He’s done it! Congratulations to the Rev Andy Heber, vicar of Carnmoney, who today completed Tearfund’s Mount Kilimanjaro Challenge, with a final run of 48 flights which took him over 6,000 metres – and to the peak of the world’s fourth highest mountain.
In the course of 26 days, and two days ahead of his initial target, Andy climbed a total of 2,130 flights of stairs – or 31,952 individual stairs!
When he began the challenge almost a month ago, Andy said: “These days of restrictions and lockdown are testing us all, however it’s important to remember that our lives are safer and easier compared with many people in our world. In less developed countries with fewer resources and a much more basic infrastructure even the ability to wash your hands regularly is a luxury, let alone the availability of sufficient hospital beds and ventilators.
“Over the coming months as the coronavirus hits many of the less developed countries in our world, the effects will be devastating.”
Tearfund launched its climbing challenge to raise funds to provide aid in these countries, promoting hygienic practices and seeking to build adequate hand washing stations to prevent the spread of the virus.
Andy admitted that scaling Mount Kilimanjaro, which stands at 5,895 metres tall, was one of his long-held ambitions.
After finishing on Thursday morning, he said it hadn’t been as tough as he had anticipated. ”Once I got into my rhythm I found it easier to keep going and do my daily target in one run rather than shorter batches, particularly as I needed a shower after each run,” he said. “Some days I was running 90 or 100 flights in one run, which enabled me to have three days off during the 26 days.”
He did confess that he walked rather than ran up one flight each day – the early morning one. “I brought my wife Lynne a cup of coffee in bed every day, didn’t want to spill the coffee!” he explained.
To date, Andy has raised £3,266 for Tearfund through his Just Giving page and monies donated by cheque, and the money is still coming in. “The money raised so far is six times what I was aiming to raise so I am absolutely thrilled,” Andy said.
“The stair carpet is now well worn and my knees are stiff, but I am looking forward to a couple of weeks rest now before I resume my outdoor runs again.”
Andy’s Just Giving page.