Wigan trio take on Three Peaks Challenge to help borough's hospice
A trio of intrepid fund-raisers including two professional boxers completed a gruelling mountain challenge to help the borough’s hospice.
Wigan fighters James Moorcroft and Rhiannon Dixon, along with her partner Ross Thomasson,successfully tackled the Three Peaks Challenge to support Wigan and Leigh Hospice (WLH).
The group scaled Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon, the highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales, driving straight from the end of one climb to the start of the next.
And they beat their own ambitious target time of 24 hours, crossing the line in North Wales in 21 hours 59 minutes and 33 seconds.
James, Rhiannon and Ross have been on regular weekend expeditions to climb summits and with the boxing calendar at a standstill due to coronavirus decided it was the perfect time to put together a tough challenge to help the Hindley-based hospice.
So far their efforts have raised more than £1,400 to help the charity provide end-of-life and palliative care at its Kildare Street headquarters and in patients’ own homes.
James, 27, said: “It was tough. We came across some bad weather on Ben Nevis when it was pitch black. It was also the one peak we had never done before.
“Rhiannon and Ross have been climbing mountains a bit longer than me. They started speaking to me about it and when I did the first one I was totally hooked.
“We were talking about the Three Peaks Challenge because it’s the biggest and best mountain challenge in Britain. Boxing is non-existent because of lockdown so the time was right and we’ve taken the opportunity. We went for the big one and it paid off.
“One of the hardest parts of the Three Peaks is having to do all the driving between you. One of you is driving, one of you is making sure the person driving is alright and the other is trying to get their head down.
“You literally can’t stop. You eat while you’re walking, if you want a drink someone gets it out of your bag so you keep going.”
James, who is from Hindley, has been supporting the hospice for a while, with the charity making contact when one of its patients wanted to meet him and attend one of his fights.
He spoke of his determination to help the charity in its work as the coronavirus pandemic has severely impacted its ability to fund-raise.
He said: “The biggest thing for me is making a good sum of money for the hospice. It’s always at the front of my mind.
“The hospice is struggling to raise the amount of money it needs to make. Fun days can’t take place, events have no crowds.
“I’ve been on the wards and chatted to the patients prior to Covid-19 and it was really inspiring. What they are doing there is phenomenal.
“Seeing the patients so happy was amazing. Going forward we’re hoping to do as much as possible.
“We think” so highly of the hospice. This was something we wanted to do but it’s about the charity.”
The trio started the challenge at around 8.20pm on Friday night, reaching the highest point in the UK in total darkness before climbing Scafell Pike in the Lake District and Snowdon on the Saturday.
Some teams attempting to do the Three Peaks have found themselves contending with hours of traffic jams and other unpredictable hold-ups but James said they enjoyed a relatively smooth run, the only hurdles en route coming from a motorway crash in Cheshire and then struggling to find somewhere to park close to the foot of the route up Snowdon.
The group is now looking at other challenges they could do to test themselves further, although they may have to look further afield having already successfully taken on one of the UK’s toughest physical ordeals.
To find out more or donate, visit www.gofundme.com/f/3-peaks-challenge-in-under-24-hours