Father’s Day at Scotty’s Little Soldiers

So tomorrow is our 7th event – exactly half way through our mammoth fundraising effort for Scotty’s Little Soldiers.

It’s a tough challenge, our very first open water swim, with whatever that will throw at us (mucky water we can’t swallow, and completely changing our swimming style as a result of the wet suits and trying to fight the wind & currents). It’s nothing compared to what the kids that Scotty’s Little Soldiers will be going through though. Tomorrow is Father’s Day, an opportunity to celebrate and say thanks to our Dad for being wonderful (thanks, by the way), but tomorrow the majority of the 143 child members of Scotty’s won’t have a Dad there as they were killed serving our country. Nikki has written this great blog about what the day will be about for her and her two kids, and writes:

“I always say that when you have lost an important person in your life, it doesn’t have to be Father’s Day or Remembrance Day or the anniversary to be a tough day, every day can be hard. I guess a day like Father’s Day will be that bit tougher though because there is so much activity around them. I can imagine that the brave young children who have lost a dad will feel the pain and upset, maybe even anger and jealousy, no matter what they do this Father’s Day.”

Please have a little read and then think about what a difference a donation can make to cheer children like Kai and Brooke up. Hope you all have a wonderful day with your Dad/sons/daughters/family!

A note from Nikki x

IMGL0005With Father’s Day just around the corner I always start to feel for my children, Kai and Brooke, and all the kids Scotty’s supports.

The day brings mixed emotions.  As a parent I want my children to remember their daddy for what a great father he was to them, but with that always comes the upset and pain of knowing that he is not here anymore and misses out on so many special times.

It’s hard to know what to do for the best.  Do you carry on as if it’s a normal day so the kids don’t get upset, or do you do something to honour the memory of their daddy but risk the fact that they may get emotional and start asking questions all over again?

I guess it depends on the children’s ages and what they want to do.  With Father’s Day such a public event, advertised…

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Time for the Beast on Saturday!

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Our next challenge is this Saturday! We are doing the Beast of Bryn race. This is a 6.8 mile run just outside Port Talbot, with some pretty steep hills in it! I suspect we will bump into a number of the Run 4 All lot there, which will be great as their support really does keep you going when the times get tough! For the full race info go to http://www.bwystfilybryn.btck.co.uk

We’re not particularly run fit at the moment, with a lot of our focus being on getting our cycling up to scratch! But it should be a good run if the weather holds out.

At least we can get on with Gemma’s birthday celebrations afterwards (on hold as we didn’t think it was too wise to celebrate on the Friday night!). Anyone know a good pub for a quick one afterwards?!

If you can spare a couple of quid, please donate on justgiving.com/14challengeswheeler2

Hot work!

It’s hard work running in this heat (especially when you forget your sunglasses!). Just done about 6 miles training for 14 challenges for 2014. It was very warm, and I have managed to give myself blisters in such an awkward place that no shoes are going to be comfortable for a few days 😦

The next challenge is the day after my birthday (!!) Running the “Beast of Bryn” race – almost 7 miles across pretty challenging terrain, unlike nice, flat Cardiff. That marks the start of 4 consecutive weekends of challenges! Scotty’s Little Soldiers is an awesome charity though,  and well worth the blisters, so if you can please think about donating to out page justgiving.com/14challengeswheeler2

Pen-Y-Fan training walk

We used the lovely bank holiday weather to get out for a training run today. Our next challenge is to get up and down Pen-Y-Fan in less than an hour, so we decided to go for a trial run.

Despite both if us feeling really groggy and having had a bad couple of weeks due to illness & being out of the country we managed a fairly successful run. 1.02 mins round trip wss something to be proud about!

Thanks to Dad for the company & run4all for the cheering on our way back down!

The official challenge is Sunday 4th May. We will be setting off from the base of Pen-Y-Fan at 9am (car park by Storey Arms on the A470) so get there a little earlier if you’d like to join us!

Run 4 All cake sale!

Today we were fortunate enough to join Run 4 All (Neath) at their final cross country race of the season at the Gnoll. It was a fab day (for supporting) and afterwards we had a tea and cake sale. They are a fab community, with every runner staying until the last person comes in! Lots of runners donated cakes for the sale, and we managed to raise £116.19! Well done to all the runners, and thank you to everyone who donated baked goods and who bought a cake and donated to our chosen charity.

Conquering the Welsh 3 Peaks

What a fantastic weekend! We prayed for nice weather (or at least no wind) as we completed the Welsh 3 Peaks. We climbed a combined height of 9,397 feet, drove over 400 miles, walked 15.67 miles, saw all four seasons, but survived pretty much unscathed! We had a group of 6 of us for the day: Sophie and me, Marie, Michael, our grandfather and and Dad. Dad offered to be designated driver, which really was a lifesaver in this case!

Getting to the start line!

We set off from Cardiff at 11pm on Friday night to get up to Snowdon for the early hours of Saturday morning. We had our sights set on completing the challenge within 16 hours, which required a 4.30am start. We drove via Swansea to pick up our Grandfather and Dad (who took on the driving from this point). From Swansea the cross country route took about four and a half hours – preparing us for the fact that most of this challenge is travelling between Peaks!

Snowdon

About 4.30 in the morning at the Pen-Y-Pass Car Park, at the base of Snowdon, as part of the Welsh 3 Peaks Challenge on Saturday March 29th. The blurriness says it all!

About 4.30 in the morning at the Pen-Y-Pass Car Park, at the base of Snowdon, as part of the Welsh 3 Peaks Challenge on Saturday March 29th. The blurriness says it all!

A white out as we reached the peak of Snowdon at 6.30 in the morning, as part of the Welsh 3 Peaks Challenge on Saturday March 29th.

A white out as we reached the peak of Snowdon at 6.30 in the morning, as part of the Welsh 3 Peaks Challenge on Saturday March 29th.

The four of us and Dad set off at 4.30. Snowdon (or Yr Wyddfa in Welsh)  at 3,560 feet above sea levelis the second tallest peak in the UK. It really was cold, with snow actually falling as we set off! We climbed up in the pitch black (with head torches, of course) walking up the PYG path for about an hour until it was light enough to walk without lights. The top was pretty snowy and almost a white out, but we reached the peak after two hours. Would you believe, there was actually someone else up there before us – a group of three guys from Hull who had taken a bit longer. The descent took just as long, and even with the light we were hardly able to see any of the stunning scenery, and we reached the bottom after four hours and six minutes.

Cadair Idris

After a bit of a drive South we reached Cadair Idris, where the sun was shining (like I said, all four seasons!). Cadair Idris lies between Barmouth and Dolgellau in mid Wales, and it the second most popular peak to climb in Wales, after Snowdon. The four of us, plus grandfather headed up the Pony Path, and we managed to get to the summit in under an hour and a half, with the total walk taking a few minutes over three hours.

At the summit of Cadair Idris around midday, on Saturday March 29th, as part of the Welsh 3 Peaks Challenge.

At the summit of Cadair Idris around midday, on Saturday March 29th, as part of the Welsh 3 Peaks Challenge.

Pen-Y-Fan

After a quick detour into the stunning Dolgellau for a quick hot bite to eat, we started on the drive to Pen-Y-Fan, taking a bit longer than the others but a good chance for us to nap. The weather was clear and sunny again, although very windy at the top! This time all of us were heading up the hill, and whilst some were faster than others, we were up and back again in 1:15 hours. Sophie and I were chuffed with this, as another one of our challenge is to do Pen-Y-Fan in less than an hour!

The third and final peak of the day, Saturday March 29th.

The third and final peak of the day, Saturday March 29th.

So what was the total time?

So our target was 16 hours, but all in all we are really pleased to say our total time (including travel) was 13 hours 10 mins. What an achievement!

Thank you!

As always, there are a bunch of thank yous after one of our events:

  • Dad, for doing all the driving, and for accompanying us on Snowdon and Pen-Y-Fan. Without a dedicated driver, we really wouldn’t have been able to do this challenge.
  • Grampa, for his company for Cadair Idris and Pen-Y-Fan. It’s inspirational that he is 71 tomorrow, but he walked faster than the rest us!
  • Marie and Michael, for volunteering their Saturday to join us on our mad adventure
  • The many people we encountered on our walk who put a smile on our faces (and reminded how crazy we are by never failing to be impressed with what we were doing).

If you agree with those people we bumped into on the mountains, why not donate? It’s really easy to do – just go to http://www.justgiving.com/14challengeswheeler2 to donate online or text “GWSW98 £5” (or any other amount) to 70070.

Nikki Scott’s Note

Sophie Wheeler​​ and I are off on another challenge this weekend. This time we are staying on dry land, and are doing the Welsh 3 Peaks challenges. The target is start Snowdon at 4.30 tomorrow morning and then go on to complete Cadair Idris and Pen-Y-Fan in 16 hours (an ambitious target with all the travelling).

It’s going to be cold. It will also probably rain (we are in Wales) but it’s important to remember the reason we are doing this. We are doing 14 challenges this year to raise money for Scotty’s Little Soldiers. This blog is written by the founder of SLS and talks about why this weekend might be a bit special for SLS members.

Anyway wish us luck!! Oh, and if you haven’t donated already please think about doing so. Donate by texting “GWSW98 £5” to 70070 or go to justgiving.com/14challengeswheeler2

http://scottyslittlesoldiers.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/correction-mothers-day/