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.

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.

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