Snowdonia Challenge – Jayne’s Journey
Loads of you tell us that one of your favourite things about Snowdonia Challenge is the chance to spend time catching up with old friends and making new ones.
As the event organisers this has been the same for us.
Over the last 2 years through Snowdonia Challenge and our other events we have met nearly 1500 lovely, like-minded people. We are extremely grateful for this.
Many of these people have become good friends and a few of them are now a wonderful and valued part of Team Breese.
We met Jayne when she took part in Snowdonia Challenge 2017 with her partner, Ash. Jayne couldn’t take part in 2018 but got in touch because she wanted to come along and join in the atmosphere of the event.
Jayne is a photographer! So we asked her if she’d bring along her camera and take some photos during the 3 days.
We’ve asked Jayne to tell us about her Snowdonia Challenge journey, why she enjoys being a part of this event and her tips for preparing for your own Snowdonia Challenge…
WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU DONE BEFORE?
I have a bad habit of signing up for challenges and massively underestimating them! I’ve done the Yorkshire Three Peaks twice and the Manchester 100 cycle ride. All of the challenges I have done are for the charity Joining Jack, and I always feel that, if I’m asking people to sponsor me, I need to do something that is a real challenge for me.
WHAT APPEALED TO YOU ABOUT THIS ONE?
The location was a massive appeal – I love Snowdonia. I’d never walked 100km as part of a challenge, especially on back to back and it added a new dimension to the challenge –
although foolishly I thought doing it over three days rather than just keeping going would make it easier…
WHAT DID YOU DO TO TRAIN AND PREPARE?
I’m based in Leeds and city living isn’t the best for getting outdoors. I’m not a fan of the gym so we tried to get outdoors as much as possible. We did the Yorkshire Three Peaks as part of the training too in the same month. The Yorkshire Dales and the Peak District were regularly visited but the best we were able to manage was once a week, and not every week at that.
I think it is safe to say that we could definitely have done more!
WHO DID YOU TAKE PART IN THE CHALLENGE WITH?
I did the challenge with my other half, Ashley, who has a frustratingly high level of base fitness – even when being a lazy sod!
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE CHALLENGE?
Day 2 is very mentally challenging when you walk along the Ogwen Valley knowing that you will turn and retrace your steps (as well as passing people who have already been to the checkpoint and are on the way back!), but the views are spectacular. It is one of my favourite areas in Snowdonia anyway and, on such a lovely day, it was stunning.
Llyn Elsi and LLyn Geirionydd were new areas for us, and ones that we have since revisited.
Crossing the finish line on day three and the meal at Y Stablau comes a very close second favourite moment!
HOW DID YOU FIND THE CHALLENGE OVERALL?
Hard! It was definitely a challenge!
The blisters added a whole new level of pain, and if it wasn’t for my sheer determination to finish it and not be beaten, there were so many times that I could quite happily have stopped, quit and just enjoyed the view. I’m not good at admitting defeat!
WHATS THE BEST MEMORY YOU HAVE FROM THE WEEKEND?
So many memories! From the feeling of excitement and being part of something huge on the first morning that we set off to the awe at some of the sights that we got to pass and be a part of.
From the tranquillity particularly on the forest tracks to the rugged mountains of the Ogwen Valley.
It was a lovely break from technology for us too – and a great chance to spend more time together outdoors away from the pressures of work.
I met so many lovely people that weekend – from Tracey and Stu who organise such a wonderful event, to the Mountain Leader’s and route support team that are always there to cheer you on / patch you up when you need it.
WHAT TIPS WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE TAKING PART IN SNOWDONIA CHALLENGE FOR THS FIRST TIME?
- Do practice walks with your kit beforehand – including carrying a bag full of supplies. Make sure you are familiar with it and particularly that boots are worn in. You could find yourself suffering if the first time you use kit / boots is the challenge itself.
- Breese Adventures will give guidance but make sure you use the footwear most suitable for you taking into account that the routes are over different terrains. *
- Try to get into the habit of taking on regular fluids – it will help to keep you hydrated on the challenge.
- Speaking of terrain – parts of the route are road / pavement based, some are forest paths. If you can’t always get into the country for training – don’t underestimate the benefits of pavement based training walks in your local area or visiting the local park!
- Even if getting out isn’t an option, do whatever training you can.
- Practice doing long walks on consecutive days to get used to having to get up and do it all again! If you can’t get out on consecutive days, try putting your boots on on the second day to get used to the feeling and the mental preparation – particularly if you have achey feet !
- If you are prone to blisters, take time to think of how to manage it – things you can do to manage them, and aftercare.
- Know what foods work best for you, for example the energy / carb gels don’t always work best for everyone. Find something you like and that agrees with your body.
- Have kit for all weather! In the past couple of years we’ve had everything from rain to heatwaves !
ARE YOU COMING BACK NEXT YEAR?
Of course we will be and we can’t wait!
Jayne and Ashley raised over £700 for Joining Jack.
Snowdonia Challenge 2019
Find out how you can join us for Snowdonia Challenge 2019 either as an Open or a Fundraising entry.