Losing my innocence on Wainwrights’ fells

It was a late-October day in 2003 when I climbed my first Wainwright fell. Not that I knew at the time. Not that I cared. I was among a group of five university friends, who – without the benefit of a map – had crawled up the side of Lingmell. I forged ahead and summited alone, unwittingly…

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….

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…

Bob Graham round recce – day 2

My right ankle began hurting in the Borrowdale Hotel as we recovered (and rehydrated) from our six-hour effort in the fells. By the following morning, the pain had magnified. Something felt badly damaged. We were all in a similarly sorry state, comparing sore ankles, feet, knees and quads. Sensibly, we took the day off running,…

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…