As if the challenge of organising Hartpury’s equine events isn’t big enough, Hartpury’s Kathryn Megan is getting set to step out on one of the most memorable New Year’s Day ‘walks’ ever, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in memory of her dad.
On the 26th December, Kathryn will be swapping her Christmas slippers for hiking boots as she sets off to climb the world’s highest freestanding mountain.
The six-day hike will see her climb 5,895 metres above sea level to reach Uhuru Peak to see the first sunrise of 2017.
Hartpury’s equine events manager will have to endure and overcome intense physical challenges as she looks to raise a mountain of cash for her chosen charity, Sue Ryder. Ten others are also completing the climb and they will all meet for the first time at Heathrow on Boxing Day.
The adventure will see Kathryn have to cope with changes in altitude and drops in temperature right down to -20°C, camping along the way.
Kathryn said: “Having previously camped for three months while undertaking conservation work in America, I’m sure I can manage six days in a tent but I’m expecting it to be a fair bit colder!
“When I reach the peak, I’m not sure what I will be doing…probably collapsing in a heap! I imagine I will be quite emotional as I am doing the climb in memory of my dad.
“The care that Sue Ryder gave my dad as well as the support they offered me and my mum was amazing.
“I feel a lot of gratitude to Manorlands and want to support the hospice in his memory so that others can also benefit from this level of care.”
In 2015, Kathryn’s dad stayed in Sue Ryder’s Manorlands hospice for just over three weeks before he passed, benefiting from expert care. The family were also supported practically and emotionally.
The cost of clinical care per individual per day is £500. As the charity treats more conditions than any other UK charity in their hospices, neurological care centres and within the community, Kathryn feels it is important to raise awareness of the great work they do each day and give something back.
Kathryn’s training began when she completed the ‘Summer Shred’ exercise programme at Hartpury College with Matt Hughes. Each week, she has been attending circuits classes, running and swimming.
She added: “The biggest part of my preparation has of course involved a lot of walking! I now own a very fit dog due to walking around the local area and I’ve been challenging myself with some steeper walks, including Ben Nevis.”
Over the past year Kathryn has been fundraising with the aim of generating at least £3,500 in donations before she sets off on her epic journey. She still needs £125 to reach her target and all donations will go directly to Sue Ryder as she will be paying for the trip herself
You can make a donation to Kathryn’s fundraising efforts at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/K-Megan