Two teams from Palintest took part in the gruelling Race the Sun challenge last weekend, raising money for Action Medical Research. The challenge which involves cycling approximately 80km, canoeing 3km and climbing one of the highest mountains in England, Helvellyn, all before the sun sets.

Here one of the members of Team Brilliant gives us an insight into their day:

On Saturday it was finally game time, and this is how it went...

At 0616 the modestly named Team Brilliant set off on the first bike leg, it was 4 degrees C and whilst the ground fog looked incredibly picturesque it didn't do much for the fingers and toes. Thankfully, when the sun finally came up the temperatures gradually rose and conditions were perfect when we hit the mountain. The first cycling leg had gone well, and we were all still here.

Then we climbed up Helvellyn, using the back route from Thirlmere. This was a steep climb to start with but began to level out before we reached the last steep climb to the summit plateau. It was stunning up there, with views for miles in each direction from the trig point at 950 metres (3,117 feet). At this point the team was feeling good and we we're set to continue. However for me the worst part was just around the corner. As we decended the mountain down a particularly steep path; my knees were in agony and I was beginning to feel old.

At the bottom, we jumped back onto our bikes and cycled round to the other side of the lake for our 3km canoe across Thirlmere. This presented a welcome respite for the legs, but was none too kind on the shoulders.

Canoe completed and we we're back on the bikes for the final route back to Penrith. This included a couple of nasty hills and a very long drag out of Keswick, you know it had such a deleterious effect that we all rode straight past the ice cream van at the top.

We wended our way back to Penrith, finishing at 1729, total time of 11 hours 13 mins and placing a respectable sixth out of fifteen mixed gender teams. Our R&D team of colleagues did a fine job in finishing the course in 12 hours 31 mins, massive tip of the hat to them too. Tired, aching and chuffed with our efforts we celebrated with curry, beer and belly laughs in Penrith that evening.

We'd like to say thanks for all the help and support we've received, particularly in helping us to smash our £4000 fundraising target. All the raffles and bake sales have been a huge help in helping to reach our target. I'd love to say we would now relax but we're already looking at what we can do next year.

If you would like to know more about Race the Sun and Action Medical Research, visit their website at https://www.action.org.uk/race-sun

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Team What the Helvellyn: Kevin, Lee, Antonio and Simon

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Team Brilliant: Lesley, Iain, Mark and Bryony

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