Ain’t no mountain high enough for Philippa

Breast cancer sufferer Philippa Mahon who completed the Three Peaks Challenge at the weekend. (s)
Breast cancer sufferer Philippa Mahon who completed the Three Peaks Challenge at the weekend. (s)

The daughter of a retired Ribble Valley school headteacher, who is battling breast cancer for the second time, completed the National Three Peaks challenge over the August Bank Holiday Weekend.

Philippa Mahon, who is now living at her parents’ house in Clitheroe after moving back home from Azerbaijan where she was working in sports event management, told us that although she doesn’t have a bucket list, if she did, completing the Three Peaks 24 Hour Challenge would be on it.

And that’s just what the 45-year-old managed to achieve at the weekend, with some alterations.

The challenge involves climbing the highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales within 24 hours: Ben Nevis in Scotland (1344m), Scafell Pike in England (978m) and Snowdon in Wales (1085m).

“Following my recent diagnosis of secondary breast cancer, which is now in my liver and lungs, I realise that the reality is that this challenge is now beyond my reach,” Philippa explained prior to attempting the challenge.

“However, not one to give up easily I have adapted the challenge and plan to do it in three days instead – one peak a day.”

Philippa was accompanied by her dad Phil, a retired headteacher of Oakhill College, Whalley, and was joined at various stages by her brother Chris and his family, plus a cohort of friends – some who travelled from as far afield as Rome to support her.

Philippa was initially diagnosed with breast cancer on New Year’s Eve 2012. With her well-travelled job, she was then working in Qatar when she initially found a lump on her breast and returned to the UK to learn the diagnosis.

Moving in with her dad Phil and mum Pat, a former director of childcare at Blackburn and District Children’s Home, Philippa was treated by Rosemere Cancer Foundation. She underwent weekly chemotherapy and in December 2013 was given the all clear.

Before her more recent diagnosis, Philippa continued to work in sports event management, working on some of the most high profile events including the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, the Rugby World Cup and the British and Irish Lions Tour.

She also worked on the inaugural European Games when she was in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Philippa went on to run the London Marathon in April last year raising £9,500 for the Linda McCartney Centre at Liverpool and the Rosemere Cancer Foundation. The latter will also benefit from the more than £17,000 in sponsorship that Philippa has been pledged for her Three Peaks challenge. Family and friends are also doing a coffee morning this month at Clitheroe Golf Club and friends have planned a charity golf day.

To make a donation to Philippa visit her Virgin Money Giving page.