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, 15 November 2017

Jonathan Whilock (M50) - 17 April 2017

Pooley Bridge (Photo: Paula Furnival)

I was under no illusions how difficult the JNC is as a v50. Seven years ago I was support for Dale Colclough on his v50 attempt and after the first leg I was wasted, I hung on for the second but couldn’t keep up, and I was fit then.

Training and recce’s hadn’t been perfect, hard to learn much in clag and deep snow but the weather looked good enough on Easter Monday and a group of great friends were able to support so got to go for it.

Ant (forest) Bethel was solo support on leg 1, it’s cruel to do that to someone as it’s really fast but Ant seemed keen, (the nutter). It was very cool. Even snowed a bit and quite breezy but we flew along with the wind mostly in our favour. Ant held on gamely pulling me back in on the descents till the drop off Pike How when it didn’t matter anymore. I didn’t want to be fixed to a schedule although I used the one off the JNC site as a guide; it was much more fun to run how I felt, also I couldn’t see the point in stopping at checkpoints so ran through them all which added to the fun. I grabbed a banana from Paula (girlfriend/road support/person to tell me to shut up if I whinge too much) as I legged it up Red Screes.

Leg 2 was the doctors leg with Dr Joasia Zakrzewski and Dr Simon Somerville, fortunately their medical skills were not required. The legs were still working and we breezed across to Dunmail enjoying the company and the day.

Another banana from Paula and a new crew, Clive Hevey and Mark (ode) Cornes.

Leg Two (photo: Joasia Zakrezewski)

Unfortunately things have a habit of catching up and I knew going up Steel Fell that my legs were tiring and I was losing energy fast. Clive and Ode coaxed my failing body with constant chat and gummy meerkats. The climb up Bowfell was as low as i’ve ever felt during a big challenge, I thought it was game over but we kept going and once we hit Great End it was downhill to Sty Head and Dave Harrison waiting with a bottle of coke.

Ant had also joined in the last leg but was already on top of Gable. The coke started to do it’s magic and with Dave lying to me telling me how quick we were moving the legs came back and I got my head in gear again too. We’d managed to forget the crisps on legs 1,2 & 3 so Dave had been sent with 4 packs which he tried very hard to feed me without success.
From Kirk Fell onwards we pushed hard to the finish and speeded up even more from Haycock.

It was lovely to steal a kiss from Paula on the drop off Middle Fell and a honour to shake a shepherd’s hand at Greendale Bridge. My time was 11 hrs 20 mins, faster than I thought I could run.

Knowing that Joss Naylor is waiting for you at the finish to shake your hand and tell you well done lad must be the best incentive in fell running.

I had great weather and enough luck to make it but most of all I had a fantastic group of friends who got me to the finish and made it a superb day on the fells.

Paula, Joss and Jonathan (photo: Paula Furnival)

Greendale Bridge (photo: Paula Furnival)

No comments:

Post a Comment