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.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Marcus Gates (M50) - 09 August 2017

Pooley Bridge (photo: Karen Gated)


As Karen, my wife, pulled our little camper van into Pooley Bridge for a 6am start on Wednesday, 9th August, a cool northerly breeze was moving the clouds low over the fells along Ullswater. Phil was pacing me and we started the runnable climb up Barton Fell on route to Kirkstone Pass. The northerly was helping us on our way but there were no views to be had, just the back of Phil’s pack.

The schedule for tops to Kirkstone is tight and we could not relent. Time lost now could come back to hurt later. The challenge is to get the balance of not going too fast to soon, while not losing too much time to the punishing schedule. Leg 1 is mostly runnable, and really designed to soften you up a bit for the higher fells to come! It was doing its job.
We dropped off to the car park at Kirkstone about 10 minutes
behind schedule. Clair, Jess and Kath were all set to get me to Dunmail and hopefully back on schedule. We made good time up Red Screes, and while Phil is a man of few words, the girls were very chatty. By the top of Fairfield we were back on time. We now had a good view of the western fells and the road ahead. I took the scree line off Fairfield, but in hindsight it was not a good call. It was washed out and difficult going. 
Steel Fell (photo: Tom Philips)
Off Seat Sandal we met Karen, Tom, Greg and Jess our mad Collie Dog. Tom was my pacer to Greendale Bridge. A big ask given the pace we would need to move at, and he would be carrying essentials for both of us. In the past years, the increase in Bob Graham traffic has developed a good trod up Steel Fell which has made this climb a little easier. Once over the top it's a boggy trot all the way to High Raise.
Greg was waiting at Sty Head with re-supplies, and after a brief stop we all headed up Gable. The last leg of the challenge was under way. Karen and Jess were at Black Sail with a flask of tea. Nectar! 
Towards Scoat Fell (photo: Tom Philips)

Pillar and Steeple were ticked of within a minute or two of schedule,  and as we climbed to the trig point on Seatallan we had the most wonderful view out to the Isle of Man and the Lakeland Massive. 
Seatallan (photo: Tom Philips)

What’s more we had an hour to get to Greendale. A good feeling. As we crested Middle Fell, the last summit of the challenge, I thought of Mum. It takes, guts and determination to complete this challenge, and while this sort of event was not her thing, she showed all these qualities in her fight against this terrible disease.
Middle Fell (photo: Tom Philips)

Off Middle Fell we could see Karen and Joss waiting at the Bridge. It’s a great run off Middle Fell. Tom and I reached the bridge, stopping the clock with an elapsed time of 11hrs 38mins. I had made it!

Greendale Bridge (photo: Greg Tagney)


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