Adventurer and mental health campaigner Alex Staniforth has set the second best time for the National Three Peaks Run, completing the challenge just over an hour longer than the existing record time of 9 days 11 hours 39 minutes, set by Tom Mountney in 2019.
Alex set off from Glen Nevis Youth Hostel at 4am on Friday 21st August 2020 and finished in Llanberis at 5.09pm on Sunday 30th August 2020. Alex's journey took him over 440 miles from Ben Nevis, down through the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, south to the border, through the Lake District and up Scafell Pike, down through Lancashire towards Alex's home county of Cheshire, into Wales, up Snowdon, finally finishing in Llanberis to a crowd of supporters in the glorious bank holiday sunshine.
Alex climbed a staggering 44,000 ft in total, his distance averaging at 50 miles per day. He described the experience as hellish, and having to dig deeper than ever before both physically and mentally. Hindered by injury along the way, "sometimes you just have to take the first step and go from there" Alex reflected.
"I have been overwhelmed by the support people have given me" he said.
"I've had people who waited in the dark to hand me a donation. It's moments like those that keep you going. I've had people cheering me from balconies and children with homemade signs giving me encouragement. I've also had runners and support vehicles join me along the way and I'm so grateful to everyone for their efforts."
Alex missed out on setting a new National Three Peaks Run record by just over an hour. He realised that he was not going to set a new record early on Sunday morning after setting off at 3am.
"It was probably when I had to take a kip in a bus shelter in Capel Curig that I realised I wasn't on track for the new record. The most important thing was that I finished the challenge safely. I had nothing left to give, it was sheer exhaustion that had caught up."
Alex's motivation for completing the National Three Peaks Run was to fundraise for Mind Over Mountains, the charity he founded. Mind Over Mountains is a mental health charity, set up to give others opportunity to use the outdoors as a tool for mental health management. On Sunday evening his online donations were over £8000, and rising.
Alex passed on his thanks for all the support he has received; "it reminds me why I do it."
- To donate to Mind Over Mountains see givey.com