Mark Brooks, 28, of Bradley Stoke has just completed the Three Peaks Challenge with a mere seven minutes to spare. Mark, who has been chef at Thornbury Golf Club for 10 years, raised an estimated £1,500 for the Parkinson’s Disease Society, smashing his target of £1,000.
The charity is one that is close to Mark’s heart as his father Jim has suffered from Parkinson’s for more than a decade. “It is such a great feeling to have completed the task and raised so much money for the charity”, said Mark. “There were times when I was quite sick and I was really struggling, but then I thought of all the people who had backed me, and I just did not want to let them down, so I battled through it.”
The gruelling Three Peaks Challenge requires participants to climb the UK’s three highest mountains, Ben Nevis in Scotland, England’s Scafell Pike and Snowdon in Wales, in just 24 hours. Mark completed his feat in 23 hours 53 minutes, thanks to a mad dash up Snowdon in 80mph winds.
A 10-month rigorous training regime prepared Mark for the feat with road running, gym work and some training runs up Snowdon and Ben Nevis. But the hardest part for the chef was watching what he ate as he was on a strict diet. “I had to eat extremely healthily in the build up to the challenge, lots of salad and no fatty foods, which is very hard for a chef when I’m surrounded by food all day,” he joked.
Graham Marshall, Thornbury Golf Centre general manager, said: “Everyone at the centre is extremely proud of Mark’s achievement and we’re all delighted that he beat his target of £1,000. He had a lot of support from all of the staff and golfers at Thornbury and he did not let us down. Well done Mark.”
Mark had fantastic support from a number of people and organisations to complete his feat and would like to thank Plas Cocu Guest House, and members of Little Stoke Social Club, Thornbury Golf Centre, Stokes Medical Centre and Hogdeson & Kearney Financial Services for their generous sponsorship.
To congratulate Mark and to celebrate his achievement, staff at Thornbury Golf Centre presented him with a special ‘Three Peaks’ cake.