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Five more minutes - feel the burn!

Feel the burn. Not a phrase you often want to associate with the fire escape stairs. But after intermittently having walked and run up and down them for the past 25 minutes it was some what apt. The words of encouragement had come from my colleague and fellow masochist Rob. The pair of us had been doing this same, sorry activity for the past three months.  Considering we both work in the Facilities Department at Amnesty International UK's Human Rights Action Centre and spend a good part of our working day going up and down stairs, why on earth would we chose to do this with our lunch break as well?

I’m glad you asked.

Rob and I, along with a third colleague Haidar, have decided to take on the National Three Peaks challenge to raise money for Amnesty International UK. That means we intend to climb Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis within 24 hours. This isn’t as fun as it sounds and – let’s be frank – it doesn’t sound fun at all. This challenge involves scaling roughly 26 miles of mountain. That means doing an entire marathon. Uphill. You also have to come back down each time as well. Logistically you have to balance climbing and traveling. You spend almost as much time on roads as you do on slopes. What that means is that we’re going to have to make the ascent of Scafell in the middle of the night as that makes it more likely we’ll  avoid traffic problems during our drives. It also means we’re more likely to get lost. Or fall over. Or get eaten by bears. I think someone mentioned bears…

And so that’s why I find myself spending two lunch breaks a week going up and down stairs. In addition to running, crunching, pushuping, squatting and crying myself into some semblance of shape. Because my friends have been kind enough to say they will give money to Amnesty International if I can do this.

As Rob and I trudge up the stairs wheezing we are both consoled by one fact. We’ve been doing this for three months. Haidar only started last week!


You can get behind Paul, Rob and Haidar here:

Interested in taking on your own challenge for Amnesty? Check out or come up with your own idea - we're all ears!

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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