A GROUP of friends who drove, walked and climbed on a money-making mission have smashed their fundraising target.

The team completed the Three Peaks Challenge, climbing the highest mountains in England, Wales and Scotland, to raise money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research as a tribute to a friend.

So far they've managed to raise more than £2,500 - far beyond their initial target of £1,000.

They took part in the gruelling challenge in memory of Karl Sandwith, who died from leukaemia two years ago.

The team began their task on Friday, August 1 - the second anniversary of Karl's death.

Last year they cycled from John O'Groats to Land's End in his memory but found that a walk in the park compared to scaling Ben Nevis, Scafell and Snowdon - which they had 24 hours to do.

Karl's widow Michelle O'Shea-Sandwith said: "First and foremost we can state without exception that physically this was the most gruelling undertaking of our lives - definitely harder than cycling the whole country - and that the word ‘challenge’ seems a mile adrift of an understatement.

"In short we walked, and on occasion ran, approximately 27 miles, ascending and descending over 22,000 feet and completed this element in a very respectable 14 hours.

"Sadly Friday and holiday traffic, coupled with a speed restricted minibus, meant that our driving time was a whopping 15 hours, which ensured the whole challenge was completed in 29 hours.

"That said, we were all extremely proud of our efforts, for what was an undeniably difficult task, that resulted in various injuries which were extremely apparent as we shuffled off Snowdon, having almost completely seized up."

She added: "It was a terrific team experience, conducted with great humour and determination. The team's morale was also very much buoyed by the contributions so many made to our Just Giving page for such a worthwhile cause to which we are truly grateful for.

To donate go to www.justgiving.com/michelleoshea-sandwith.