Pair on top of the world'

PUBLISHED: 17:52 28 June 2007 | UPDATED: 21:43 29 May 2010

Sarah Sturgeon and her partner Andy Scraggs at the summit of Snowdon. Picture: SUBMITTED

Sarah Sturgeon and her partner Andy Scraggs at the summit of Snowdon. Picture: SUBMITTED

STAFF from Dunmow Leisure Centre were celebrating this week by hosting a barbecue for friends and family having successfully completed the gruelling Three Peaks Challenge. Personal trainer Andy Scraggs and his partner Sarah Sturgeon were in a team of six

From left, Simon Eaton, Andy Scraggs, Rachel Duncan, Sarah Sturgeon, Richard Linford and Suzanne Trickett. Picture: SUBMITTED

STAFF from Dunmow Leisure Centre were celebrating this week by hosting a barbecue for friends and family having successfully completed the gruelling Three Peaks Challenge.

Personal trainer Andy Scraggs and his partner Sarah Sturgeon were in a team of six friends who took up the challenge to raise £2000 for the Wales-based cancer charity Tenovus.

The other team members were Simon Eaton and Rachel Duncan from Stansted, and Richard Linford and Suzanne Trickett from Harrogate in Yorkshire. They all know each other through either school or university.

Sarah, who is a trainee security guard at Stansted Airport and works casually at the leisure centre, explained: "It was our friend Simon's idea.

"Back in April he wanted to do something challenging that would trigger people's imaginations. His Mum suggested doing it for Tenovus, which is a

small cancer charity and that was it."

The Three Peaks Challenge is described as being for adventurous and fit walkers who have to climb the UK's three highest peaks of Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis, in 24 hours. Fifty-five teams of six took part this year.

"We started with Snowdon on a beautiful sunny morning. It was fine weather all the way up. In fact, it was too hot but we all really enjoyed it," said Miss Sturgeon, who lives in High Meadow, Dunmow.

"It was amazing when we got to the top. The skies

were clear and the view

was amazing."

When they got back to the bottom it was straight into

a minibus and off to the Lake District to tackle

Scafell Pike. This is the smallest but possibly toughest of the three peaks as it is steep and there are few places where trekkers aren't climbing an incline.

"By the time we'd reached the top night was falling

and we had to come down

in the dark," recounted

Miss Sturgeon.

"By then my knees were really hurting and the thought of staying in the minibus all night for the six hour drive to Ben Nevis was not a pleasant one."

The climb up Ben Nevis starts at sea level and, although it begins quite steadily, there are midges to contend with and it is much colder with the summit being covered in snow.

"By that time we were all really feeling it but a good team spirit kept us going. I can't describe the feeling of getting to the top.

"I couldn't believe it. I thought it was just another false summit. I was so happy to have finished it. I had a real sense of achievement."

Miss Sturgeon explained that the original target was to raise a minimum of £1500 but they are hoping to exceed that and hand over a cheque for £2000 saying: "If anyone would like to help us reach our target they can go to www.justgiving.com/

stangatetrekkers"

More information on the charity Tenovus is available at www.tenovus.com

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