THREE super-fit fundraisers are weeks away from a gruelling challenge consisting of 470 miles of cycling and 11,000ft of climbing in less than 70 hours.
Mick Ludgate, 62, Karl Edwards, 56, and Dale Colclough, 52, are set to climb the three highest peaks in the UK, an extreme challenge in itself.
But as well as making it to the top of Mount Snowdon, in Wales. Scafell, in the Lake District and Ben Nevis, in Scotland, the pals will also have the unenviable task of cycling hundreds of miles in between.
The marathon effort does not get underway until next month, but the lads have already raised more than £900 for charities.
And people still have time to support the generous trio before they take to the saddle and lace up their trainers and help to raise cash for Hartlepool and District Hospice, Dinsdale Lodge Nursing Home, in Hartlepool, the Alzheimer’s Society and Patterdale Mountain Rescue.
The pals are no strangers to gruelling fitness efforts.
Mick and Karl who were both born in Hartlepool have both been competing for more than 25 years together since meeting at Hartlepool Burn Road Harriers, where they are still members.
They met Dale, who lives in Stoke and has completed various events including marathons and 100 mile races, six years ago.
But despite their experience, Mick admits there are a few nerves ahead of their latest effort.
Mick, who lives in Billingham and works as a sports therapist in the Innovation Centre, in Hartlepool’s Queens Meadow Business Park, said: “We generally keep ourselves fit running but the cycling side is new to us.
“We have done quite a lot of scratching over the past few months to try and get up to scratch.”
Karl, who now lives in Redworth Village, near Newton Aycliffe, added: “We have done all sorts of races and long distance runs but that’s running, this cycling lark is just an enjoyable hobby.
“Doing 150 miles a day for three days not to mention climbing the mountains is going to be the hardest challenge all three of us have ever done.”
The lads also thanked their support team in advance, Pam and Dean Brown, Mick’s brother Rob Ludgate and Karl’s son David Edwards.
They also expressed their thanks to MKM Building Supplies, in Hartlepool, who have supplied a minibus.
To support the trio in their gruelling challenge visit http://www.justgiving.com/michael-ludgate1.