St Albans women complete Three Peaks Challenge in 24 hours - with minutes to spare!

The group climbing Ben Nevis. Picture: Jo Connolly.

The group climbing Ben Nevis. Picture: Jo Connolly. - Credit: Archant

A group of 11 women from St Albans have completed the Three Peaks Challenge in 24 hours - with only 20 minutes to spare!

The Crazy Ladies climbed Ben Nevis, Scarfell Pike and Snowdon to raise money for Junior Diabetes Research Fund (JDRF), which funds research into Type-1 diabetes.

Group member Jo Connolly said: “We all had highs and lows, but we pulled through.

“We had seen three countries, experienced awe-inspiring mountain scenery, watched the sunrise and darkness descend and conquered all three peaks within 24 hours. We are all very proud of our achievement and carry great memories with us.”

The group included two teachers from Oakwood Primary School and St Albans High School for Girls, who took unpaid leave to join the expedition.

JDRF was settled on as the charity of choice because a mum who is friends with the Crazy Ladies has a son who has been diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes.

Jo said: “This year is his two year ‘diaversary’ - the anniversary of his first diagnosis - and so we thought it would be a nice to help him mark this milestone with some fundraising for a charity that have been so supportive for the family.

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“It’s scary to think that 90 per cent of all newly diagnosed Type-1 diabetics have no family history. There is no cure and it’s a lifelong illness. One which is increasing in incidence by four per cent each year.”

So at 5pm on the day, the Crazy Ladies started their ascent of Ben Nevis and reached the peak at around 8pm.

They then clambered onto a minibus to get to Scarfell Pike, which they started climbing at 4.15am and finished around 8.15am.

Of Scarfell, Jo said: “The conditions were just perfect, we could see for miles and saw the sun rise over the lakes plus even managed to reach the peak ahead of time.

“However on the descent the aches and pains started to really bite for some. But we pressed on.”

Finally was Snowdon in Wales, which they had to tackle in the heat of the day.

In order to finish the challenge in 24 hours, the group ran the last few kilometres, making it to the top in 23 hours and 40 minutes.

To help them raise money for JDRF, visit