A RIPON woman has set herself not one but three challenges of a lifetime to raise money for charity.
Rosemary Pringle, from Clotherholme Road, Ripon, aims to sail the Atlantic, climb Kilimanjaro, and run the 192 mile coast-to-coast path from St Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay within a year to raise £10,000 for Cancer Research UK.
The 24-year-old started her challenge in February, crossing the Atlantic on a charity expedition from Barbados to the Azores in a 72ft former racing yacht.
She arrived with with the 15 other crew members on March 13.
Ready for her next challenge, she is currently in training for her climb up Kilimanjaro which starts on May 2 and is planning the run for July.
“I wanted to make myself a good case for sponsorship and I wanted to challenge myself,” Rosemary said, “so I chose three things that are completely different but equally difficult in their own way.”
The three and a half week Atlantic crossing was, Rosemary says, “fun in retrospect.”
“Sailing the Atlantic was extremely challenging but a fantastic opportunity and it has given me wonderful memories.”
However, the experience was not without its challenges.
“I get very seasick which made it hard. I was sick 28 times, so much that my teeth hurt, and we faced force eight to nine gales with five metre swells for a week,” she said.
“I know it was frightening for my friends and family because sailing is dangerous.
“It’s not just with the winds and waves but the seasickness – it can cause extreme dehydration, which could be fatal.”
Since returning from the Azores Rosemary has focused on training for her next challenge - a six-day charity ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain.
“The last big walk I did was my Duke of Edinburgh gold award in 2005 and I have never done any high altitude trekking before so the altitude sickness will be challenging.
“I know it will affect me, it’s just a question of whether it’s bad enough to stop me getting to the top.”
The trek will take eight days in total, with six spent getting to the top and two on the descent, and before attempting it Rosemary will spend a week on Kenya’s high plains acclimatising to the high altitude conditions.
Finally, only two months after returning from Africa, she hopes to run Wainwright’s coast-to-coast path in a week.
Although a competitive runner who trained twice a day to represent Cambridge University, Rosemary said she specialised in 800m and 2000m races and has never done any long distance running before.
She is aiming to run further than a marathon every day to complete the 192 mile route in under a week.
“Each of these challenges is a test of endurance with its own unique difficulties.
“However, they pale in comparison with what cancer patients must face every single day,” she said.
Rosemary wants to use these challenges raise money for Cancer Research UK.
She lost her grandfather to cancer and her grandmother has also suffered from the disease, so said she thinks it is important to “do her bit.”
Rosemary has also worked alongside Cancer Research UK scientists while she was a student a Cambridge University and says she knows how well their money is used.
So far Rosemary has raised £1000, and she is aiming for a total of £10,000.
“The trips are entirely self funded so every penny I raise in sponsorship and donations will go to charity,” she said.
To sponsor Rosemary go to her charity website at www.justgiving.com/Rosemary-Pringle.
By Victoria Prest