The Three Peakers have raised more than £30,000 so far for the horticulture charity, after taking part in two grueling rides in two teams.
Some took part on road bikes and some on mountain bikes and climbed the equivalent of Mt. Everest (riding 759km) and Mt. Kilimanjaro (riding 530km) respectively over the course of the week. The challenge was masterminded by four leading managing directors from the landscape and amenity sector: Brian Herbert of Outdoor Options, Surrey, John O’Conner of John O’Connor Grounds Maintenance, Hertfordshire, Darren Skidmore from Skidmores in Hertfordshire and Richard Gardiner from NAG Solutions in Surrey.
They were supported by a brilliant group of professional riders from Passion In Events (PIE) based in Surrey and support vehicles supplied by Oakview Landscapes, Skidmores and Thurlow Nunn Vauxhall, based in Luton. The challenge was sponsored by Bowles & Wyer, London Stone, Silverland Stone and Garden Link.
Herbert said: "I’m still reflecting on what was undoubtedly one of the best weeks of my life and taking everything in. It was a whirlwind of a week and I only wish I had had the energy and time to keep a daily diary. From the brilliant organisation that went into this challenge from pie events and the sponsors and supporters that have made it all possible, to the incredible team spirit and camaraderie of the whole squad and their families, clients and employers for giving them the time off, I am honoured to call myself a ‘Three Peaker’ and am already working on ideas for the next HortAid fundraiser."
Development manager at Perennial Kate O’Shea said the challenge showed what was possible when industry leaders come together to support colleagues who need the help of Perennial when times get tough.
"The team was determined to beat their 2013 fundraising total of £26,000 for the Three Peaks Extreme Challenge and it’s fair to say they’ve smashed it. It was a grueling week of cycling - both physically and mentally - taking in some breathtaking scenery from North Wales to the edge of Cornwall and we know it was not undertaken lightly by any member of the team.
"I would like to thank each and every rider, their supporters, the event sponsors and the team from PIE on behalf of everyone at Perennial, and all those we help each year with support, advice and financial assistance. The money raised through this challenge – just as with any of our many incredible fundraising activities - will change lives for the better and it is an inspiration to us all to keep going and to achieve more."
There is still time to sponsor the team securely online via JustGiving or by Text 2 Give (Text GRBS66 £5 (or any amount) to 70070). All funds raised will help Perennial support UK horticulturists and their families who are facing hardship, unemployment, family trauma, illness, injury or bereavement.