Rugby injury inspired Norfolk man’s cycling challenge

Tackling the Three Peaks Challenge in 24 hours has become a popular fundraiser for many, but one Norfolk man has decided to up the ante and cycle between Great Britain's three highest mountains as well.

Rob Donell, from Dunston, pictured, will be setting off on his challenge today in a bid to raise �1,000 for Children's Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF).

As well as climbing Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England and Snowdon in Wales, the 23-year-old will be travelling to each one by bike.

CLDF is an important charity to Rob as his cousin, Matthew, died from liver disease.

He said: 'Liver disease is totally indiscriminate as to whom it may attack. Two children each day are diagnosed in the UK; most childhood liver diseases are life-threatening and there is still no cure.

'CLDF does amazing work supporting families who are affected and helps fund pioneering research so I'm keen to raise as much as I can to help them.'

Rob's idea to cycle to all three peaks came about following a nasty rugby injury playing for York University – although Rob also used to play for Norwich Rugby Club – to his knee, which necessitated an operation in December.

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'I've been doing cycling as part of my rehabilitation as it's low impact on my knee,' he continued. 'Taking on this challenge seemed an ideal way of building my strength back up and doing something a bit different for CLDF.'

Although he has been training for a few months, Rob admits it's not that easy, partly because he is not actually a keen cyclist and partly because Norfolk is not the best place for hill training.

Accompanied by two friends, Alisdair and Elsie Blackshaw, he sets off today and is hoping that the whole trip – including mountain climbing – will take no more than eight days.

He added: 'We currently have a seven day itinerary organised but you can't always predict conditions on these peaks so you would have to say it's subject to change.'

To support Rob in his Three Peaks Challenge go to and more information on CLDF visit

Are you raising money for charity? Call Local Life editor David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email