Honiton students take on Three Peaks challenge

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INTREPID Honiton Community College Students recently attempted to climb the three highest peaks in the UK in under 24 hours and succeeded – with 28 minutes to spare!

The triumphant end came after months of preparation and training by all the team, which was made up of six Sixth Form students and five staff members.

All 11 members were supported by a back up crew of three who negotiated the roads in the early hours and refuelled them with food and water to keep to the 24 hour deadline they had set themselves.

The team travelled to Scotland on June 29th and started the 24hr clock at 5pm on the 30th with their ascent of Ben Nevis. A great time achieved on the first climb gave them the motivation to race to the next peak – Scafell Pike.

Peak number two was started in the dark but they made the summit just after 6am and returned to the bus to be fed, watered and to catch up with sleep as the crew then drove to Wales.

A slight traffic hold up meant an impressive time had to be achieved to keep to their initial challenge of the 24 hours.

Every ounce of effort, determination and resilience was given to complete the last peak in rain and fog so that the final time when they crossed the line was 23hrs and 32 mins.

Sixth form student Carys Lilley, who inspired the initial idea, said: “I am so incredibly proud to call this group of amazing people my team and to say, despite the odds, we have completed the National Three Peaks Challenge.

“The team poured so much effort and commitment into the event, even when the going got tough, and for that I am very proud. We have raised more than £2,000 for Dartmoor Rescue and I am so grateful for the immense support of our student team: combining expertise, experience, driving and organisation to produce an event and memories that will stay with us forever.”

Head of Sixth Form, Selena Burroughs, added: “We knew that this challenge was going to be close to complete in the 24 hours but all of the team, climbers, drivers and support crew were all absolutely determined to give it our best chance possible to be successful in this famous challenge.

“The students were an absolute credit to the Sixth Form and to themselves with their commitment that they showed prior to the event with their weekly training and on the actual event being incredible.

“The whole crew continued to motivate each other throughout and I was very proud to be part of the team and share this experience with them and be part of this lifelong memory.

“Their times have now been recorded on the National Three Peaks Database so they have a permanent record of their achievement. I think this is a fitting end to their seven-year partnership with the college and a shining example of the drive, as well as the willpower to succeed, our students acquire.”

Principal Glenn Smith stated: “Every student, whatever their background, or their school type, should be able to take on this type of challenge – it gives our young ladies and gentlemen the opportunity to develop life-long skills that they must have to succeed in society.

“The students who took on the Three Peaks literally rose to the challenge (three times in fact) and when they needed to dig deeper than they have ever done before, they did – proving that hard work and determination can actually take you all the way to the top!”

Mr Smith also acknowledged the contribution staff made to the challenge, pointing out that “wonderful opportunities such as these would not be possible without the generous helping of discretionary effort our staff and parents give every year.”

Selena went on to say: “The whole event would not have been possible without the guidance and leadership of parent volunteer Warren Oak – who was our qualified Mountain Instructor.

“All of his time given up to help train the team and prepare for the event was greatly received including the words of incentive given at the toughest times on the peaks.

“Thanks also go to John Lilley – parent volunteer – who also gave up his time to help train and be with the team as they climbed.”

The school also sent their thanks to their generous sponsors of the event and individual people who have donated to the Dartmoor Rescue Charity.

Local sponsors were: Honiton Freemasons, Stamps Coac- hes, Alan Rowe Barbering, Honiton Town Council, Windmill Garage, Combe Estate and Duralife Windows all made this event possible and for the event to continue.

Climbing Students: Carys Lilley, Rachel Larcombe, Wea- sel Hooper, Ben Prangley, Sam Prangley, Cerys Little.

Climbing Staff: Mr Glenn Smith, Miss Marie-Claire Adams, Mrs Miriam Theeten, Warren Oak and John Lilley.

Back Up Crew: Mr Dave Dagger, Mr Andy Holt and Mrs Selena Burroughs.

Honiton, Ottery St Mary, Chard & Ilminster Reporter | After studying for his NCTJ in Bournemouth, Peter started with the paper in June 2015 on a freelance basis, now permanently based in East Devon covering community and council news.

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