Facing a 110km yomp over six mountain passes with a total climb of 14,000ft is challenge enough but for Baycliff mum-of-two Kristel Kemp, her entry in this year’s Ultimate Trails 110km to raise money for Rosemere Cancer Foundation turned into even more of a trial!
For Kristel (36), who is mum to 10-year-old Jack and Charlie, five, was misdirected by a marshall 70km into the course. The error added an extra six miles and an additional two hours to her trek but plucky Kristel battled on to complete 113km in just over 22 hours and has received a free entry into next year’s event by way of an apology from organisers.
Kristel, whose mega effort also managed to raise £1,300 for Rosemere, said: “The event sets off from Ambleside at midnight so apart from the light of a head torch, you’re in darkness. There were around 400 people registered but only 344 actually started the race, probably because the weather was so bad. Some people run from start to finish. I walk the uphills and jog the downs and the flat so you can find yourself on your own pretty quickly.
“When I reached the marshal just over half way through, I went the way I was directed. Unfortunately, he’d sent me on the 55km route in error. When I discovered the mistake, I had to get back on track asap but it was a big detour. There were cut off times throughout the course and despite meeting the next two, I was eight minutes late on the last one and was told I had to stop. Thankfully, when the organisers realised what had happened and that I had actually gone further than the maximum distance, they gave me my medal, added me to the list of finishers and offered me a free 2017 entry.”
Kristel, who works in Supply Chain at BAE Systems in Barrow, took on the Ultimate Trails 110km challenge as a thank you to Rosemere for treatment her big brother Jamie (41) received at the regional specialist Rosemere Cancer Centre in Preston after being diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2010. Jamie, who is now fit and well, runs Yarlside Stores in Barrow with his wife Michaela and their two sons.
Kristel was one of only 35 women to complete this year’s Ultimate Trails 110km. She took on the challenge after successfully completing her own personal Wandering Warrior last year, which saw her climb 38 Wainwright Lakeland fells in five days as a fundraiser for Rosemere. Kristel finished off that trek by competing in Shap’s 2015 Total Warrior Race on day six, again for Rosemere, coming home 94th out of 1,500 women.
Kristel’s Ultimate Trails 110km support team was comprised of work colleague Neil Jackson, who met at her every spectator checkpoint, and parents Les and Wendy Kemp.
Rosemere Cancer Foundation spends the donations it receives on vital equipment, research and training that cannot be funded by the NHS. It strives to bring world class cancer treatments and services to local cancer patients throughout South Cumbria and Lancashire via their local hospitals and the region’s three specialist treatment centres. Besides the Rosemere Cancer Centre, these are Blackpool Victoria Hospital for blood cancers and the Royal Blackburn for liver cancers.
The charity also funds those things that can make the cancer journey a little more comfortable such as free access to complementary therapies for all newly diagnosed patients. For further information, visit its website at www.rosemere.org.uk