Watching the sunrise

In May, Helen and her husband, Phil, took on our Sunrise Trek – a 17km climb of Pen y Fan, the highest peak in South Wales. Helen shares how she did it, how she prepared, and how it felt watching that sunrise.

‘Mountain’ and ‘trekking’ aren’t two words I ever thought I would combine when thinking about my next fundraising event.

But here I am, medal in hand, and very proud to say I climbed the highest peak in South Wales.

Sunrise at the summit of Pen Y Fan. A stone painted with the Acorns logo and the words 'Sunrise Trek' is sitting on the grass infront of the sunrise
Sunrise at the summit of Pen Y Fan

My husband Phil and I signed up to this trek knowing that it would be quite different to our usual events. We’ve done many bake sales, quizzes and bag packs but this was a physical challenge.

We were really inspired by this event as it seemed particularly special and poignant being able to watch the sunrise at the end.

Our fundraising goes towards our Daisy Chain Tribute Fund. A special Acorns fund in memory of our son Ben, who was cared for at the hospice in Birmingham. We knew he would be proud of us. Well, he’d probably be laughing at me struggling up the mountain!

Leading up to the challenge, I was aware that I needed to do some training. I phoned Kirsty from the Acorns Events team who told me that as long as I could do the distance, I’d be fine.

So, Phil and I went out for longer walks together and built up the distance slowly, using an app to plan our route. I definitely felt my fitness improve.

On the day of the trek, there were some nerves, but I had the other trekkers, Phil, and of course Ben in my mind to keep me going.

There were times where I had to dig deep because it became quite challenging. But I wanted to do it for myself and all of the people who had sponsored us.

I thought about Ben and how he had gone through so much in his life. If he could go through that, I could do this.

He got me through those last few steps.

There was something very special about watching the sunrise from up there. It felt like we were on top of the world. It was beautiful. All you could see were clouds and, in a way, I felt really close to Ben in that moment.

Phil and Helen stand at the top of Pen Y Fan with the sunrise behind them. They are holding small orange Acorns flags and wearing t-shirts with a picture of their son on and the words 'for our boy Ben'
Phil and Helen at the top of Pen Y Fan

I’d tell anyone to take on a challenge which is out of your comfort zone because there is nothing like completing it and feeling on top of the world – whether that be on a literal mountain top or not.

More stories inside this issue…

It's the little things
Play, Stay, belong
The whole family

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