Prime 3Ps Challenge Interview
Adrian Pym interviews Kevin Johns to find out more about this challenge.
Kevin, Prime’s Charity Challenge for 2015 is called 3 P’s or Pedals, Paddles and Peaks. What does this involve?
Following on from our success and enjoyment of the Gold Postbox Cycle Challenge in 2013 we decided we needed something which took the challenge to another level and enabled more people to participate.
After making an investment in bikes two year’s ago, and a number of staff taking up the enjoyment of cycling, we felt we wanted to keep the cycling element but also look at a way we could introduce other elements for those who didn’t enjoy cycling, hence rowing (Paddles) and walking (Peaks).
People are saying that this is a massive step up from the last challenge. What can people expect?
There are three parts to the challenge and each part has three elements, a cycling, rowing and walking element.
Challenge Part 1
Day 1 - we will leave our Solihull office on Saturday 23 May and cycle a nice pleasurable 75 miles round the north side of Birmingham to Shrewsbury.
Day 2 - we will continue cycling from Shrewsbury across the border into Wales for a flat 35 miles until we hit the start of the Snowdonia mountain range, the last 20 miles being slightly more testing, aiming to arrive in Bala for a well earned supper and rest on Sunday night.
Day 3 - Monday morning we will be joined by other members of the team and we will start off rowing the length of Lake Bala, being a 4 mile row. After successfully completing this element cyclists will then remount their bikes for probably the toughest 35 mile section of the summer, when they will cycle to Llanberis through the Snowdonia National Park.
Day 4 – Tuesday morning will see the walkers join the challenge for the final element of the first part of our challenge, the ascent of Snowdonia, a pleasant morning walk to the highest peak in Wales.
Challenge Part 2
Day 1 - The second part of the challenge will commence on Thursday 9 July when we will cycle from the Solihull office 100 miles to Warrington, following the west side of the M6.
Day 2 –Friday will be another 100 mile cycle, entering the Lake District for an overnight stop at the southern end of Lake Windermere.
Day 3 – Saturday will see the rowing challenge step up from the 4 mile row in North Wales to a 14 mile row the length of Lake Windermere.
Day 4 – The final day will be the ascent of Scafell Pike, the highest peak in England.
Challenge Part 3
The third and final part of the challenge involves the longest cycle, the longest row and the longest walk. We take 5 days to cycle to Loch Ness from the Coventry office, averaging 100 miles a day, finding the safest route possible, avoiding the Derbyshire Dales, the Peak District and the Yorkshire Moors, before we cross into the borders where the rolling countryside commences.
After 5 days of cycling it will be time to leave the bikes on the side of the Loch while we take up probably the hardest part of the whole challenge, rowing the length of Loch Ness which is 24 miles long, classed as an inland sea, and recognised as a more difficult achievement than rowing across the English Channel! Where we start rowing will very much depend upon actual and forecast wind direction for the day. Assuming we have the wind with us ad not against us, and subject to any encounters with the Loch Ness Monster, this row is estimated to take between 12 – 14 hours.
Day 6 – The following day it will be a return to the saddle for a 70 mile cycle back to Fort William.
Day 7 – The final day will see the ascent of Ben Nevis, the highest peak in the UK.
I can see why some are saying this is a really tough challenge, perhaps even a mad challenge, Kevin. Are people getting involved expected to do all or just part of the challenge?
The options are very flexible, there are only a small number of people who have committed to undertake all 3 aspects of all 3 challenges.
Okay so people don’t have to be super human to take part, but if someone wants to get involved, what level of ability do they need?
The cycling is not a race, a reasonable level of fitness will be required plus bike skills and road awareness. The aim is to work as a team and work together to achieve the goals.
As for rowing, the Lake Bala row will be achievable by most healthy people. The Windermere row becomes more difficult and, therefore a higher level of fitness will be required. In terms of rowing Loch Ness, we are requiring people to demonstrate a high level of fitness due to the intensity to this part of the challenge.
In terms of the walks, we are planning to use the most accessible routes for each of the three mountains to enable as many participants to get involved as possible. The duration of the walks will be between 4 and 8 hours.
We are not intending to race up each peak as we are not against the clock like the Three Peaks Challenge some people may be aware of or even accomplished. If the weather permits, a nice picnic on the way up Snowdon would be quite appealing.
So Kevin, apart from the obvious team building benefits of being involved, why are Prime doing this challenge?
The main underlying aim of this challenge is to raise as much very needed funds for Birmingham Children’s Hospital, which is our chosen charity for 2015/16, to assist them in making a very difficult time for families as comfortable as possible.
So you have said we are looking to raise money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital, how can people help with the fund raising?
We are looking for a number of corporate sponsors to sponsor of part the challenge, these corporate sponsors will have the opportunity to participate in the cycling, rowing and walking, or simply sponsor the Snowdon, Scafell Pike or Ben Nevis stages of the challenge by contributing between £250 and £500.
In addition to this all participants will be required to raise personal sponsorship money and we will be setting up Just Giving pages to facilitate this.
How do people register their willingness to sponsor or get involved Kevin?
Just contact Prime on either 0121 711 2468 or 02476 518 555 and ask for me, Jonathan Stobart or Kathy Moss, and we’ll get you signed up.
More details can be found on www.3pschallenge.com