THREE Oldham Mountain Rescue Team members hope they don’t need assistance when tackling one of the UK’s toughest endurance challenges.
Rob Jones, Luke Viney and Ron McFaull are confident of completing a gruelling 108-mile race across the Pennines to kick-start a new fundraising campaign for the Greenfield-based organisation.
The team of volunteers need £65,000 to buy a new control vehicle to replace their current rescue transport, which is 15 years old.
But it will be two legs rather than four wheels for Rob, Luke and Ron when they attempt the Spine Mountain Rescue Team Challenge from Edale in Derbyshire to Hawes in North Yorkshire.
The race includes in the region of 6300m of ascent and with no stopping or sleeping en route it is an ultimate test of mind and body.
The first finishers are expected to take around 30 hours to cover the distance – the equivalent of around four ‘normal’ marathons – with a 60-hour cut-off limit.
There is also a separate Spine race which covers the entire Pennine Way (around 268 miles) and usually takes competitors six or seven days to complete.
The MRT / Challenger race starts on Saturday, January 11 and the full Spine event on Sunday, January 12.
Since its inception, OMRT has entered athletes each year and to date it has been completed by David Wyatt, Iain Airth, Chris Maylor and Matt Torr.
This year’s racers are:
• Ron: first time running the MRT race and first ever race of this length/ nature. Heralding from Scotland, expect him to be the dark horse.
• Luke: the youngest member (26) of the team. Second time running the race – looking for redemption after DNF (did not finish) last year.
• Rob: – third time running the race. One completion and one DNF to date.
To support the fundraising efforts visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/robert-jones-spine2020