many days each year those summits are shrouded in cloud.
Would I do it again? No, unless it was with my family. Things couldn’t have gone better for us, and so for me there’s no reason to repeat it, with so many other challenges out there.