Four men to take on 'horrendous' epic version of Three Peaks Challenge for Emsworth charity Verity's Gift

RUNNING up three mountains and cycling hundreds of miles in between is the ‘horrendous’ challenge being conquered to help revamp an Emsworth play park.

Wednesday, 5th August 2020, 4:30 pm
Philip Robertson, George 'Topsy' Turner, Nick Slade and Mike Magill are taking on an epic Three Peaks Challenge for Verity's Gift in Emsworth, which will see them run up each mountain and cycle the distances in between

Four men have been training day and night for a feat which will take more than 50 hours.

They will run 8.2 miles up Mount Snowdon, cycle 168.8 miles to Scafell Pike before then running 10.8 miles up that peak and continue with a 254.6-mile cycle to Ben Nevis – only to then finish on a 10.1-mile run up the final mountain.

This way of completing the Three Peaks Challenge has only been done by two groups before, but George Turner, Philip Robertson, Mike Magill and Nick Slade are up to the task, with hopes to raise £30,000 for Verity’s Gift.

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Philip Robertson, George 'Topsy' Turner, Mike Magill and Nick Slade training for their epic challenge overnight

The Emsworth-based charity was set up by George - known as Topsy – in memory of his wife who died suddenly from a brain haemorrhage aged just 33.

The first fundraising effort is to refurbish the play area in Emsworth park, where Verity spent happy times with their daughter Harriet, now six.

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Months of intense training have prepared the group to set off next Thursday to begin their epic quest, which four-time Ironman Triathlon world champion Chrissie Wellington described as the hardest thing she has ever undertaken and accomplished.

For new dad Nick and fitness instructor Philip, this is their first major endurance challenge, and the pair have been training hard alongside Topsy and ex-naval officer Mike.

Fitness instructor Topsy said: ‘It’s horrendous, it’s physically hard and tiring. It really does affect the body in different ways. It’s been really tough the last six months with Covid-19 and trying to keep training and stay focused.

‘It’s going to take its toll but it’s a hard challenge for a reason. We have just got to complete it.

‘We’re at that point now where we just want to get on the road and see where it takes us.’

More than £65,000 has already been collected towards the £100,000 target, with help from Havant Borough Council, and Topsy hopes this latest effort will push them over the target to start the refurbishment.

The 48-year-old added: ‘This is going to be a fantastic feature for years to come - whatever happens, this project will get finished.

‘Verity’s legacy will live on and any time anyone goes into the play park and has a great time they will remember Verity.

‘It never gets any easier to talk about her but we’re so proud of what she has done. She was such an amazing woman and we all miss her so much every day.

‘Doing crazy stuff like this gives me the strength to keep going and if we can give something back to the community which is long overdue then let’s do it.’

Visit to donate and go to to follow the team’s progress throughout the challenge.

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