Introduction

The Joss Naylor Lakeland Challenge route leaves Pooley Bridge to traverse 30 summits over a distance of 48 miles and climbs 17,000 feet (77km, 5182m).

The inaugural run from Pooley Bridge to Wasdale was made by Joss Naylor in 1990, at the age of 54; in very bad weather with heavy rain and a strong SW wind Joss completed the run to Greendale Bridge in 11 hours and 30 minutes.

Chris Brasher offered engraved pewter tankards to the first 20 runners to do so with the proviso that they raised at least £100 for a charity of their own choice. In January 1997, with 17 tankards already awarded, Chris extended his sponsorship. In 2001, with 33 tankards awarded, Joss secured on-going sponsorship for the tankards.

The challenge is offered to fell runners over the age of 50 to complete the run in set times according to their age group. The challenge is intended to be a "supported run" for individuals - each contender is to be accompanied on every leg for safety reasons and unaccompanied attempts will not be recognised. There is more information on the Challenge Details page below.

If you are interested, please have a look at the Challenge Details, download a schedule or contact me using the "Email Ian Charters" form below.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Rod Sutcliffe (M65) - 14 August 2016

I had avoided this challenge for 15 years but on reaching 65 I joined Pete Simpsons regular 5 yearly traverse. Unfortunately Colin Brookes back and knee problems defeated us at Bowfell as darkness descended. John Minta (a young 48) offered to support me on a repeat attempt for a good day out on the hills. With Paul Frechette providing transport and road support and Tony Wimbush for company to Dunmail Raise we set off 10 days later at 10pm with the M65 schedule of just under 23 hours.

After early cloud a bright gibbous moon lit our way to Kirkstone pass, which we reached half an hour up on our schedule with only short delays in identifying one or two minor summits. A rich pink streak across the horizon heralded the breaking dawn as we approached Hart Crag. Uncharted lakes were revealed in the valleys, turning into beautiful cloud inversions as the light grew. Fairfield and Seat Sandal went up and down in full morning light and Dunmail Raise came an hour early, but Paul was ready with humour, coffee, food and fresh clothes in that order.

From Steel Fell it began to feel tough, but John was forever positive, cheery, encouraging and supportive, with only occasional bare knuckle fights over his Garmin route versus my map route, which he eventually solved by saying I was getting slow, taking my bag off me and telling me to buck up, in the nicest possible way. I focussed just on keeping going. The scheduled split times seemed more generous from here on and we continued to make progress against the schedule. We found a good route up Bowfell, but I remember mad craggy descents off Great End and Great Gable. Pillar, Scoat Fell and Steeple passed quickly in the warm afternoon but, from Haycock, Seatallan felt to be a long way and its steep grassy slope never ending. I dont know how the sheep got up there. The descent was not much better but the last summit, Middle Fell was in sight.


With the steep descents I was getting footsore, but thought I could take my time on the last one with 31 minutes allowed on the schedule. John was having none of this and said I had 21 minutes to get down for a sub-20 hour time. I set off, but railed against this for a while, particularly when the finish came into view in the valley and it looked miles away. I know 20 is a round number, but its perfectly arbitrary as well. Reluctantly overcoming wimpiness I valiantly raced down to the bridge to finish in 19 hours 57 minutes just before 6pm. Instant relief from a footbath in the waters of Greendale Gill. Thanks, John.