February 15th saw our LMAX Exchange Everest Rugby Challengers take another important step in their preparation for trekking up to 6,500m to play the highest ever game of rugby.
This was the first time that our team captains, Shane Williams MBE, Tamara Taylor, Lee Mears and Ollie Phillips (pictured) have all managed to get together but the camaraderie was instant, as our pictures show!
They were put through their paces first during a tough training session at The Altitude Centre in London. The rugby match may not happen until April 30th on the mountain but the competition was fierce in the room as they ran, cycled and did press ups and burpees in the altitude chamber which replicates oxygen levels of up to 4,000m. Towards the end of the session they put on masks to take them up to 5,000m conditions and, despite their amazing fitness levels, they began to realise how hard playing a match at altitude is going to be [include pictures of them looking exhausted].
Next up were two sessions with our Challengers, who range in age from 30’s to 70’s but who are all training hard to make sure that they are match-fit for the Guinness World Record attempts. Their dedication to their long training walks is paying off as everyone came through the sessions tired but still standing. Every step on this journey makes it more real for our Challengers and we can only applaud their determination to complete the Challenge and make a difference to so many children’s lives.