Patrick and the pacemakers have returned from Coniston having been challenged by the Old Man himself.
Just as a reminder the challenge was to complete in one day a:
> 10km hike to summit of The Old Man of Coniston
> 12km mountain bike through the forests of Grizedale
> One mile kayak along Coniston water
The team could not complete all three parts of the Challenge but did conquer the Old Man, eventually.
The Pacemakers had trained for this event, but not knowing the nature of old men in the Lake District, trained on the Malverns and our local oyster Hill.
In canine/feline terms this was like getting used to a sweet little flop-eared puppy in preparation for tackling a mountain lion.
The route turned out to be considerably more difficult than what Patrick had been led to believe by his Guide Dog Trainer, as the attached pictures show.
Climbing up and then down very rough boulder-strewn tracks is probably the toughest challenge for anyone without sight.
Patrick wishes it to be known that The Pacemakers were simply wonderful and gave him huge support as he stumbled his way up and down, guide dog Ivan in one hand and his trusty hazel stick in t’other.
However because of the dangerous terrain the whole first element of the triathlon took all day. The team started just before 9 AM and finished just before 5 PM.
Because of the late finish the Course Director would not permit the team to carry out the bike trek through Grizedale Forest but did allow the Pacemakers to do the kayak while Patrick took a well earned rest, tending his groaning muscles, and Ivan skipped off to play with other dogs.
Any disappointment Patrick might have felt at not completing the whole Challenge was swept away when many people told the team that they did not know how he had managed to complete the hill hike. There was another team with two partially sighted and one totally blind woman who also only managed the hill and other teams who could not complete all three.
The important news though is that the 54 teams have raised £90,000 so far and the donations are still pouring in.
Patrick would like to give huge thanks to all those who have donated and to those still to give, to David and Kathy Darwood for helping raise funds locally, to all those who made the Blindfold Breakfast a great success, and especially to the Pacemakers and his wife Roz for their outstanding support.
Donations can still be made on-line until 21st December by following the link:http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/patrickandthepacemakers