Bonello Spiteri on top of Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge

Wednesday, April 20, 2011, 17:54

Winning ladies team from left: Sarah Green, Sioban Linard, Ruth Crawford, Danica Bonello Spiteri

Having recently moved to the UK to specialize in Sport & Exercise Medicine Reigning Sportwoman of the Year Danica Bonello Spiteri has already integrated into the UK sports scene, and is making her mark. Last weekend she teamed up with another 3 ladies, Sarah Green, Sioban Linard and Ruth Crawford to take part in the Three Peaks Yorkshire Challenge. No fewer than 20 teams participated in this event where team work, physical and mental stamina were crucial. The event involved trekking up the three highest peaks in the Yorkshire District, whilst cycling on off road gravel paths from peak to peak. The total distance covered on bike and on foot was 80km, and the participants had to carry all their food, water and clothing supplies throughout the event. The first bike leg of 16km of undulating gravel road led the team to the first climb of the day a 9 km trek up– Peny-g-hent (altitude of 694m, ascent 465m).

The team completed this in the 4th fastest time overall, despite prevailing thick mist that covered the mountain and the cold conditions. The second bike leg was the toughest, with steep climbs, river crossings and wind for a total of 20km. By this stage the team was tightly knit for third place, with two other teams hot on their heels. The second mountain, Whernside (altitude 736m, ascent 446m) was the longest distance to be covered, 13km on foot.

The team work paid off and by the end of this mountain, taking just over 2 hours to complete, the team had dropped off the other two teams behind them, and were in a solid third position. The final bike leg, provided some relief, since 10km were on a tarmaced surface, yet the final 2km bike leg was the steepest climb, This led to the final steepest climb on foot – Ingleton (altitude 723m, ascent 592m). At the start of this mountain, the team was informed that the second placed team was only 8 minutes ahead, so it led to renewed energies setting in.

With good team work, effort and sheer mental toughness, the team managed to overtake the 2nd placed team just before the peak of Ingleton, and raced down to the bikes, to roll down the final hill to the finish. The team in fact had the fastest Ingleton mountain climb overall. With a finishing time of 9hrs and 47minutes, the team finished in 2nd place overall, and 1st all Female Team, whilst setting a new record for the all female category. The winning male team finished in 8hrs 53mins.

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