On National Walking Day (6th April) the boohooMAN team and 6 of our ambassadors headed to Yorkshire with the aim of completing the Yorkshire Three Peaks in under 12 hours. The walk begun at 7.30am, and the route started with Pen-y-ghent (694m; 2,227 ft) > Whernside (736m; 2415ft) > Ingleborough (723m; 2,372ft). The walk itself is just short of 25 miles, and the total ascent is 1381m (4531ft).
We chose to complete the challenge in order to raise money for PAPYRUS – a UK based charity committed to the prevention of suicide through promoting positive mental health and emotional wellbeing in young people (support them with a donation at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/manxyorkshirethreepeaks).
They believe no young person should have to struggle alone with thoughts of suicide. Suicide is the biggest killer of under 35’s in the UK – and considering the boohooMAN demographic of 18-24 year old males, we felt that this partnership was super important for our audience, and a great cause to get on board with.
On the Day
We all met at the starting point at Horton-in-Ribblesdale village at 7am, for a quick debrief from our fantastic guides Rob and Jason. The guides talked us through the challenges we’d face throughout the day and did a quick equipment check, ensuring that the entire team were well prepped for the weather conditions, and had enough food supplies to keep us all going.
The walk started off tough, with 4 hours of constant rainfall as the team took on the first peak – Pen-y-ghent. Regardless of a wet start, the entire crew managed to complete this, all 6 influencers, and 5 staff. Morale was high, and the team kept themselves motivated with the reminder that the walk was for a great cause that they all believed in. In hindsight there was probably a few too many stops for food + drink breaks, which meant that we had to make up for lost time later on.
Prior to starting Whernside, we had one influencer drop out due to injury, and two members of staff sat out in order to attend meetings + calls. The rest of the team carried on with puddles of water in their boots from the heavy rainfall and soggy clothes, making the walk increasingly difficult. Whernside is the highest of all three peaks, and is often considered the hardest of all three by those who undertake the challenge, and it began to take it’s toll on the team. However, once getting to the starting point, the rainfall stopped and the sun made an appearance – boosting spirits. The walk began with a long flat path for roughly an hour, before starting the ascend up the peak, which took the team roughly an hour and a half. The group thought that they had reached the peak multiple times but hadn’t – a constant reminder that there was higher to climb. Once reaching the top of the peak, the weather took a turn for the worst – rainfall and strong winds, forcing the team to take shelter, scared to progress any further. The teams legs were feeling strained and the group started to split up with the threat of falling behind on time creeping up. The decline was the steepest so far, providing even more strain on the team’s knees and it truly was a struggle to the finish line.
Having finished peak 2, the team stumbled to the meeting point ahead of the final peak, to re-fuel before the final hurdle – Ingleborough. Prior to starting the walk, our guide informed us we needed to hit the final meeting point before 4pm, otherwise we’d have to drop out of the challenge as the potential of it going dark whilst completing Ingleborough was too dangerous. The group approached the meeting point at 3.50pm, and so our guide informed us that those who couldn’t keep up would have to drop out, otherwise we had no chance of finishing the challenge in under 12 hours. With this in mind, another three influencers had to sit out and a member of the boohooMAN staff, and two boohooMAN team members joined the group again – meaning we had 6 of the initial 11 team heading to take on Ingleborough.
The final peak has the steepest of climbs up to the top, with the team pulling themselves up rocks at one point in order to reach the peak. The ascend was extremely difficult, with the team taking lots of small breaks in order to catch our breath again. However, knowing that this was the final peak kept the team going – and knowing that we had under 3.5 hours to complete the challenge in time. Once reaching the top the winds were so strong that we again had to take shelter before starting the walk down again. On the way down it was a race to the finish line, however, we had made up for lost time on peak one and two as the team were determined to complete the challenge for a great cause. The team used any motivation they had left, and paced back to Horton-in-Ribblesdale to meet the rest of the team.
We managed to finish the challenge with 5 minutes to spare – the walk totalled 40.10km (just short of 25 miles), an ascent of 1,890m and a total walking time of 11:55m – stats below!
What the team had to say
I wanted to take part in the challenge because you never know what someone is going through. I believe that being out in nature and challenging yourself can really help with refreshing your mind and thinking clearly. I lost a friend to mental health when I was just 15, so I wanted to complete the walk in memory of him, and other friends of mine that have attempted to take their own lives too. Be kind, and be free.Zak Ess Srakaew – model, influencer
I’m really happy to have taken part in such a great opportunity with boohooMAN, to raise money and awareness for PAPYRUS. I think with Covid and the pandemic, people’s mental health has really taken a hit, which is also why I started my wake up and move stuff on social media, which I’m turning into an app to help inspire people to get up and move, which is essential for a healthy mind and body. I really underestimated the challenge actually, the weather nearly got us but I’m happy I made it through the whole thing. Personally I have struggled with my mental health a bit in the past, like most people probably have at some point. So I understand the importance of being fit and healthy and getting outside and doing things that I call “psychological sunlight” which is the reason for me doing the three peaks and what I do on social media, and the reason for me making the app.Kori Sampson – TV personality, influencer
We organised the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge on National Walking Day in order to raise money for a really worthwhile cause working with PAPYRUS. Based on our boohooMAN audience consisting of mainly young males, we wanted to ensure we were fundraising for a cause important to them, and raising awareness and funds for a mental health charity was the popular suggestion from the wider team. We reached out to PAPYRUS as they were a great fit – and they were happy to get involved. Suicide is the biggest killer of under 35’s in the UK, and we wanted to play a part in actively reducing this number and letting young people know that they are not alone. By working with talent that our young audience are inspired by – we wanted to let them know that they are not alone, and the importance of seeking help if they need it. The team were great on the day, and open to discussing all things mental health. It is a conversation that needs to be less of a taboo, and by sharing this journey with our audience, we hope that it resonates with and inspires them. We would encourage our followers to take a look at the work that PAPYRUS do, and check in with their friends regularly.Llinos Peters – social & brand marketing @boohooMAN