PENDLE Hill is like a molehill compared to Mount Kilimanjaro, but for Mark Maynard it’s a good place to start.
The 51-year-old British Aerospace worker, who lives in Pendle Drive, Whalley, is trekking up Pendle every week in all weathers to get fit for a charity climb up Africa’s highest mountain.
When he tackles the 19,341-foot African peak in June, he aims to raise thousands of pounds for the Katy Holmes Trust in memory of the 10-year-old Preston girl who died of a brain tumour earlier this year.
Mark isn’t just facing one mountain challenge, though, he’s taking on three.
First, he will tackle the Yorkshire Three Peaks of Ingleborough, Whernside and Penyghent in under 12 hours.
Then he will attempt the National Three Peaks of Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon, the three highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales, within 24 hours.
“I used to do a bit of climbing in the Lakes when I lived there for a few years,” says Mark, a Scot who has lived in Lancashire for 10 years.
“I need to get fit again for Kilimanjaro, so I’m going for workouts in the gym and I’m climbing Pendle Hill every weekend without fail, whatever the weather.”
Mark has something of a taste for adventure, and used to go paragliding up Pendle, but he says recently he was just “plodding along with life, doing all the mundane routine things” when a friend suggested joining her for the Kilimanjaro climb, which takes eight days.
He said: “Before I knew what I was doing I had agreed. After I had time to reflect on it I thought it only fair that I shouldn’t just do it for myself and that a deserving cause should benefit.”
Mark decided to help the Katy Holmes Trust, a charity supported by British Aerospace employees, which aims to raise awareness and funding for research for the treatment for childhood brain tumours.
Mark said: “Brain tumours are the biggest killers of all childhood cancers yet it only receives 0.7% of government funding.
“Very few people are aware of these terrible brain diseases or of the tremendous work that goes on in the background to raise funds into researching a cure.
“British scientists are on the verge of a breakthrough, but this is in jeopardy because of lack of funds.”
• You can find our more about Mark’s challenge and how to sponsor him on www.markimark-kili-challenge.com