Back in April, we caught up with Fuel Your Journey winner Drew Collins, who was setting out on his Wild Peaks Walk to become the first person to trek the entire length of the Three Peaks.
Well, he only went and did it! 403.56 miles, 3 mountains and 24 days later, Drew now holds the coveted world record for being the first person to walk from Ben Nevis, through the peak district and Scafell Pike and into Wales, ending his near-month-long trek at the foot of Mount Snowdon. Below, Drew gives us the lowdown on his epic journey.
Drew, congratulations on completing your epic Wild Peaks Walk! How did the experience compare to what you had anticipated?
I knew it would be a difficult challenge to tackle, but it was so much harder than I thought it would be! Along the way, I picked up a few injuries which didn’t help matters and I also hit a few mental barriers, which really tested my will and strength to continue. But in the face of it all I found the energy reserves to push on. I continued through the physical and mental pain and this really helped me see what is truly possible.
What was the biggest challenge you faced along the way?
The mental aspect of the walk was undoubtedly the hardest part; it’s very easy to just stare at your feet as each foot passes the other and forget to take in the beautiful surrounding landscapes. I also had a few near misses including being chased by a particularly angry bull, jumping off a mountain road to avoid a logging lorry and sunburn, unlike anything I’ve ever experienced! I’m a nice shade of brown now, but a few weeks ago I was mostly a peeling, aching, moaning, stinking mess.
How did you keep motivated?
Music played a huge part in helping me troop through the negatives of the walk. I am so thankful for the positives vibes of John Mayer! My wife also helped to keep me motivated when I managed to find a signal to speak with her. At one point on the Clyde Walkway after roughly 110 miles, I was near breaking point in my tent with a few tears. We had a long chat via Facetime and she reminded me why I was doing this and that I’d feel better after a good night of sleep.
How did FUEL10K keep you fuelled up during your journey?
Oh my, that Quark stuff is amazing!!! I took a few pouches along with me and kept them as a treat for when I was feeling low and tired. They really do perk you up.
What would you say was your favourite part of the whole experience?
The Cumbria Way was pretty special. I only covered about two-thirds of it but what a beautiful long-distance path it is. I also enjoyed a night of luxury at Skiddaw House. And by luxury, I mean anything with water and a roof – this is bliss when you are spending prolonged periods of time in a 1-man tent! Besides that, it was a real treat to sit outside the tent and watch the sunset over the horizon with a cup of tea and a book. It’s the simple things that are the best.
You mentioned that you would like to move back onto tackling larger mountains, with Elbrus in your sights! Is this still in your plans?
I don’t want these expeditions to become box ticking exercises but it’s definitely still the plans. This may have to wait until later this year or next as I want to ensure that I’m challenged and so a winter climb seems like the best option! I’m also toying with the idea of walking the North Coast 500, but I have no idea of whether this is logistically possible yet so it’s something that I’m looking into. For now, I’m just enjoying being back home with my wife, family and feet that don’t ache!
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