Chester Fire Station’s White Watch has raised more than £10,000 for charity by completing a mountainous challenge.
The team of Watch Manager Ant McCarthy, Crewe Managers Martin Warburton and Daz Tennant and firefighters Giles Davies, Paul Long, Jack Fellows, Danielle Wrigley, Wayne Clarke, Ian Jones, Rob Ward-Dutton and Brian Press set themselves the daunting task of running to the highest mountain in Wales, walking up and down it and then cycling back home to Chester – all over four successive days.
The Sea to Summit challenge was devised to raise much needed funds for The Fire Fighters Charity and The Joshua Tree.
The team is delighted to have completed the gruelling challenge and to have raised so more much more money for the charities than its original target of £2,000.
Watch Manager McCarthy said: ‘We named it the Sea to Summit challenge, as it involved using nothing but leg power to get from sea level at Chester to the summit of Snowdon and back.
‘The total distance we travelled is 122 miles, with 13,000ft of ascent.
‘The four-day challenge was exhausting, pushing us to the absolute limits of our physical capabilities.
‘It took a real team effort with lots of support for each other to complete the challenge, and the huge satisfaction we felt when we completed it is nothing compared to the satisfaction we feel at raising more than five times more for the charities than we aimed for.
‘The Fire Fighters Charity and The Joshua Tree are both really close to our hearts.
‘They both provide essential services, rely on donations and fundraising and have been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
‘The virus has caused a massive reduction in the level of funding the charities have received over the past year or so.
‘We are over the moon to have raised more than £10,000 for the charities, when you take Gift Aid into account, and can’t thank all those who have donated money enough.’
The fundraising challenge was made up of:
Day one and two: Running 56 miles across country to Snowdonia in north Wales
Day three: Ascending and descending Snowdon itself
Day four: Cycling 66 miles back to Chester.
Watch Manager McCarthy added: ‘The first day entailed running a very hilly 30-mile route across north Wales to just outside Denbigh.
‘We then stayed with Dave Orange at Open Door Adventure, which we use for our cadet and Prince’s Trust residential trips.
‘He not only provided the accommodation for free but he donated a massive £2,500.
‘The second day was another hugely hilly run, this time of 26 miles across Snowdonia to the foot of Snowdon.
‘Thankfully, the weather was great and we were treated to some amazing views to spur us on.
‘Day three, however, was very different. The wind and rain came in overnight, so our walk up Snowdon was in 70mph gusts and sideways rain.
‘Obviously, we didn’t linger at the summit for long. We made a quick retreat to the comfort of our accommodation and had a couple of drinks to ease the muscle pain.
‘Day four was a 66-mile cycle along the north Wales coastal path from Snowdonia to Chester.
‘The rain and wind persisted, but we were extremely grateful that it gave us a tailwind that pushed us home in four-and-a-half hours.
‘We were greeted home by some of our colleagues at Chester Fire Station, family members and representatives of The Joshua Tree.’
North West-based children’s cancer charity The Joshua Tree provides practical, emotional and therapeutic support to all family members affected by childhood cancer.
The Fire Fighter’s Charity is the UK’s leading provider of services that enhance the quality of life for serving and retired fire service personnel and their families.
It is Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service’s chosen charity and provides essential respite, recuperation and rehabilitation for sick and injured firefighters and their families.
Watch Manager McCarthy said: ‘The crowdfunding page we set up for the challenge, which we completed on Friday, 21 May, is still active.
‘If anyone who hasn’t made a donation for our charity challenge is willing to do so, please do.
‘The charities will certainly put the money to good use.’
To make a donation, go online at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SEA2SUMMIT