MORE than 700 people took the hills around Abergavenny for this year’s Three Peak’s Trial, raising thousands for charity but marked with the most serious injury in its history.

The trial is the UK’s oldest challenge walk and was launched in 1963 as a test of endurance and map reading skills.

The event is organised by Cardiff Outdoor Group and marshalling at check points on all the peaks was provided by members of Abergavenny-based Longtown Mountain Rescue Team.

Abergavenny fundraiser Michelle Kelly amazed everyone by running the route three times in a mammoth push which took her 19 hours and 50 minutes.

This year's event, however, was marked with one of the most serious injuries in its history when a woman walker slipped and broke her leg in two places.

Coordinator Chris Lewis said: “It’s been another incredible fundraiser. The weather conditions were tricky with high winds and heavy rain, but people kept on going and came through the finish line with smiles on their faces.

“There was one injury and it was the most serious in our 52 year history. The injured woman broke her leg in two places but Longtown MRT members were on the scene immediately and I’d like to thank them for their fantastic work.

“Special mention must also go to competitor Michelle Kelly who amazed us all again. Last year she went round the gold route twice, but this year she did it three times. She set off at 2.30am on Saturday morning with the support of her family and friends who placed glow sticks to help guide her and she finally finished at 9:20pm. I asked her if she’s tempted to try four times and she said it would be possible for someone to do that in 24 hours – but it wouldn’t be her."

The Three Peaks Trial is made up of four different routes. The Platinum Route is a linear walk of about 17 miles and 5,000ft of ascent from Llanthony Abbey to Abergavenny over Bal Mawr, Pen Cerrig Calch and Sugar Loaf. It’s the most challenging of the walks and the first walkers back were Lloyd Rees, from St Albans, and Owain Rees, from Monmouth, who returned together at 12.55pm after starting at 8.30am.

The Gold Route is the original challenge; a circular walk of about 20 miles and 5,000ft of ascent. The Silver Route is a circular walk of about 15 miles with 4,000ft of ascent. The Bronze Route is a circular walk of about 10 miles and 2,000ft of ascent.