WITH the New Year comes a whole set of new challenges.
No one is more aware of this than Mallow based businesswoman Niamh Ni Chearbhaill who is in training to conquer Britain's three highest peaks in aid of the Irish heart Foundation.
The 3Peaks3Days challenge will see Niamh climb Ben Nevis in Scotland (1,343 metres), Snowdon in Wales (1,085 metres) and Scafell Pike in England (978 metres) - all within the space of three days next June.
During the course of the challenge the intrepid 38-year-old, who co-owns the Spiralli Gallery in Mallow, will trek across 26 miles of some of the most gruelling terrain imaginable that will test her fitness and endurance to their very limits.
Her ultimate goal is to raise €25,000 for the Irish Heart Foundation in memory of her late father, Sean P, who died of a heart attack in his late 30s.
As part of the fundraising drive, Spiralli hosted a stunning art exhibition at the gallery, featuring works by artist including Mary Sheehan, Kevin Gough, Mel O'Dea and Maree J O'Sullivan.
It coincided with the official launch of the 3Peaks3Days challenge, with some of the artists having pledged to give 10% of the proceeds from the sale of their art to the drive.
Those attending were also be able to avail of some health and fitness tips from Hi-B Fitness who are sponsoring the 3Peaks3Days challenge.
Niamh is no stranger to overcoming major obstacles, having undergone open heart surgery at the age of 21 following illness. She also suffers from mild asthma and has to overcome her own fear of heights to do the challenge.
She has spent the past few months in training for the event and put her stamina to the test last Sunday by climbing Musheramore near Millstreet.
Niamh admitted that the closer the challenge gets, the more nervous she is becoming and was using Sunday's climb to help settle those jitters.
"Training went well up until December and I managed to lose three stone in weight, which was fantastic. Unfortunately, the training was put on hold before Christmas due to illness,," said Niamh.
To find out more about the challenge, to donate to the fund or to co-sponsor visit www.3peaks3days.com.