Introduction

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.

Monday, 25 February 2019

Mick Hoffe (M65) - 06 October 18



In September I returned from the Dolomites in Italy having completed the Alta Via 2, a 12 day trek in the mountains, feeling fit and healthy. So decided the time was right, now or never, to have a go at the Joss Naylor Challenge. I decided to raise money for the North West Air Ambulance and to encourage my pacers to help me out, go for what I thought was a reasonably ambitious target of 15hrs. Wendy thought over ambitious. So a date was set, Sat Oct 6th, and pacers were contacted. A 4am start was planned so hopefully finish in daylight at 18.40pm.

At 3.55am David and I were ready to go, maps in hand, head torches on, at Pooley Bridge. Suddenly nature called and we had to dash in the opposite direction to the public toilets. So after our quick detour we finally left at 4.02am. Conditions were good, dry with a gentle northerly wind. All went pretty smoothly on this 16m section to Kirkstone Pass. We had a slight problem on High Street when I was ahead and David had to replace the batteries in his head torch so for about 10 minutes we lost touch in the dark. Fortunately after a bit of shouting and wondering around we reconnected and carried on over Thornthwaite Beacon and Stoney Cove Pike. The only other incident was when I tripped on a couple of occasions and crashed to the ground. Very concerned, each time David suggested we walk for a bit, I think he thought I’d had a mild heart attack. However, each time we decided it was safe to continue.

At Kirkstone the new pacers, Colin and Chris were sitting comfortably in the van enjoying a cup of tea and a chat. They looked a bit surprised that we had arrived on schedule and it was time to head off up Red Screes. The north wind had now increased in strength and it was quite chilly on the tops. We made good progress with Chris leading the way and Colin protecting me from the wind and generally making comments (not complementary) about my lean physique possibly to take my mind away from task in hand. Still in shorts, with the northerly wind increasing in strength, it was observed my legs were vibrating unproductively, so for the descent off Seat Sandal we stopped to don some over trousers.

Warm once again after the descent to Dunmail, and now 21 minutes ahead of schedule we met up with the support team, Nicky, and Wendy, my next pacer. Eating was proving difficult but the rice pudding and cup of tea went down well. We set off up Steel Fell with Wendy leading the way and worrying that I’d blown my chances after the last, faster than planned, section. The weather was still dry with some sunshine, but the wind still quite cold. The section from Steel Fell to Rossett Pike felt like hard work with gradual climbs and boggy, energy sapping conditions. Wendy chatted most of the way and I responded with probably about five words during the 4 hour section, two of which were “knackered and sick”, and the other three were, “yes still here”. Nevertheless in spite of my protestations and dragging my feet, Wendy picked some great lines from Rossett Pike all the way to Great End and then down the ridge to Styhead so that we arrived, again about 25 minutes ahead of schedule. She also proved very good at cadging drinks from walkers along the way, mainly, I think, because she found them more responsive than her running partner.

On arrival at Styhead the next pacers, Nicky and Graham, had not arrived, totally underestimating Wendy’s ability to drive her reluctant partner faster than schedule. After cadging a coffee off another walker she legged it off into Wasdale to find our next pacers. I sat back in the sun at the rescue box, enjoying the coffee and grateful for a bit of respite and a slightly longer stop. They arrived after 12 minutes and after some more rice pudding set off up Gable. Graham leading the way, Nicky feeding and pushing the old fella ahead. Again some great lines down Gable and off Kirk Fell down Joss's Gully. The traverse round Black Crag and on up to Pillar. After Scoat Fell and Steeple it felt home was in site. Haycock and Seatallan quickly followed and then it was just Middle Fell to go. A fast descent down here through the dying bracken and a final stagger to Greendale Bridge and the marvellous welcome from Joss himself. I turned down his suggestion that I should lie down in the beck to recover, preferring to lie in the van with a cup of tea. Again we made great time on this section and shaved another 17 minutes off the schedule. It was a brilliant end to a glorious day, running with friends, chatting to Joss, Wasdale, all peaceful and quiet in the setting sun.

We finished the run in 13hrs 49mins a great time thanks to the encouragement and support from my very talented pacers and supporters. With gift aid we also managed to raise £615 for my chosen charity, the NW Air Ambulance, so a big thank you to all the people who sent in donations.

And a final thank you to Joss Naylor who set up this traverse in the Lakeland Fells and created the opportunity to do something challenging in the company of really special friends. A grand day out!

Pacers:

Leg 1 – David Appleyard
Leg 2 – Colin Dulson and Chris Lumb
Leg 3 – Wendy Dodds
Leg 4 – Nicky Lavery and Graham Watson

Support crew – Nicky Lavery


Friday, 22 February 2019

Scoffer (M50) - 22 September 18


7.45am and I arrive in Pooley Bridge. ‘Right, shoes on, shoes! 

Where’s my shoes?’ ‘Mmmmmmm at home on the door step!’ Fortunately, I have a spare pair, unfortunately, they are the ones that hurt my feet! 8am and we are off, 8am and 10 seconds and we have gone down the wrong path!

The next 4½ hrs to Dunmail go ok but it is very cold (cag, balaclava, gloves tights cold!) and there is an annoying rather than debilitating head wind but fortunately the forecast is for it to ease in the afternoon. At some point around Rampsgill Head, I looked to the west and can see Great Gable. It looks a long way away!!

At Dunmail, I am reunited with my comfy shoes but my feet are already sore. The next bit to Rossett Pike is horrible, with lots of flat running and boggy ground which I don’t really like. Going up Bowfell, I have my first wobble but a peanut bagel and a bottle of coke and I am ok. Esk Pike, Great End, Gable and Kirkfell come and go but I do have a bit of a slip going down Great End resulting in a sore arse bone. Going up Pillar, my second wobble and my first admittance that I am tired, but a sit down for a minute and more coke and I am off again. My legs are sort of ok but my feet are pretty sore by now which is making me quite slow on the descents.

Up to the end of the wall on Scoat, en route to Steeple, I am glad that is the optimum route as even though it was on my timing card I sort of forgot Scoat was one of them (like on a BG) but I am sure James would have kept me right had we missed it. Up onto Haycock, then it’s all downhill from here apart from the bugger that is Seatallen (I am sure it only takes a minute to come off there in the Wasdale!!) Middle Fell and then it really is all downhill to Greendale where I am met by Joss which was great, I hadn’t told him I was doing it, he must have seen it on Instagram or Twitter!!!!!

I then promptly spewed up approximately 2 litres of coke narrowly missing Joss’s brand new adidas pumps. To be honest, I was hoping to go under 10 hours and am sure 9.45 is possible given the right conditions with maybe a nice Easterly, a bit better route choice in places and above all someone who is a bit better than me.


Greendale Bridge


Many thanks to Jim, Phil, Andrew, James, John and Sharon

Scoff

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Rob Green (M55) - 15 September 18


Where do I start? It’s been a long road back from injury and a subsequent operation to be able to be here at 5.00am on Pooley Bridge.
Back in April 2015 I went to see my knee specialist Mr George McLauchlan at Chorley Hospital, about my left knee, he said “he had done as much as he could, with clean outs “. I now needed a Tibial Osteotomy. He would only guarantee that I would be able to walk pain free, never mind even contemplating running again! Not what I wanted to hear, there was still something I needed to do,
“The Joss Naylor Challenge”, having completed my BGR in 1995 I’ve been waiting a long time!
Having helped my father in law Leo Pollard complete his in 1999 it has been one of my lifetime goals.


My Left Leg Tibial Osteotomy

Operation done October 2015, rehabilitation started, fast forward 2017 slowly getting fitter not running just spinning and swimming and a few long club walks. Helping my son to complete his Bob Graham Round in June 2017, becoming the 3rd generation of our Family to complete it with his Grandfather Leo Pollard being the first then myself. A unique achievement in the BGR club.
Unfortunately, Leo passed away on the 18th January 2018, luckily, he was able to witness his grandson receiving his BGR certificate at the dinner last year. I would have liked him to be here to witness my JNC attempt but “tide and time waits for no man!”, not even fell runners.
As part of my training I walked the BGR in July 2017 with my wife Diane, her sister and brother-law, it took us 6 days stopping overnight at our climbing clubs in Langdale and Wasdale. This gave me confidence that I could do the distance but was a JNC 15 hrs schedule 2 bridges too far?
I knew I could only run on average 4-5 miles per week, so cycling and swimming would have to do, was 3 Spinning classes, 1 swim session a week at our local leisure centre, plus a few long recce runs on the route the basis of a successful attempt?
Saturday September 15th 2018 was chosen for my attempt, not ideal being later in the year but a few things needed to be done before it, such as moving house and my daughter’s wedding, ideal training not!
Here we were on Pooley Bridge, Myself, my son Robert (BGR), Tony Marlow (JNC 12hr,BGR) and Mike Ernill both members of Lostock AC for whom Leo had also a club member of. The night was very still, clear and dark, no moon to assist us, we reached Arthurs Pike on time, a good start. This leg was always going to be the most runnable so the most difficult for me. It came light on Red Crag even witnessing a few deer beyond Kidsty Pike. Eating and drinking was just a discipline to do,so i eat and drink little and often even when I felt full and sickly. We arrived at High Street 7 mins down, not to panic! but I wanted to be a least on time at Kirkstone, more psychological than anything. So i ran across to Thornthwaite then down to Kirkstone which was rocky this is what I prefer and arrived Kirkstone 7 mins up.
Bacon barms and tea from support team Diane and Sean Makin from Achille Ratti. JNC greeters were in attendance with Pauline and Ian Charters giving me encouragement.

Enjoying himself at Dunmail Raise
(photo: Ian Charters)


Rob Green carried onto Leg 2 with Dave Makin (JNC 12hr,BGR) and Josie Greenhalgh (BGR.)
Short but enjoyable leg, eating gels every ¾ hr with sandwiches, bars in between, again clear and cool, plenty of entertainment even seeing Lakeland Hounds following trail down from Fairfield.
Plenty of rock climbing now and descending arriving at Dunmail 10 mins up on schedule. Soup , Rice pudding and cake with tea. Having a bit of time I used it changed my base layer.
Again, I had plenty of well-wishers here to see me through even the current chairman of the FRA Charmian Heaton. Who was also here to support another attempt who had set off after us on a ladies 14hr JNC attempt 30 mins after me.
This was the last time I would see Diane until Greendale Bridge if I was successful.
Feeling refreshed we set off up Steel Fell 17 mins up on schedule Tash Fellows (JNC 14hr, BGR) , Andy Poole and Jennie Boocock from Achille Ratti . Steel Fell reached easily now very warm but could see a few rain clouds in the distance. Running over towards Rossett proved to be the worst part of the day, Jogging and walking through heavy ground and tussocks I seemed to be slowing but my pacers said I was doing fine .
We reached Rossett Pike where we had arranged the Achille Ratti Climbing Club junior members to meet us with a tin of peaches and tea. This was well needed as it was now raining and blowing. They then carried on their walk and made their way back to the Langdales to the New Dungeon Ghyll pub for a well-deserved drink.
We set off for Bowfell 15 mins up, the rocks were very greasy and slow I needed to put on a big cag and over trousers. We progressed across to Esk Pike and Great End in very wet conditions. On the decent down to Sty Head my legs became sore and stiff, I was going beyond my previous training limit so to keep eating and drinking was essential.
Sty Head reached still 19 mins up, out of the clouds and luckily the rain had stopped.
More soup, rice pudding and tea all brought up from Wasdale by Tony Shanley (BGR) from Achille Ratti with the help of other members.
Off again the last leg, Oz Kershaw, Chris Lloyd and Dave Reynolds all BGR’s and Achille Ratti.
Climbing was easy and steady keeping the 20 mins up on schedule, Great Gable reached straight off down very greasy and rough terrain but quickly off and up to Kirkfell, good lines meant the pace was kept up. Pillar seemed longer to reach than usual but we were now 33 mins up,this made the pain in the legs bearable, yes I could at last be confident of hopefully finishing in the time.


Scoat Fell, Steeple and down to Haycock feeling every painful step by now, up Haycock and off down a brilliant scree run easing some of the pain.
Seatallan was a long climb but steady still drinking and eating, so apart from the pain I could carry on and on.
Only Middle Fell left to climb, no rain and still good light so we could see down to Greendale Bridge.
Stopping at the top of Middle Fell to remove some layers as I warmed up.
Running down and along the last bit of grass by the river to the bridge I could see a large welcome party assembled. I touched the bridge after 14hrs 17mins, Joss was there, what a great privilege it was to shake “The Shepherd’s Hand“ after the long road I have taken to be here.
A big thanks to all who have helped because it’s not just on the day, it is the rekey runs, training events and encouragement needed during the training needed to successfully complete it. We all retired to Little Ground House, Achille Ratti Climbing Club, only ½ mile from Greendale Bridge, for food and drinks in celebration with Joss and Charmian Heaton as our guests.
Just a word about training, I think I may have cheated! I haven’t spent hours and hours running or recce'ing the route. I have relied on cycling and swimming with bit of running in between and a great support group and club.
So to all who think just because you can’t run long distances week in week out or you have an injury that won’t allow you to, you can still plan for one big day and then recover at leisure I am living proof!

Greendale Bridge
Achille Ratti Climbing Club, AD ALTIORA (to even higher)


Ps Don’t tell Mr McLauchlan what I’ve just done.

I have dedicate my achievement to Leo Pollard for his inspiration and dedication to long distance fell running, so I have donated £120 to British Heart Foundation
I would also like to put something back to the Lake District so I have donated £100 to Crossthwaite Parish Church, Keswick roof fund. This where my daughter was married.











































Friday, 15 February 2019

Joe Faulkner (M55) - 06 September 18

Chasing the 12 hour time of a fifty year old was never going to happen; too fast for me?  But come last summer, I told Hilary Barber that I was thinking of a 15 hour Joss. Hilary, and then Ros  Blackmore, said they wanted to do it, as well. So they're to blame ... although neither looks old enough. 

An infected tick bite and two months of feeling bad put paid to last years attempt, so now it was time to stop procrastinating and get it done. Weekends are busy work time for me, and mid-Week date would give quieter fells and I wanted to keep the run small and informal. I simply told Ros and Hilary they either had to do it with me or pace, so that was sorted.   I'd been busy 'working' in Scotland and the Hebrides, with some slow days in very heavy terrain and wasn't feeling confident at all.

A quick post on facebook for a few willing pacers and all was set.  Berni Gilmartin would lead me off from Pooley, Ros volunteered Neil Bowman for Leg two, Kirkstone to Dummail and Scott Newburn kindly filled the gap to Styhead where the wimpy Ros and Hilary had been bullied to do the glory leg.

0530 Start

The rumours that Matt Neale and Jim Mann would come for a pre work, and post UTMB recovery jog respectively were true, so four of us set off  'when ready' in calm weather. It's just a shame I hadn't sussed the way out of the fields in the dark. I was lucky with the weather all day; light NW winds, dry, dry-ish underfoot and good banter. Easy pace to Kirkstone, Berni providing positive time checks and puffing a bit carrying all the gear.  Good Lad, Berni.

I'd taken the 15 hour schedule off the JNC page, added a few minutes to the early leg and hoped to be on schedule by the later stages and gain a little if I could. Ros had a brew waiting at Kirkstone and Neil loaded himself up with the gear and food. He was  most upset when I only ate one piece of malt loaf, but Leg Two is all ups and downs so no flat cruisy ground to eat on. I can't eat going uphill anymore - too busy breathing! Dunmail came really easily. I'd decided that I need to relax and run well on the downs, although it seems any ascent beginning with the letter 's' is a steep sod.

Boss Lady Charmian Heaton was waiting at Dunmail, along with her partner Steve Wathall who'd come along for the remainder.  Scott Newburn was official pacer as far as Bowfell, but we picked up Young Phil Wilkinson on High Raise who'd lead us to Styhead and the dream team of Ros and Hilary.

Scott peeled off at Stake Pass to run back via the Langdale Pikes and we three, me, The Old Master Steve and the Youngster (Phil is only 30 ....I did a BG before he was born) found Rossett via three slightly different routes, then climbed Bowfell well by the latest 'fastest line'  (Yeah, right!)

Bowfell is a milestone and turning point just as it is on a Bob Graham; you've gained the higher Central fells and head North over Esk Pike and Great End, then Styhead and Gable.  A few spots of rain led to nothing and the forecasted showers never really materialised or at least went around us. I hadn't specifically reccied any of the lines despite being Lakes based but was confident that we wouldn't get lost.  Phil The Younger was leading OK ( he'll learn ...) and we took the direct line North off Great End, if only because it's what Joss would have wanted.

Styhead - Five Stars on Trip Adviser

Naturally, Ros, Hilary and Neil were ready at Styhead Box with a fine selection of food and replete we four started a very social plod up Gable.  It's just a month or so since I did this last in the Borrowdale fell race and this time it seemed easy. We topped out surprisingly quickly and I was by now gaining time on each summit and around 30 minutes up on 14:40 schedule.

The showers held off, and were blessed with good views over Pillar, Scoat and Steeple.  Haycock was a delight and Steve found such a good line off even he was surprised! The last 'S', Seatallan had me puffing and allowed Ros to finally break out the much offered  sweeties. Looking at my watch properly for the first time, I thought it would be rude not to push for sub 14 hours with a nice run over to Middlefell and a surprisingly easy descent.

It really is a great descent - you can see Wastwater as you leave Middlefell summit but then the finish kindly comes nearer as you descend towards Greendale, first seeing your supporters cars, then the bridge itself.  It must have been agony for Mandy Goth chasing her 14 hour deadline, but I was lucky with time in hand.

My friend Richard had walked out just to make sure we turned right down the beck and didn't get lost then suddenly it's over, I'm at The Bridge with Neil, Phil, Charmian, Carol, Linz and of course Joss. Richard and Carol, are near neighbours of Joss and had booked a table at The Strand ...so it was off the the pub for the remainder of a simply brilliant day.

Thank You, everyone, for your help during the day and for our kind donations to 'Fix-the-Fells' via JustGiving

Joe

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Bryan Stadden (M60) & Lynette Porter (W50) - 04 August 18


Having completed the round in 2015 as a M55 and attended the dinner which was memorable I thought it was time to have another go in the M60 category. I had initially attempted a M50 round but failed to meet the schedule so now with 18 hrs available and recovery from persistent injuries it was game on for another attempt.
My club is Bitton Road Runners in Bristol so obviously I was on the wrong surface but there are a few in the club who like their trail runs but even fewer who run in the mountains – we are not a fell club! One such member though who I have convinced it’s the best running to be had is Lynette Porter with whom I have formed an off-road running partnership, and over the years and have got to understand each other’s strengths, weaknesses and characters in adverse conditions. Lynette was really keen to have a go however, as a F50 it meant a sub 14 hour schedule and a target time of 13hrs 40mins was used.
Being based in Bristol, and also a road running club it is not easy to get supporters and more importantly those who would know the route. After explaining this to Ian Charters it was agreed that we could have an official attempt supporting each other, although he did add that history was not on our side as pairs often are incompatible and the attempt usually falls apart. Anyway for us it meant game on and the date was agreed in roughly 3 weeks’ time. There was no time for any recce’s or specific training it was simply a matter of turn up and see how it goes, - ‘better get on it’ – Lynette would say.
My ever supportive wife – Hilary would be the road support and we fortunately had two friends on holiday in the area who could meet us at Sty Head for a re-supply only, so that was the team a real skeleton crew. It meant having to carry all your kit inc. food and fluids not the best plan for your fastest crossing attempt but if that is the only way to have a go then so be it and thanks to Ian for agreeing to this!
The summer of 2018 will be remembered for a prolonged dry and very hot spell and as we neared our planned date we were hoping for cooler conditions, and hopefully a bit of cloud cover. Well sometimes you get what you wish and the weather gods turned up trumps.
Pooley Bridge



We set off at 6.00am from Pooley Bridge and having got through Park Foot campsite successfully – always worth a recce having got lost in there before – we emerged on to the fell in thick mist. As we neared Arthur’s Pike we broke through the cloud into a fantastic inversion. This lifted the spirits I just wish I had time to take a photo but I knew the schedule would be touch and go so stops would only be the necessary ones. This is often said to be the easiest section of the route an combined with fresh legs it can apparently be too easy to get way ahead of your schedule and so say have time in the bank. Not for us though we seemed to be chasing the schedule all along this section and were often losing time. This was dispiriting at this stage as it already instilled doubts about getting around in time. I have had this before and even on recces so I questioned my schedule and think I would amend it for future attempts – yes there will be other goes as we move through the age category’s. We arrived at Kirkstone Pass 10mins down and we realised that this was going to be a relentless day if we were to claw back this time or was it going to gradually slip away to make it sub 14hrs, I was Ok though with 18hrs to complete but I so wanted Lynette to achieve her target time.
Kirkstone Pass


Hilary was there with all the goodies laid out and also a meet & greet in the form of Rainer Burchett which was a surprise and especially for my wife, someone to chat with. It felt really unsociable as we hurried through in 5mins trying to keep focused on what we needed – drinks, food, fresh map and timings, dump the rubbish we had enough weight to carry. It’s really easy to lose too much time at the control, time we certainly did not have! Lynette being a triathlete reminded me that my transitions were a bit slow!
We tried to limit the amount of fluids we would carry, I stuck with one 500mil bottle and Lynette would fill her bladder from a bottle as it’s too easy to carry too much in one of those. There still seemed to be streams flowing despite the hot weather, maybe they had more rain than down south so refills were possible en-route. Once over Seat Sandal I managed to find the path off the summit for the first time having usually dropped into the gill, we managed to claw back 2mins so we were now 8mins down on the schedule but things were going he right way at least.
Hilary topped up the supplies in our sacks – fluids and energy bars etc and this time the full fat coke cola came out and cheese rolls – a burst of energy and some slow release carbs. We bade farewell for a while now as we would not now see her until the finish and set off up the steepest climb of the day – Steel Fell. These days with the popularity of the Bob Graham and countless recces there is a good track to follow. It took me the whole climb to get the cheese roll down, I seemed to be chewing it all the way up but being a steady plod it was the best time to be doing it.
Dunmail Raise


Once over the top the track was fortunately quite dry, still boggy in places but nothing compared to what it can be like! High Raise was the usual pathless tussock haul which makes you think that you are losing time, but the schedule was working out ok, we lost a bit but then gained on the climb to Bowfell. Reaching this point is significant for me the whole nature of the route changes to much rockier terrain and steeper climbs. In the back of my mind I was thinking what route we should take off Great End as I didn’t want to go backwards towards Esk Hause to drop onto the path. Lynette is not too quick down steep terrain and you really need to be to make up time on this section. We could also possibly lose time if we picked a poor line down having not been here since my 2015 crossing. We agreed to go straight over and see what happens, we managed to pick up the cairns for a while, until I bailed out and headed for the path so a composite route down to Sty Head was made, was it faster I don’t know, when we arrived we were still 9mins down which is not a lot and we had a 20min cushion but it was the wrong way and we didn’t like that
Two friends were waiting with supplies together with a bunch of Mountain Rescue bods who were marshalling the Borrowdale Fell Race. There was now a lot of encouragement to help us on our ascent of Great Gable. In the seemingly frenzy of the moment we both forgot to top up our fluids, I think it was the pleasure of firing cans of coke down that we lost focus. Not having support this is typical of things that can go wrong once the power of rational thinking goes.
The cloud had dropped onto the summits and I thought we were in for rain at which point I realized that I had left my waterproof jacket back at Dunmail Raise, so hopefully the rain would not come now especially when we were the most tired. We were now totally out of water and managed to get a refill from some still pond, not the best but with a zero tablet it seemed to taste alright, it was a lifesaver in reality. We felt buoyant as we were pulling time back however I seemed to lose the schedule and map on the descent off Great Gable so we were effectively running blind and now only had the finish time to focus on which was not helpful.
Pillar is another significant point on the route, the final major climb done but where were we on the schedule? We could only keep pushing and hope that we were still on the target time. We got the right descent off Haycock over to the right from the summit to miss the boulder field and onto the Pots of Ashness which were nice and dry and runnable all the way to Seatallen – the sting in the tail. Once on the descent Lynette could see Middlefell and her heart sank as it seemed such a long way with the time remaining but I explained that its deceptive and after a short climb it’s a long flat ridge to the final summit. It was now going to be continual encouragement to have a chance of beating the 14hr deadline, and to miss it by a few minutes after such a continuous day of effort was not going to happen. Once on the summit I mentioned that she would have to cut loose on the run down and risk falling over, all or nothing. When we eventually saw Greendale Bridge she thought it still looked too far to make it in time but it’s a great run in and I knew we were on for it by a reasonable margin, I didn’t let her know though as I wanted to keep her pushing hard right to the end. Round the right side of the house this time straight to the bridge and when Lynette realised she was going to make it she got quite emotional and who can blame her especially with Joss Naylor waiting on the bridge to welcome us in.

Greendale Bridge

It was a perfect ending to a memorable day, our few friends – Hilary my wife and Bill and Claire Graham were there and finishing with 11 mins to spare in 13hrs 49mins, smashed it as far as we were concerned!.
Joss was generous with his praise, what a star and he also pointed out that from the crest where you first become visible there is another track – ‘see that track he said, ‘takes minute and half off your time that’. What great advice for the next time!


Bryan Stadden
Lynette Porter









Thursday, 7 February 2019

Hazel Tayler (W60) - 24 June 18

I completed my Joss Naylor Challenge on Sunday 24th June in 17 hrs 30 mins.  I turned 60 in April which gave me 18 hours to complete the distance.  This was a leap into the unknown for me having previously only run races up to 26 miles.

I set off at 4 am from Poole Bridge on a perfect morning.  My two companions were Harvey Lord and Simon Austin.  The sun was just rising over the morning mist and it promised to be a beautiful day. 

My best memories of leg one were the beautiful views high above Ullswater and the sun shining through miles of cotton grass across the fells.  We were also lucky enough to see deer bounding across the hillside near High Street.  I made the schedule easily on this leg but tried hard not get carried away - there was a long way to go.  I was 8 minutes up on schedule at Kirkstone where my husband Pete was waiting with the support team and breakfast!  It was also great to see John Millen who had cycled up the Struggle to support me at 8 o’clock in the morning at Kirkstone.

(photo: Tim Ripper)


I was joined on leg 2 by Sue Ross, Chris Roberts, James Goffe, Anna Lupton and Mark Roberts.  Sue led me rather briskly up Red Screes but we settled down after that!  Mark Roberts lead a brilliant line up to Hart Crag and we were soon over Fairfield, looking down onto Grizedale Tarn.  This was my favourite view on this leg.  The tarn looked impossibly blue and still under bright blue clear skies - and someone was swimming.  I was rather envious! 

I was still slightly ahead of schedule at this stage so I climbed and descended Seat Sandal easily to avoid working my legs too hard before Steel Fell!

I set off from Dunmail Raise 15 minutes ahead of schedule feeling comfortable.  My new pacers included my husband Pete Tayler, Jess Lawrence and Josh Hartley, Holly Orr, Simon Austin (up to High Raise) and Polly the dog!  I took a steady pace up Steel Fell.  It was soon behind me and I made up 2 minutes against the schedule.  However, the next leg up to High Raise proved to be much harder work over tussocks and trackless terrain.  I had to keep focused on a good urgent pace over this 65-minute section.  I was on time for this section which I believe is absolutely crucial to success on leg three.  Perhaps the next most crucial point is the climb up Bowfell.  By now the day was pretty hot, although there was a pleasant breeze.  The big fear is dehydration of course but my team did an excellent job of keeping up my fluids, electrolytes and food.  The climb up Bowfell went well and I actually enjoyed it, particularly the views of The Great Slabs.  We continued on over now very rocky ground to Sty Head with Pete leading an excellent descent down a stony gulley from Great End!  It was here that we were met by James Harris who stayed with me until the end, keeping up my spirits with lots of chat which was much appreciated.

Many thanks also to Helen Walker and Simon Rodger for a great break at Sty Head.  I feel so fortunate to have had excellent road support from Helen and Simon as well as Pete Tayler.

At Sty Head, I was still in good shape and ahead of schedule, however muscles around my left knee were causing me pain on the descents. I took some pain killers and set off up Gable, still climbing strongly.

Leg 4 is perhaps my favourite leg with views of the mighty Gable, the airy paths up to Pillar and the rocky outcrop of Steeple, all bathed in low sunny evening light.  I was pleased to have Tim Ripper as my lead pacer on this leg as he knows the area so well. I also had the company of Will Ross, Simon Rodger, James Harris, Julian Donnelly, Kath Gill and Pete Tayler (the last 3 up to Kirk Fell), plus the dogs Pip and Mae. Steve Wathall came up to Beck Head to wish me luck which was very welcome. Tim lead a great line off Kirk Fell avoiding the usual gully and also a good grassy line leftwards off Haycock.  We also managed to avoid most of the rocky scree leading to Steeple by taking a pleasant, scrambly right hand line across the rib to the summit.  One of my favourite moments was crossing the wall en route to Haycock from Steeple.  I was preparing to climb a stile, however, Tim opened a gate 50 meters further on which I hadn’t known was there!  What a gent! 
(photo: Simon Austin)

From Haycock I really struggled with the downhills because of my painful knee.  Climbing and level ground were great, fortunately.  So, I climbed fairly hard and allowed myself more time on the descents to even out the pace.  From Haycock to the finish I lost about 30 minutes but at that point I was already 30 minutes up on schedule so, fortunately, there was no doubt that I would finish on time.

(photo: Pete Tayler)

(photo: Pete Tayler)


It is worth mentioning that the climbs up Seatallan and Middle Fell were magic, with the hills bathed in the golden light of sunset and a full moon. Pete was there to meet me on Middle Fell which was indeed a welcome sight.  Yes, Seatallan was a tough climb but it was soon done and the last fell top, Middle Fell was easily achieved.  I cane down to Greendale Bridge as fast as my knees allowed which was very slowly!  This didn’t matter though in the context of an incredible, life-changing day out on the fells with my husband and many great friends.  Thanks to Charmian Heaton and Steve Wathall for bringing Joss to Greendale Bridge and then to the pub for a celebratory drink.    I was also extremely pleased to raise more than £800 for the Alzheimer’s Society.

Hazel Tayler
Black Combe Runners

Monday, 4 February 2019

John Booth (M65) - 22nd June 2018


Approaching my 65th birthday late 2017, I thought how should I celebrate? Throw a party and invite loads of family and friends, take my family out for a meal, invite relations, possibly get loads of gifts that you don’t really need at my ripe old age? My wife Sandra said why don’t you just do something with your running pals.
So, I said yes you might be onto a good idea there! So, I got to thinking what could we do? and on browsing through the Fellrunner mag, came across Martin Stone’s Long Distance Running section, which I always found interesting.
Joss Naylor Lakeland Challenge…. Hmmmm, Could I? Should I?..................
So after a lot of mental interrogation, I decided I was indeed mental enough to have a go.
One night in the pub after one of our weekly off road Tuesday nights out I confided in Alan Williams, a fellow clubmate, on the idea of a 65th retirement do, by attempting the JNLC. Do you think I could do it Al?
Brilliant idea, he enthused and us lot needed a project to keep us occupied over winter and into 2018.
So, the plot was made, confidentially initially, just get through winter with more stamina training and then start recceing in Spring 2018 with a view to a June attempt. Then in February 2018 made my declaration to my fellow off roader clubmates, to rally round supporters for each leg and plan several visits up to the lakes. There was a splendid reaction from everyone and everyone had a real buzz out of the thought of another load of excuses to get up into the lakes and on the fells. So, after a holiday in late March the training began, a solid two months through end of April, May and into June up to the lakes whenever we could. I cannot thank my fellow clubmates enough for their selfless support each and every week to recce the route. Particular thanks to Andy and Mal who eventually, as I will explain later could not make it on the actual attempt.
Planned dates either 15/16th June or 22/23rd June weekends, which would quite coincidently be exactly 18 years after my Bob Graham Round.
Apart from the first week when we recced Leg 1 when the weather was extremely wet, we had possibly the best of the summer weekends one could have wished for. Especially good for visibility and exploring any shortcuts or easy descents.
Everything was looking great for the first scheduled date 15/16th until the forecast suggested a poor weekend, can you believe it after the preceding 8-10 weeks of glorious sunshine.
So decided to scrap the first weekend and looked anxiously at the weather for the following week. The only draw back being that Mal Fletcher couldn’t do second weekend due to work commitments, both of us gutted as she had committed so much time to recceing. Simon was also unavailable due to holidays. Leg 2 support now in question.
But fortunately Winky (Steve Whincup) and Amy Grace immediately stepped forward to do Leg 2 support. If this wasn’t enough Andy Painter injured his calf that same weekend so sadly had to pull out of the support for Leg 3! Problems!
Dave Hindley suggested we contacted an old friend, Dave Sykes to see if he was available and willing to pick up Leg 3 support. After a few phone conversations Dave Sykes said he was up to it and volunteered his valuable services.
So, sorted………just got to get on with it. 22nd June arrived and it was all good to go.
Steve Carter and Arthur Summers were the road crew, ferrying everyone about and forgoing much sleep to be on hand at all the desired change overs and provide the food and water for everyone.

POOLEY BRIDGE 11:00pm Friday 22nd June 2018.
DAVE HINDLEY & STEVE CROWE SUPPORT


Myself, Dave Hindley (Navigaton) and Steve Crowe (support) lined up on the bridge on a wonderfully clear night, a few last minute photos and farewells, good luck wishes and we were off on Leg 1. There was a half moon, no need for a head torch initially and we arrived at Arthurs Pike in 60 minutes. First one ticked off, felt so good to be off and running at long last.
Steadily ticked off the peaks, slight cool breeze most of the night, but very clear. Could see Mars for most of the night as we headed south.
Wild campers on High Street, hopefully didn’t disturb their slumbers as we quietly drifted past on towards Thornthwaite Beacon, where the moon looked amazing.
Found the nice grassy decent down to the coll before climbing up to Stoney Cove Pike arriving at peak eleven 19 minutes up on schedule.
The sun was just beginning to rise as we headed for Pike Howe and then on descent down to Kirkstone could see many head torch lights on Red Screes across the pass.
Arrived at Kirkstone car park 19 minutes up on schedule to awaiting rice pudding and hot tea, gratefully prepared by Arthur and Steve C.
Many thanks to Steve Crowe and Dave Hindley for successfully and uneventfully getting me through Leg 1.

KIRKSTONE PASS LEG 2 SATURDAY 23rd June 2018.
AMY GRACE & STEVE WHINCUP SUPPORT
Change of top, fed & watered off we set just 8 minutes up on schedule, with the early morning sun light just breaking through. Amy led off with a sensible pace up Red Screes reaching the top in just 30 minutes. Discovered what the array of torchlights were, 7 or 8 wild camping pitches up there to photograph the sunrise.


Easy to find the trod off down to Scandale Pass and up to the tarn and off up to contour around Little Hart Crag, up to a line to contour around western edge of Dove Crag.
Climb up to Hart Crag and bag number 14. Quite a coolish breeze still in the early morning. Continued on main path with gentle jog up to Fairfield plateau. Had to move sheep out of shelter to have a little snack break before heading off down the zig zag descent, decided that way down to Grisedale Hause as we were still up on schedule. Steady plod up Seat Sandal and found the BGR trod off the top down to Dunmail. Amy ran on ahead to the road crew to check that the food was ready, as we were still up on schedule by 18 minutes.
Great to see Dave Sykes at Dunmail Raise as he had volunteered to step in at the last minute for Andy Painter who got injured just the week preceding. I know that Andy was devastated that he couldn’t be partaking on the day but I was eternally grateful for his help, week in, week out on the recce’s. Decided to use the gained time to eat plenty at Dunmail, as the availability of food at Styhead was going to be limited. Change of socks, and thanks to Winky and Amy for a good Leg 2 crossing.




DUNMAIL RAISE LEG 3 SATURDAY 23rd JUNE 2018
DAVE SYKES & DAVE HINDLEY SUPPORT.
Off we set up Steel Fell at 7:28 am just on schedule, still coolish but bright which was good, as we didn’t want to be too hot going up Steel fell. Must admit I wasn’t looking forward to this climb with a full belly but it soon came and went listening to the two D’s banter up the climb, just 30 minutes. Found the early BGR trod but split off later to head up to High Raise. Not too boggy due to the immaculate summer that we had had in the early weeks. Dave S found a good line down to Stake Pass and then on up the ridge to Rossett Pike with another couple of Dave’s easy trods on the way. Rossett Pike reached in good time again, so decided on a good chomp on flapjacks and drinks here as we were up on schedule.
Had a couple of salt tabs too, to ward off any chance of cramp later. Headed diagonally up to Bowfell on the slab terraces. Topped Bowfell in good time again, so snacked again before heading off to Esk Pike and onward to Great End. The views were tremendous in all directions, it was a good call choosing this weekend as opposed to the previous weekend. We were conscious that we shouldn’t arrive at Styhead too far ahead of schedule in case we were ahead of the support team, and be hanging around getting cold.
Having bagged Great end, Dave S said he could find a quick route down a gully off the end to Styhead, which we found and made a careful but beneficial short cut down to arrive at Styhead a good 23 minutes up on schedule.


We were greeted at Styhead by Alan, Billy Badfoot, Winky, Steve C, Amy and Philippa the support who had walked up from Wasdale Head. Hot soup and bread followed by cake and tea went down a treat. Thanks to Dave H and Dave S for a successful Leg 3, Philippa, Billy, Winky and Dave S prepared to head back down to Wasdale having hauled everything up to the stretcher box.
Dave H (again, as he was about to support on his third stint), Alan Williams and Amy Grace (second stint) were my support on the for the final leg. Steve Crowe who had a very sore knee, had intended to join us but decided against it, as he and Amy were to be doing the LL100 next month.
STY HEAD LEG 4 SATURDAY 23rd JUNE 2018

ALAN WILLIAMS, AMY GRACE & DAVE HINDLEY SUPPORT.




Started off up Gable, quite warm now but everything felt good apart from my hands. I had been troubled with oedema since the start of leg 3 and my hands and fingers were quite swollen. So much so that my rings felt like they were cutting my fingers in half.
Gable reached, quite busy at the top, decided to head down to Windy Gap and round Stone Cove and over to Beck Head before heading up Kirk Fell. Almost went off too soon at what we thought was the top of Kirk Fell, but quickly spotted our error and climbed a little more to the top of Kirk Fell. Still making good time, snacking and drinking well set off down to Black Sail Pass and climb up to Pillar. It’s a long haul to Pillar but could sense that the finish was getting nearer with each step. Pillar conquered just after five o’clock, more snacking keeping the engine going and headed up to Steeple. Always think this such a spectacular peak and felt good to get this one under my belt again.
Scoat Fell soon sorted and off to Haycock all the serious stuff done now, Alan remembered a good route down to the normally boggy Pots of Ashness, bone dry today though and had a great run across to the foot of Seatallan.


Nearly there, with gritted teeth (swollen hands) pushed hard up Seatallan for just turned seven o’clock on a glorious Saturday evening. The views out to the coast were amazing it made me recall what Joss had described at his talk at Buxton Opera House a few days earlier.

Fired off the top of Seatallan on a good route down that Alan & Amy found, we spotted Steve C coming out to meet us from Middle Fell, we were now 5 strong and motoring up to the final top.
Some final pics at the top of the last, number 30, Middle Fell peak of my Joss Naylor crossing and we strode off to Greendale, sore feet, swollen hands but otherwise felt brilliant. Philippa ran up to Middle Fell to meet us for the last stretch. Through the bracken on the lower slopes to Greendale and the bridge, could see the support crew and met everyone at the bridge.




SUCCESS, CROSSING COMPLETED JUNE 23rd.
20 hours 56 minutes, 30 peaks what glorious day out with the best support team on the planet. Many thanks once again to Steve Carter, Arthur Summers road support, an unenviable task. Dave (3 Legs) Hindley, Steve Crowe, Amy (2 Legs) Grace, Steve Whincup, Dave Sykes, Alan Williams, Billy Badfoot, Philippa Tyson. Thanks to absent friends Mal Fletcher, Andy Painter and Simon Daley who gave so much to the cause but couldn’t be there on the final shout.
Also, not forgetting my wife Sandra for putting up with my absence every weekend and the sponsorship that many generous people had given to my chosen charity, The British Heart Foundation, a total of £515.00




(The photographers were Steve Crowe, Amy Grace, Steve Whincup, Bill Fergusson, Dave Hindley.)







Friday, 1 February 2019

Rosie Law (W65) - 10 June 2018

I chose to start at 10pm on Saturday June 9th but the journey really started seven months earlier when I decided to give it a go.

I reckoned walking it fast would be enough to make the 24hr time limit but I wasn’t at all sure I could keep up the speed on the steep ascents and descents. There followed several months of hill and distance training and recces of the route, alone and in a small group, going out in all weathers, always including as much ascent as possible and walking as fast as I could. The group’s encouragement was constant, and their willingness to go out in rain, wind, hail, snow, storm and even occasional sunshine through the months from November to June was astonishing! Mostly the weather was very bad but then in early summer a drought set in so that the route was very dry and bog-free for my attempt - very lucky!

Moments I remember :- in the pitch dark on the summit of High Street, very inconsiderately and not thinking of the sleeping occupants, shining our dazzling head torches on a little tent and saying loudly (several times) “ooh look there's a tent” - I hope we didn’t wake them up but we probably did. Sunrise on the way up Red Screes. The ascent of Bowfell. my family and friends all at Styhead. Seatallan - I’ve always liked the climb up Seatallan for some unaccountable reason.

My road/Styhead support was wonderful, my family made sure they could be there despite living far away and having busy lives and either walked with me or did the logistics. I had a brilliant team of pacers and helpers, they kept me going, carried more food and water than I needed just in case, they found all the routes we’d recced and some we hadn’t, they paced me up the hills and always seemed to say the right thing at the right time to keep me feeling positive.

I’m sure everyone says it but I’ll say it again, I owe my success to them, I couldn’t possibly have done it without them.
















Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Craig Stansfield (M50) - 02 June 2018


I’m always up for a challenge, so when I turned 50 the Joss Naylor Challenge was on the list for my 50th year.
The alarm went off at 5.15 am and we awoke at the kirkstone pass car park to thick clag. The nerves started. After a good feed we headed down to Pooley Bridge ready for a 7.00am start. I met up with Stu Stoddard and Steve Angus who were going to support me on leg 1.

After Lisa took the obligatory photos on the bridge we set off. Charlie and Joey joined us along with Steve's collie. We made good time up to Arthur's pike where we left Charlie and Joey. I’d got it into my head that I had to go quick on this leg and was already 5 minutes up at Loadpot. Realising that I may be going a little quick, Stu and Steve reeled me in and kept me to the 2.35 schedule. We were soon descending from Thornthwaite Beacon and climbing up to Stony Cove Pike. Dave Seargent met us in the clag and pointed out the trod to Pike Howe. We arrived at kirkstone a few minutes up. It was nice to see Dave Makin and Tony Shanley at the changeover with their encouraging words.



I filled myself with food and drink and tried to catch James Riley up who had set off up Red Screes just before me. I felt tired, probably because of the humidity. Catching James up we picked off another couple of tops and were soon descending Fairfield passing some Salomon clothed runners coming the other way. Time for some food and drink on the way up seat sandal and then our descent to Dunmail. We arrived at Dunmail soaked through with sweat from the humidity.
More food and drink. Including complan, coke and jam butties. Much encouragement from Lisa and Charlie and Mike Langrish, who it was nice to meet.


Jules Coleman was my support for legs 3&4. Off we went up Steel Fell, passing a group who were reccying the JNC and saying Hi. We pressed on over to High raise and over to Rossett Pike, passing a BG attempt on the way. Then came the bowfell climb. Always a tough one. I consumed another Gel and got my head down eventually reaching the summit. Jules was doing really well with the navigation in the clag. We were soon on great end. A tricky descent in the mist caused us to lose a few minutes, but we were soon at the Styhead stretcher box. Jason Craven was there to meet us with some more coke, water and food.
His encouraging words gave me a boost and after eating a satchet of baby rice we were on our way up Gable. Cramp was getting the better of my quads, so I stopped to take some pain killers and pushed on.
We were 7 minutes down on schedule at styhead, but Jules was confident I could make that back. We passed many BG attempts going the other way between Kirkfell and Steeple. Finally the clag started to lift as we got to Steeple and we had some lovely views. Just a few more tops left. Stu had given me a caffeine sweet on the first leg which I had saved for the Seatallan climb. I chewed it. It tasted awful, but give me a definite boost and we were soon at the top. One more climb which was over quickly as Jules and myself chatted about anything and everything. I can't explain the feeling on the last top. It was amazing. A very quick descent and we were at the bridge in Greendale. Where My awesome road support team Lisa and Charlie and Joey met us.
I managed to get round inside my schedule too 11.29.












Big thanks to my support crew. Jules, Stu, Steve, Dave, James, Jason. Who I couldn't have completed this challenge without. Most of all I’d like to thank Lisa, who’s support on these challenges is second to none. I couldn't do it without her. Thanks to Charlie who inspires me with his enthusiasm for fell running. Thanks to Joey the best dog in the world.

(all photos by Lisa Stansfield)

Friday, 11 January 2019

Dave Harrison (M55) - 05 May 2018



It's just gone 4am as I wander along the narrow lane. The valley air is filled with the growing dawn chorus and on either side sheep stir in dew covered fields. For the second time in as many days I watch as the dawn light seeps over the adjacent Lakeland hills and grows ever brighter. It's different though. Yesterday's dawn was soaked in anticipation, nerves and a need to deliver. Today's has a glow of satisfaction, the reminders of a great day in the hills, of a good job well done, of splits that were met, beaten, smashed and of a Shepherd’s Hand that was shook in the glorious sunshine of a May afternoon.



A day of great chat and many laughs and the only minor drama being when we cantered through Styhead with the resupply team still ten minutes down the valley (oops!) but the quick thinking and selfless legs of two supporters ensured that all was right by Black Sail. I could bore you with a pile of stats, of lines taken but it was simply a day when the hard work paid off, the legs sung, the gods smiled and with the help of some great friends a required sub 15 became a 12.22. A day to treasure in years to come. Thank you to all that made it possible.

Leg 1 (photo: Jules Coleman)



Approaching Greendale Bridge (photo:Paula Furnival)

With Joss (photo: Carol Morgan)


Greendale Bridge (photo: Paula Furnival)