Disabled athlete scales Three Peaks challenge

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Members of a squash and fitness centre have taken on the Three Peaks Challenge with a twist – by helping a wheelchair athlete complete the event with them.

Fourteen members of Racquets Fitness Centre pushed, pulled and lifted Gaz Houston up the peaks in 28 hours and 29 minutes.

The usual challenge is to climb the three highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales within 24 hours.

The team were aiming to get up and down Ben Nevis, Snowdon and Scafell Pike within 36 hours, so comfortably beat their target.

As well as completing the feat, the team has raised £8,000 for the Matt Hampson Foundation, which supports sportsmen and women who have been seriously injured and disabled.

Team leader Nigel Pattison said: “This is a cause close to my heart and in a Paralympic year I wanted to demonstrate the strength and courage of those who have to spend a lifetime in a wheelchair.”

The group started at 4.31am, completing the first leg on Scafell Pike within 10 hours before travelling 250 miles to the Lake District.

Mr Pattison said the Ben Nevis climb was done mostly in the dark.

“Gaz showed tremendous faith in the team around him as there were a few points which were quite narrow with a bit of a drop as well,” he said.

They began the final assault, in Snowdonia, at 4.30am on the Sunday and, despite the pouring rain and gale winds, completed the challenge by 9am.