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, 25 August 2016

Ian Cookson (M65) - 14 May 2016

It was certainly a memorable day, with the Lakeland weather at its very best – perfect for following in the footsteps of the renowned Joss Naylor.

With great trepidation, I stood on Pooley Bridge at 3am on the morning of Saturday May 14th 2016. Within an hour and a half of a frosty early morning start through a sleeping campsite, the sun came up to reveal mountains bathed in sunshine, which remained with me throughout the day.

To have Steve Cliff leading the way over the High Street and up to Thornthwaite Beacon in the peace and tranquillity, was the best possible way to settle my nerves and focus on the challenge ahead! Dropping down to Kirkstone 20 mins ahead of schedule, legs feeling good and porridge waiting in Wynn’s campervan – could it get any better?

I was handed over into the capable hands of Duncan Elliott and Richard Davies who took over the supporting role for leg 2. After the steep ascent of Red Screes, the long pull to Fairfield and taking in Seat Sandal, we made the descent to Dunmail, comfortably on schedule. This leg passed quickly, helped by jelly babies and friendly banter between the support team.

Quick refreshment stop, change of socks and Leigh Warburton and Andy Crook were my Sherpas for leg 3! Climbing up Steel Fell was a testing start, and an indication of the rougher terrain which was to follow. Excellent navigation guided me over High Raise and Rossett Pike. The tougher climb up Bowfell went according to schedule, and Andy’s cheese butties ensured I had the fuel to reach Great End, before dropping down to Sty Head within my allocated time.

Here the size of my team swelled to seven. The formidable gang of Bill Williamson, Martin Walsh, Chris Reade, Nick Hewitt & Jen Hutton and Ian Roberts took me up Great Gable on the first ascent of the fourth leg. Stunning scenery along the way, particularly around Steeple, towards Ennerdale and the coast, put a spring in my step as I neared home. Just as we began the climb up Seatallan, we were met by Yiannis Tridimas , who joined us for the last two climbs. The atmosphere was jovial with Bill’s stunning photography and Martin never far from my side ensuring I was not going to have any mishaps in the closing stages!

by Bill Williamson

With breathtaking views of Wasdale in our sight, the descent to Greendale from Middle Fell signalled the end of my challenge, a respectable 17 hours 12 mins, comfortably within my schedule.

Descending Haycock (by Bill Williamson)

A welcome party on the bridge led by Joss cheered me to the finish. I was privileged to have an amazing team, not just support runners, but also the road support including Wynn Cliff, Andy Farmer and my family Mary, Lyndsey & Mick.

With Joss on Greendale Bridge (photo: Mick Hayes)

48 miles, 16,000 feet of climbing, 30 mountain tops – DONE!