Charity Challengers Aim for Peak Performance

Fulham residents will climb 15 mountains in 24 hours

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Three local residents are hoping to raise thousands of pounds for the charity HOPEHIV by taking on one of the UK's toughest walking challenges.

Susanna Pitts, 33, Marco Turrent-Eggleton, 39, and Shrutisagar Chandrasekaran, 27, who all live in Fulham, are taking part in the 15 Peaks Challenge, which covers all 15 peaks in Northern Snowdonia that are over 3000ft in height.

The challenge not only requires them to walk 30 miles, including over 14,000ft of ascent and descent, but  it is also run as a time trial, which means that walkers must complete the course within 24 hours.

Susanna, Marco and Shrutisagar work for financial firm Liquid Capital as a Business Manager, Sales Trader and Quantative Analyst.  A total of 22 staff from Liquid Capital are taking part in the event, with a target of raising £16,000 for HOPEHIV, a UK charity that supports children and young people in sub-Saharan Africa who have been orphaned or affected by HIV/AIDS.

The staff are walking in four separate teams and Susanna, Marco and Shrutisagar's teams are the Liquid Capital Crusaders, the LCS Mountain Blazers and the LC Quant Team of Solace respectively.

Fulham resident Susanna Pitts

Susanna visited some of HOPEHIV's projects in South Africa earlier this year and her experience encouraged her to take part in the Challenge.

" Visiting the projects and seeing the impact that HOPEHIV has had on the children's lives was very inspiring. I wanted to get out there and do something to help, " she says.

" The thought of hiking 30 miles up and down mountains in just 24 hours is really nerve-racking, especially after years of working in an office where I sit down all day ."

The teams will be starting the challenge at 4am on June 27 at Pen-y-Pass at the foot of Mount Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales. To complete the challenge they must reach the uplands of Carneddau by 4am the next day.  Susanna and her colleaguesl have been busy preparing for the challenge, including doing weekly walks around the city of London, and going on a training day in Snowdonia on May 18.

The money raised by the challenge will go towards various projects including a street child project in Zimbabwe and a project that provides vocational training to young people living in refugee camps in Uganda.

June 16, 2009