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, 16 April 2018

Geoff Davis (M60) - 02 September 2017


I chose to repeat the JNLC to mark my 60th birthday. An Achilles injury prevented the intended June crossing necessitating a postponement until September. A promising forecast heralded the intended day and a starry sky for the 5am start boded well. Head torches were discarded before we reached Arthur’s Pike and dawn arrived as we traversed the grassy tops of Loadpot and Wether Hill. A beautiful blue sky was lit by a huge orange sun as it crept above Cross Fell. Small herds of deer scattered as we danced across the tussocks and stones towards High Street. It was great to be alive and to share this experience with attentive friends.
The sun was well up by the time we reached Kirkstone and its brightness was allowing the late summer fells to appear at their best. Friendly chat made time pass quickly over the screes and on towards Fairfield where an abandoned tent was the only blemish on what was developing into a perfect morning. I descended carefully down the rocky, eroded path towards the base of Seat Sandal as I didn’t want to take a fall this early in the day. The temperature rose making it even more important to drink little and often and my old familiar kit was starting to get very sweaty!
At a bright and sunny Dunmail my support team was waiting, headed by my wife Susan (another JNLC completer), and I was pleased to be over half an hour ahead of my sub 16 hour schedule. A change of top and a little too much food consumed and it was off up the forbidding steepness of Steel Fell. A new support team ensured the best line was taken across one of my least favourite sections to High Raise. Clouds started to develop from here and so the heat was no longer a problem. However, the tops stayed clear and not a drop of rain fell all day. The food and drink consumed at Dumail was lying heavily in my stomach and it was sometime before I could manage anything else. This was disappointing as I like to ‘graze’ and so didn’t feel 100%. We continued to make up minutes here and there on the schedule as we traversed the rockier ground after Rossett Pike. The fells were packed today with holiday makers and charity walkers on the last weekend before the end of the school holidays. Nonetheless there were few people on the descent to Sty Head from Great End and we arrived there 42 minutes ahead of schedule.
There were lots of my supporters here and it was nice to see old fell friends and other friends not known for their ‘fellgoing’. I was confident now that I would come in well under 18 hours but could I manage a sub 15 hour round? Time would tell. A steady climb up Gable was eased by my pacers’ conversations while a good line off the top and fantastic views from Kirk Fell made everything a joy (well almost!) The cloud started to disperse and a welcome warmth returned making the usual slog across Pillar less of a trial. Steeple was fantastic with its lofty views and its heralding of the approaching finish. Some compass work off Haycock found the scree shoot – a rocky escalator to the bottom! No time to empty stones from shoes as that sub 15 hour crossing started to beckon. Only the steepness of Seatallan stood in my way and all those rocky miles already traversed were starting to take their toll. I had to stop a couple of times on the ascent but still got to the top within the scheduled time. Perhaps it was on? I still hadn’t fallen all day and managed to maintain this on the steep grassy descent of Seatallan. 
On reaching the final top of Middle Fell I was told “you’ve 27 minutes to get to the bridge if you want to get under 15 hours - easily doable for a man of your calibre!” And so it proved, as 19 minutes later I was shaking Joss Naylor’s hand on Greendale Bridge and enjoying the plaudits of my friends.
With Joss on Greendale Bridge


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