Ollie, what an achievement! And a great read too:
''On the 23rd July, I Everested on Aston Hill. This was the most horrible experience I’ve ever had…
I severely underestimated how tough it would be; not physically, but mentally. The real reason I finished it, goes back to why I did it. Late last year, my Grandfather passed away from a cancer that he had been battling for a few years. Over that time, he needed a lot of help and care. Rennie Grove Hospice Care helped him brilliantly, and made both his life, and my grandma’s life a lot easier. Rennie Grove are entirely dependent upon donations, so I decided that I should do something to help. That is why I decided to Everest, and it is due to the donations and support that I managed to complete the task.
I started off at 5:45am (I had intended to start earlier but I couldn’t get myself out of bed). The first 20 laps were tough, thinking, “why am I doing this” and “I’ve got how much longer to go?!”
The middle ground was the easiest. When I passed 20 laps I thought, I’m actually quite far in. From here until about 6pm it was the easiest. I had plenty of company and was just trying to keep my mind off the challenge. I would talk rubbish and try and strike up conversations about things I had already talked about dozens of times earlier; anything to stop me thinking.
It was when it got dark, and I put the front lights on that it got a lot harder. The company started to dry up, the music just got annoying, and I was tired. However, it was the thought of the charity that drove me on. That, and the fact that I wouldn’t be able to live it down if I gave up.
I kept going. My laps got longer. I started to get cold. It was horrible. It was at around midnight that I was at about 70 laps. I had started off thinking it would be 76 laps in total. However, the last remaining Garmin (the other 2 had stopped working!) was reading considerably lower than expected. After a couple of laps and after doing a few sums in my head, I worked out that instead of 76 laps, I would need to do 81 laps!
You might think, “that’s only 4 more”. However, 4 more laps would take another couple of hours. This is a couple of hours I was hoping would be pain free. So, now, instead of finishing at 2am, I would be finishing at 4am. You can imagine my thoughts. I absolutely flipped. I was already tripping out, shouting at random shadows or the air or even myself. I was on the edge. It was at 76 laps when I stopped and screamed. I can’t remember what I said to my parents but I can’t imagine it was very nice. After a couple of bite of cold pizza, I got back on the bike without saying a word. Now, I wasn’t so much in a crazy state but more of a machine state.
I simply rode my bike. Not thinking, all pain was out of the window. I ignored everything and simply powered up and down the hill.
80 laps to go, the last lap. I pulled in to base camp and told my parents, “this is it. I’m just going to smash it. Follow me up”. I pushed the gears up, took a couple of breaths and went. My mum in the car behind me, following me up. I wasn’t going too much slower than normal. The past few laps had taken about 12mins each. This one took 6 mins. I felt nothing but determination. I had endured it. Now, I wanted nothing else but to finish. I got to the top, looked down at the Garmin, took a pic, and fell over. I had done it.
I still don’t know for certain how high I climbed. The Garmin read 8,957m, while Strava and contour lines gave it at way over 10,000m. Either way, I am just glad I did it.
The Everest was made so much better by everyone who came out and supported. From the first person at 6am, to the last at 3am (Toby you’re mad!).
There are way more things that I haven’t told you, but if I wrote down everything that happened on that day (and night), you’d be buying it on Amazon. I just want to say a massive thank you, to EVERYONE who supported me!''