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Colchester boy on top of the world after conquering Three Peaks challenge

PUBLISHED: 05:30 21 May 2019

Seven-year-old Alastair Emrich from Colchester completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge in less than 12 hours. Picture: ANDREW EMRICH

Seven-year-old Alastair Emrich from Colchester completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge in less than 12 hours. Picture: ANDREW EMRICH

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Colchester boy Alastair Emrich proved wind and sleet weren't enough to stop him in his tracks as he completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge for the Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation.

Alastair Emrich

Picture: RACHEL EDGE Alastair Emrich Picture: RACHEL EDGE

The ambitious challenge - tough for even the best of adventurers - sees hikers trek a combined 24 miles and 5,200ft on Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough in less than 12 hours.

Proud father Andrew Emrich said: "We set off from the start point at 6.05am and we made great pace up the first peak, Pen Y Ghent.

"Alastair loved the fact there were parts where he had to actually climb up rock faces, what an adventure! We reached the summit in just an hour and 15 minutes."

The pair soon found their rhythm as they made their way down and then up to the tip of Whernside, on track to finish the challenge within 11 hours.

Alastair presented with a thank you by Nikki and Richard Bowdidge of the Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation. Picture: ANDREW EMRICHAlastair presented with a thank you by Nikki and Richard Bowdidge of the Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation. Picture: ANDREW EMRICH

But descending the peak the challenge became tougher as uneven rocks and adverse weather threatened their completion.

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Mr Emrich said. "It was really steep and uneven, some of the steps down were so big that Alastair had to sit and lower himself down.

"Once we got to the top, we took the obligatory photo and then Alastair burst into tears, I think the enormity of it hit him. I then had to tell him that it was another four and a half miles back down."

The celebrations were short-lived, however as dad broke the news they may not finish in time due to the weather.

But after a one mile run at the end the pair made it across the finish line with just six minutes to spare, raising £2,000 for the charity.

The Queen Boudica Primary School pupil's hero, adventurer and author Alastair Humphreys, who conquered the same feat aged nine, said: "Well done, young man. That is epic! And six whole minutes to spare. Good lad!"

Alastair finds himself tied as the youngest person to complete the challenge after another seven-year-old set the record in 2015.

Mr Emrich added: "Next up, Al wants to take on Snowdon which we will do in the autumn and next summer he would like to do a Ten Tors challenge on Dartmoor."

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