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.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Jenny Helme (W65) – 14 June 2014


History: How did I come to find myself on Pooley Bridge, lined up with Carol, Dave and Simon,
seconds counting down to 10pm, ready for the off?

The Back Story: It started last year when Carol and I enjoyed a couple of long distance walks
and, as a result, she suggested trying the JNLC as a good follow up. “What did it entail?” I
asked. “Oh, something similar to what we’ve done ­ but to be completed in 24hrs.” I felt doubtful
but knew I’d enjoy the training and see how I got on.

In November I met the guys from the LOC, a great bunch and good company, who were already
well into their training schedule and my doubts increased. This was not going to be an amiable
amble in the fells. However it felt good to be stretched.

My training was patchy due to major family events tying me up for over 2 months but I did what I
could in the scraps of time between playing with grandchildren and cooking for crowds. By May it looked as if I was committed. Carol and I agreed we’d support each other, keep a steady and comfortable pace as we just wanted to finish and still be standing at the end.


Helpers: Leg 1: Andy, neighbour, friend and outdoor ed. instructor, paced us well and kept
conversation lively and interesting so time flew by.
Leg 2: Pete, husband and fell runner, really enjoyed photographing the dawn and had to keep
running to catch up.
Legs 3 & 4: John, my son, experienced BG pacer, encouraged us and kept a close eye on when
we were showing signs of fatigue and insisted we ate and drank.
Roady: Mhairi, daughter­ in­ law, 7 months pregnant and ultra distance runner, had prepared me
so well and had the stops well organized.

Highs ­ so many!
● The weather was really on our side but walking into the dawn over Red Screes was
magical ­ a kaleidoscope of pastel colours and drifts of mist. And then Carol then found a
hidden nest of newly hatched pipit chicks.
● Thanks to Andy’s nifty map ap. we picked up leg 1 checkpoints with ease ­ very
reassuring in the dark
● The camaraderie and support at official stops, particularly the party atmosphere at Sty
Head, Selwyn Wright meeting us at Rossett Pike, Ian Charters with his band of
meeters and greeters on Black Sail Pass was almost surreal and Mhairi meeting us on
Middle Fell, we couldn’t fail to be lifted by the tremendous good will.
● A peanut butter sandwich that restored energy on the plod up High Raise.
● Selwyn’s magic coffee. It refired all cylinders and kept me going to the end.
● The incremental gaining of time at each checkpoint
● Our preparation ­ we’d worked on finding the best routes in a few tricky sections and
were delighted that navigation went smoothly.

Lows ­ so few!
● Leg 2’s bogs and slog up the squelchy slopes of High Raise when doubts crept in as legs went leaden and energy dissipated.
● A couple of times Carol wondered if her knee was would last out ­ but it did!

By Haycock I was mechanically ticking off the ups and downs. By repeating, just put one foot in
front of the other you’ll do it ­ and they did ­ and we’d done it. Wow! As we came down the final
slope and met Joss himself, his delight at our achievement was the icing on the cake.

20140614_001_wasdale-131Carol, Joss and Jenny at Greendale Bridge

I had had no previous experience with which to compare the physical challenges of the JNLC
and had started out with no expectations other than to give it a go. To complete and still feel fine
is one of the biggest surprises of my life. Isn’t it good that, at 67, there are still new things to find
out about yourself!

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