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, 18 February 2015

Carol McNeill (W65+) – 13th June 2014


When I was 52 (14th June 1996) I went for the challenge which had to be completed in 14 hours. It all seemed quite feasible having done the Bob Graham a few years before and a tankard to aim for. However it was such a lovely day I suffered from the sun and heat, I was sick going up Gable and lost too much time but finished in less than 15 hours. I threatened to do it again when I had 24hours. Now aged 70, 2014 was the perfect opportunity with Dick Towler whipping us into shape with his training plans. – No time to stop to eat and drink, - reorganise yourself Carol. I had a new left hip in 2008, I had reluctantly given up fell running but thought I should manage the JN with a good steady ‘plodding’ walking pace.

I recruited Jenny Helme to join me and keep me company while the ‘lads’ made off ahead. Jenny was pretty fit and could easily keep up at the front but was always there to keep me going.

We planned a 23 hour schedule, starting at 10pm so we would finish in moral lifting daylight if we were cutting it fine. We both organised our own support and sorted food and drinks for the day.


Full MoonUnder a Full Moon

I had Jo Cleary on Leg 1, Natalie Beadle and her mum Rebekah on the sunrise leg - Leg 2, Mike Pearson on Legs 3 & 4 and Mike Walford on Leg 4. Mike P had done the whole round with me 20 years before encouraging me along so I needed him this time too. Clare Evans was my efficient Dunmail and Styhead support. The week before I was becoming really motivated with some good camping/bivvy trips and leg recce’s with Jenny and thought I could do it as long as my hips held out and it wasn’t too hot.


Leg2Natalie, Carol, Jenny & Rebekah on Leg 2

High points: – an absolutely magnificent full moon, seeing Selwyn Wright on Rossett (and coming with us to Styhead), coming off Great End via our reccied route, the top of Gable which had been a bit of a brain block, the hot sun going behind some cloud, jelly babies dished out by John Helme, meeting Ian Charters & group below Pillar and having time to stop & chat knowing that we would make the 24 hours.

Low points: - getting up Steel Fell with the hot sun coming out, struggling through the long grass going up Raise then wondering how I would get home when I gave up!


TheEndCarol, Joss & Jenny at Greendale Bridge

Jenny and I were delighted to arrive at the bridge in 20 hours 20 minutes to be greeted by Joss and lots of supporters. Joss reminded me that our friend Chris Brasher had been an initiator of the challenge and would have been proud of me finishing. That was my training done for the GR20 in Corsica (completed 2 weeks later). I celebrated by having my first ever tattoo on my ankle – something to jog my memory in later years!!

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