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Rugby charity total still climbing

By Lorna Thompson

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A TEAM of players from Moray Rugby Football Club are on a high after tackling the UK's three highest peaks last week – and their charity fundraising total is still climbing yet.

The challengers conquered the UK’s highest peaks: Scotland’s Ben Nevis (1345m), Scafell Pike (978m) in England and Snowdon (1085m) in Wales – all within 24 hours – for the national Three Peaks Challenge.

Made it - the Moray RFC challengers.
Made it - the Moray RFC challengers.

The players are raising money for My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, which aids research into motor neurone disease. They have a fundraising target of £15,000. Half of the total raised will be used to help rebuild Moray RFC’s clubhouse, which is regularly deluged by flooding.

Rugby player Doddie Weir has earned 61 caps for Scotland. In June 2017 the Scot revealed he was suffering from motor neurone disease.

The group completed the challenge with an average time of 23hr 30min. They returned home tired and aching but satisfied that they were heading up and up in their fundraising effort. The total is sitting at nearly £9,000 so far.

Challenger Marc Higgins said: "It was definitely the hardest challenge I've done in my life. Falling behind with our timings for arrival at Scafell Pike certainly spurred us on to make up time – arriving 45 minutes behind schedule and leaving only 10 minutes behind.

"Snowdon for me was the toughest, being so steep and only having two to three hours of broken sleep between all the mountains. We got to the top of Snowdon and had a dram of the Doddie Weir whisky we had bought at the club dinner auction – that was such a great feeling. We then realised we had one hour 45 minutes to get down and we could do it – so we started running down to get it done in the time.

"Getting to the bottom of Snowdon with 30 minutes to spare was such a brilliant feeling.

"The target was £7,000 and we are currently sitting at £8,779. We reached the target as we came down from Ben Nevis and that was such a great motivation to get the climbs done.

"I feel it shows how much the building of a new clubhouse means to the guys and how much the club would benefit from these facilities, right from primary age groups up to the senior team, the girls team and walking rugby."

Teammate Lee Adams said: "As we were standing at the car park for Ben Nevis in Fort William with 10 minutes to go before we set off, I think that is when the full size of the massive challenge hit everyone.

"We kept a hard, fast pace, completing Ben Nevis in an incredible 4hr 10min, giving us hope that 'we can do this'.

"We arrived at Scafell Pike just after 4am and because we had put such a shift in on Nevis the legs and knees and feet were suffering. We knew we didn't have time to be sore, so we set off regaining the same hard and fast pace we previously had set. As we summitted Scafell Pike the sun had not long risen, giving us a warm welcoming view, but there was no time to enjoy this as we had a time of 8am at the latest to leave for Snowdon. We scrambled down the steep tracks, completing Scafell Pike in a very quick time of 2hr 45min.

"We arrived at the Snowdon car park with worry in our minds that there was not enough time to summit and descend by 5pm. We set of at a staggering pace with everyone’s pain and injuries from the previous two left in the car park. This climb was extremely tough as we could see the summit almost straight away which never seemed to get closer – yet we put the heads down and powered on.

"I remember just before we started Ben Nevis that one of our support team had said 'the pain you are about to endure over the next 24 hours is going to be really hard, sore and tough, but the pain of those suffering from MND doesn’t just last 24 hours and it only gets worse, so just remember that when you are needing to dig deep to get this done'."

"We all reminded ourselves of this and pushed through the pain to summit Snowdon in 1hr 35min. With amazing views and sunshine we had a drink of whisky from a signed Doddie Weir bottle, but yet again this was only a quick stop before we scrambled down the very challenging descend to get back to the car park, completing Snowdon in 2hr 48min and completing The Three Peaks Challenge in 23hr 15min.

"We would like to thank everyone who has donated. Thank you to all the sponsors, especially FMS Elgin for the minibuses, Bookers for the energy drinks and sweets that kept us going, TYW for the T-Shirts and Graham Miller for sponsoring all our fuel.

"And last but not least, thank you very much to our great support team who without them it would never have happened."

To donate see the Lee Adams Moray RFC Just Giving page, or contact Stuart Middleton on 07824 446088 (stumiddleton22@gmail.com) or Lee Adams on 07814 546198 (adams_712@msn.com).

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