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Mont Blanc Challenge: Where have the last 3 months gone?

5 September 2017
Emma Harris

Three and a half months ago I signed up for one of the biggest challenge in my life; a Mont Blanc trek, covering 3 countries in 3 days, circling the highest peak in Western Europe with a fundraising target of £1200 for Mencap.

I saw the opportunity on our internal intranet site and straight away I was interested as two years ago I travelled solo around Europe for two months.

Innsbruck in Austria was my favourite place out of the 26 cities I visited, with one of the main reasons being the views. I trekked with a guide on the organised trips they do and loved it – it was so interesting to hear everyone’s stories and how they had ended up where they were.

The last three months have been challenging, with fundraising, moving into my first house and training for the trek.

The fundraising has been hard, I've never attempted to raise so much money before and I am currently on 85% of my target (which is slowly climbing) on my JustGiving page.

All the funds raised will help Mencap to support people with a learning disability to live their lives as they choose. I have written and spoken to what feels like hundreds of companies asking for raffle prizes, plus my family and friends have been a massive help, and I really appreciate all the current donations I have received. A company also provided me with a free jar of sweets for a raffle, as well as a "how many sweets in the jar?" Competition, as these are really popular.

I have really enjoyed my training, even though I have found it hard at times. The first training walk I did with my boots was 13 miles at Bewl Water on the hottest day of the year at the time. The biggest training session I've completed is the Tunbridge Wells Circular Walk, which was 27 ½ miles over two days, followed by a hockey training session the next day! In total I completed about 90,000 steps over three days! I even got a silver certificate from the Council for completing the walk. My Achilles heel was sore after this which meant I had to rest and make the hard decision of not playing hockey until after the trek as I didn’t want to do any more damage.

Over the August bank holiday weekend, I completed a couple of long walks, including one around Lullingstone Country Park – which is fairly hilly! I didn’t have any problems with my Achilles which put my mind at rest.

With less than a week to go I have mixed emotions; I'm excited as I'm really looking forward to going up mountains and seeing the pretty scenery. However, at the same time I'm also nervous as it is such a huge challenge. This weekend I have the fun job of packing and ensuring I have everything I'll need!

Find out more

If you'd like to make a donation or see how I'm getting on with my fundraising journey, please do head over to my JustGiving page.

Would you like to sign up for an event and raise money for Mencap? Take a look at what's on offer here.

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