Personal trainer Laura Peacock has successfully combated her mammoth mission to climb six summits back-to-back – and she did it all in under 20 hours.
At 8am on March 27, Laura set out to begin her journey to raise awareness for mental health, starting with The Pinnacles track, near Thames.
From there, she ventured up Mt Te Aroha, Wairere Falls, Mt Karangahake, the Hakarimatas, and Mt Pauanui, finishing up at 3.30am the following day.
It took her just under 19-and-a-half hours to complete the challenge, and that included driving time of five-and-a-half hours, she said.
“I didn’t have any rests or stops, other than to quickly prepare food to eat in the car.
“I tried to keep moving as much as I could because I knew the more I stopped, the harder it would be to get going again.”
Laura, from Ngatea, works at TCA Fitness Club in Thames as a personal trainer, and said her experience motivating other people came into play on her climb.
“I have met so many people who have overcome massive hurdles physically and mentally, so when I am struggling, I think of those people who have it much harder than me, and know that I can push through temporary struggle or fatigue,” she said.
“These sorts of events are such a mental challenge, more so than a physical challenge, but I knew 100 per cent going into the event that I was going to complete it.”
Before setting out, Laura expected either The Pinnacles track or Mt Pauanui to be her most difficult peak; however, she ended up “flying through” the former, thanks to great company.
And, when she arrived in Pauanui at 2:30am on March 28, although she felt tired from lack of sleep, with the help of local support and her partner Hayden Hulley, she made her way up the summit, she said.
“In that climb, I thought about everyone I have met who has struggled with their mental health.
“I did this event for them, and in that moment, it gave me strength to keep going.”
Laura started the challenge to raise awareness and funds for the New Zealand Mental Health Foundation, and has so far raised more than $7500.
While proud of what she has achieved, Laura said after conquering events of this scale, she loses her focus, drive, and purpose for training. However, the six-summit climb won’t be her swan song.
“I plan to tackle a lot of different summits throughout our beautiful country, and I also would like to nail a full marathon at some point this year,” she said.
“Every year I try to top what I did the previous year, so let’s see what I can come up with for 2022.”
By KELLEY TANTAU
Laura Peacock stands triumphant at the top of her final summit, Mt Pauanui in the Coromandel. Photo: SUPPLIED