Hi! My name is Ann. I am currently living in Manchester and excited to  take part in the Peak District Challenge.

20121226_114556I am doing the challenge mainly for two reasons: (1) It feels very rewarding to give something back. And I am not just saying that! I have done quite a few charity challenges over the years and the buzz and the feeling while being there is always amazing. The purposefulness, the togetherness and the fun along the way is not something you see very often and it is totally worth it for that alone. Besides you know you are doing it for a great cause. This year, I am giving to S.A.L.V.E. International a great little charity that helps children in Uganda to get off the streets.

(2) I try to do one challenge for myself every year. Now, I have slightly rubbish knees so genuinely a marathon challenge would be out of the question but hiking works quite well for me and is something you can manage to do even if you are not able to run 4k in 12 minutes (which I cannot). The challenge is set in the Peak District and anyone who has ever been – it is simply stunning. I have done some walks there in December and the landscape is a mixture between the ‘ruggedness’ you find in Scotland and the very leafy green of Wales. Honestly, it is so beautiful!! I am planning on doing a practice walk there this weekend and with the ‘heat wave’ upon us I have decided to combine it with a wild swimming experience – what better way to stay refreshed and experience everything nature has to offer?!

20130506_115008This year, my team and I are entering the 25km challenge. 25km is something  that you can do reasonably well even if you do not have a massive amount of training under your belt or if you are not ‘super duper’ fit (trust me I am not either). In my challenges in the past I have come to realise that a lot of people focus in the training more on the physical aspect and whereas I am not saying it is not important you should not underestimate the mental challenge. Overcoming your little minions (I went and saw Despicable Me last night J) in your head that tell you “you cannot do this” is my biggest struggle, which feels really good to overcome (and honestly, no training whatsoever prepares you for it). But – it is good to do good – both for yourself and others. Not only is it a very good exercise that gets your heart pumping you are doing it surrounded by nature and with like-minded people. Oh yeah – and the friendly teams at the check points will prepare lovely snacks for us that we then can enjoy completely guilt free. In other words: A perfect day out!

Will Ann be back to do the 50km Bronze challenge in 2014? A great new years resolution!