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.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Roger Smith (M65) – 22 June 2014


It was good to have a resting week, leading up to the big day, but I got so rested that, by Saturday, I was also getting nervous, thinking about all the things that could go wrong. Of course, nothing did go wrong. The weather was perfect and I could have asked nothing more from my support team. Its humbling to know what people will do for you.


3.On the start linePooley Bridge


We left Pooley Bridge at midnight, Pete Kidd supporting me and Iain Smith-Ward supporting Mike. After half a mile, we found ourselves stumbling around in the wrong field, in the dark, trying to find our way out, but this proved to be the only navigational error of the whole trip. We hit every summit on Leg 1, within a minute or two of the schedule, arriving at Kirkstone after 4.39 hours to be greeted by my daughter Jo and her infectious enthusiasm. Well navigated Pete. And thanks to Mike and Iain for the gentle chat and company through these hours of darkness. The experience of daylight slowly developing in the sky to the north of us, the moon rising to the east, the hills slowly emerging, first as silhouettes and then in detail, will all remain in memory for a long time.

We had got a bit ahead of Mike and Iain after Stoney Cove Pike (where we debated whether or not to wake up the inhabitants of two tents so that they, too, could enjoy the sunrise. We decided against it.) I expected to see Mike reappear later in the day, but, as it turned out, he finished a little later than me. But it was good to meet Tony and Pauline at Kirkstone, waiting for Mike.

Breakfast of cold pasta and Complan and the onward, with Pete and Jo supporting me through Leg 2, over the Fairfield group and down to Dunmail Raise. No problems. A beautiful sunrise and clear horizons. There was a large group of people at this pit stop. Mke’s support team were here plus others, unknown. Dick Towler, very competently took over the management of my food and kit. We took leave of Pete and continued with Jo, Dick and Barbara, leaving at 7.53. Halfway in distance and 40% of the climbing completed. 24 miles and 10,000ft still to go.

Steel Fell went easily, but then I started to feel nauseous. Finding it hard to eat or drink anything. This lasted over 2 hours and was the only time in the trip when real self-doubt set in. My support were excellent, gently encouraging me, keeping the pace steady and drip feeding me. We met Selwyn and Lecky at Stake Pass, waiting for Mike. Cheerful as always, they were a great boost and then Cliff and Izzy on top of Rossett Pike. Cliff gave me a magic tangerine and, suddenly, I felt good again. I climbed Bowfell much faster then I had scheduled and then everything suddenly got easy.


15.Great GableGreat Gable


We reached the next pit stop at Sty Head 45 minutes up on schedule, to be greeted by Dave and Helen Neild plus Mike’s supporters. Dick again managed the changeover and he and Ann organised my needs for the final leg. We left Dick, Jo and Barbara here and continued with my wife Ann, and friends Rosie and Robin in support. Solid, reliable and made for the job. I was drinking well and taking in plenty of energy. This, coupled with the end being in sight (well, 13 miles and 5000ft away), seemed to invigorate me and the last leg was a delight. Apart from a bit of cloud on Great Gable (the only cloud we met all day) the weather and the views were superb, and the company was good.

I got to the top of the final hill, Middle Fell with 17 minutes to go before 18.00hrs and thought I would try to beat the 18.00. Suddenly, there was no pain or tiredness. Just the joy of running downhill to the finish. And I got there with half a minute to spare!


23.after the finishGreendale Bridge


Heartfelt thanks to all those who supported me, and particularly to Ann who has put up with quite a lot over the last few weeks/even months.

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