An OAP has marked her 100th birthday by climbing the equivalent of Mount Everest up and down her stairs – supported by her niece who was the oldest British woman to scale the real mountain.
Ivy Richmond climbed nine flights of 18 stairs a day since she turned 99 last year.
She turned 100 yesterday (Sat) and has now completed her 10,000m journey – the same distance as a hike up Everest.
Ivy actually surpassed Everest’s summit – which sits at a whopping 8,850m.
She has been supported by her niece Amanda Richmond, 66, who climbed Everest for real with her husband back in 2009.
Amanda, who is a retired teacher, was at the time the oldest British woman to conquer Everest aged 54.
On one afternoon’s climb, Ivy even wore the same jacket that Amanda was wearing when she reached Everest’s summit.
Amanda constructed a wallchart of all the major checkpoints she’d have surpassed on her ascent to the top.
Ivy took on the mammoth journey in memory of her niece Margaret Richmond, who sadly passed away aged 30.
Margaret spent a lot of her childhood in St Ormond Street Hospital, and by completing the stair-climb Ivy has raised a whopping £2,630 for the children’s institution.
Thankfully during lockdown, she was able to continue with her daily walks because the back stairs were close to her room.
This meant she could use them without getting close to other residents and risking catching Covid.
She said a large part of her inspiration came from the late Captain Tom Moore who walked 100 lengths of his garden in aid of NHS charities.
Ivy, from Kesgrave, Suffolk, explained: “Our family has a history of climbing so I decided I would climb Everest.”
Ivy’s nieces Amanda Richmond and Sarah Norman, 72, played a big part in helping organise the challenge, and they were able to motivate her along the way.
Amanda said: “Ivy’s really fit and active so we wanted to think of a challenge which wasn’t too strenuous but would keep her healthy.
“She was desperate to raise money for St Ormand Street and have a goal that she could work towards every day, so in the end stair climbing seemed like the perfect fit.
“We talked about Everest and she was instantly hooked on the idea, and I think part of that was because of the history of climbing in our family.
“I was able to really help her in likening the climb to the real deal and it was amazing as I was able to relive my experience a bit through her.
“She climbed every day between her 99th and 100th birthday apart from Christmas – which shows her level of commitment to get the job done.
“We are all immensely proud of her.”
Ivy celebrated her 100th birthday on October 23 surrounded by friends and family, and was gifted an exercise bike by her nieces.
She’s already planning her next charitable event, which involves cycling 874 miles from Land’s End to John o’ Groats in the coming months.