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, 9 September 2015

Brian Melia (M50) – 08 August 2015


I arranged to meet my support Jamie Hutchinson and Matt Neale 5.00am at Dunmail to drop off their cars and then we left some water at the Kirkstone pass. I thought that would leave more than enough time to get to the start. However, we got there with 4 minutes to spare….a theme to be repeated later !

Typically, in the excitement we all needed the loo ! In the ensuing rush, I had to leave at 6.00 am without Jamie or Matt who were still occupied. I briefly explained to another runners road support I had to go…. as I did so I fell badly over the road sign at the start. I was a bit dazed, but left with a nasty large cut on my left leg which bled, and cut hand, but I could not stop now.

The day was perfect as we ran up Arthur’s pike; I made it on time, which was a relief. Jamie and Matt were now alongside. The First few hills were to schedule. I seemed to lose a couple of minutes at Raven Howe, which was a surprise, and the theme continued over Kidsty Pike to Thornythwaite Beacon over Pike Howe and down to Kirkstone. I was due to arrive at 8.35,am, but was there at 8.44am…whoops. The ground was a little wet in one or two places, but not that bad. I did not stop at Kirkstone and ran straight through up Red Screes, just 8 minutes down here. I had a couple of falls, which slowed me down going to Hart Crag on wet grass. Then the cloud inversion made navigation tricky. We lost a further few minutes and by Fairfield I was 15 minutes down. I tried to run, but I got to Tom Phillips 20 minutes down at Dunmail. Tom encouraged me up Steel Fell, but I slowed more and was 20 minutes down at Steel fell. He said not to worry, but I was a little concerned how we going to claw some time back. Over to Raise on the longest and most difficult passage I lost more time. I was really trying and although the ground was very wet over to Raise, I could not see how I was loosing so much time. Tom tried to motivate me. The trip up Bow fell and over Great End down to Styhead, steadied my loss at 40 minutes. Then Jamie met me and Tom at Styhead with supplies (not enough).

I suggested to Tom that we stop, but he said we get up Great Gable and make an assessment! Good advice. After a quick chat I was away and dropped the deficit to 36 minutes on Gable. It was just what was needed. We both gave me a talking to and we put in extra effort down the Gulley and scree run over to Kirk Fell. I received some support from other Joss Challengers going up Kirk fell, which really helped!




By Kirk Fell I was 31 minutes down. I then I tried to speed up more. I did not want to come back again.. I could see it in Tom’s eyes that he was concerned. By Steeple I was 33 minutes. The next section was down Haycock and up Seatallan suddenly I was only 26 minutes behind.. Things were looking up. By Middle Fell 20 minutes down. Tom made it very clear that I could do this if I pushed on hard. We then ran on towards Joss’s bridge in Greendale. I finally arrived at 17.55.38 secs. Less than 5 minutes to spare. I was due to arrive in my schedule at 17.40. I was delighted to have finished; both Tom and I were jiggered, but elated.

Joss trotted over to congratulate us and we had a great chat,

Thought you weren’t going to make it, Lad’ was his first comment!

Jamie arrived later; he had been snoozing in the van. I think he thought I had blown it!!

clip_image002What a special day out on the Lakeland Fells