Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon 2012

Having given mountain marathons a wide berth for years, I finally ran my first – the Saunders Lakeland – over the weekend. My running partner, Marc, and I, ran for 11 hours, 18 minutes, covered at least 28 miles and ascended and descended some 2500 metres. In those 11-plus hours we crossed a mere two…

Bob Graham Round – SUCCESS!

Moot Hall, Keswick, 1am. We were off, darting through a ginnel, away from town, destined for the invisible summit of Skiddaw. No fanfare, no cheering crowds, no fuss. Only a handful of late-night revellers enjoying the dying embers of a Jubilee night-out. Low-key, yes, but as the well-worn proverb goes: from humble beginnings come great…

Bob Graham – 52 hours and counting

My Bob Graham Round attempt is almost upon me. In around 52 hours, at 1am on Sunday, I will set off from Moot Hall in Keswick, before proceeding up the moonlit (hopefully) slopes of Skiddaw. And thereafter? Some 60-plus miles, 42 summits, 27,000ft of ascent and descent, returning to Keswick by dusk that evening. The prospect is tremendously exciting….

Bob Graham: 16 days to go – if there was ever a time NOT to be injured…

‘I have never heard anyone scream so loud…’ That was the physio talking. ‘Your legs are very stiff,’ she said, stressing the very, as she played a piano of wretchedly painful tendons behind my knee. I bellowed again, caught my breath and, ironically, couldn’t help but laugh at the torture. I have been living in fear all week,…

Bob Graham: three months and counting…

I intend to give this Bob Graham round malarkey a crack in early-June. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend seems an appropriate juncture. That’s less than three months away. Time is ticking dangerously fast. I’m not ready. Of course, I’m not ready. I’ll never be truly ready. Just as ready as I can be. Having said…

‘Tough little buggers’

The Bob Graham round has dominated the outdoors news this week. First US ultra-runner Nick Clark ran through atrocious weather to Wasdale before calling it a day. Then two members of Cockermouth mountain rescue team got all the way round with minutes to spare. The challenge set by Rob and I seemed meagre in comparison:…

Preparing to meet Bob

I am taking Askwithian advice when it comes to training for my Bob Graham round (pencilled in for spring 2012): ‘The only regimes that work are those that you can accommodate in your life.’ The question is, how much can I physically (and emotionally) accommodate? It is a gruelling undertaking training for a 70-mile run that involves thousands of…

Bob Graham musings

After emerging unscathed (and just a little bit weary) from the Lakeland Trails Marathon, I had the rest of the week to focus my athletic endeavours on the Bob Graham round. Not doing it, of course, but running the rule over various sections of the 60-odd mile route – and ultimately deciding whether such an undertaking is…

An enjoyable marathon, honestly

The potential for disaster was high. The day of the Lakeland Trails Marathon dawned hot and still; I’d had five hours sleep; my preparation over the previous months had been haphazard and ill-disciplined. Then I decided to run without any additonal food or water, therefore relying on the four water stations en route. It was…

Lakeland Trails Marathon

I’m inbound to the Lake District this weekend for the inaugural Lakeland Trails Marathon, a 26.2-mile circuit around Coniston Water, starting and finishing in Coniston village. Seeing as it’s the Lakes, Kendal Mint Cake will be handed out at water stations. The marathon route looks ever so pretty on the map: around Tarn Hows, across high…

Bob Graham round recce – day 1

The Bob Graham round hadn’t seemed real in London – a dot-to-dot run of Wainwrights, starting and finishing at The Moot Hall in Keswick. As we drove west along the A66 towards Keswick in darkness, rain and wind, the prospect became glaringly apparent. We were passing through Threlkeld, the end of the first of five…