The one with the Bob Graham
No not mine,im NOWHERE near strong enough or experienced to take on the mammoth task of ‘The Round’ i was supporting my friend and teammate on an attempt.
The bob Graham round is a 66 mile fell challenge taking in 42 of the lakes highest peaks with 27,000ft of climb, contenders must start and finish back at Moot hall in keswick within 24 hours.
The success rate of ‘The Round’ is around 30% ,many very good runners have been chewed up and spit out on those lakeland peaks!
I travelled up to Keswick early friday afternoon with my wife, to set up camp and prepare for the off at 18.45 Friday. I had two jobs on this attempt, Nav support on Leg 1 and then keep motivation high on leg 5 on Sat afternoon.
It was a real honour to be asked to both start and finish the round and i think i may of been more nervous than the contender!
We set off with a group from Dark peak fell runners who organise a group round every year,the logistics of which must almost be as hard as the round itself!
With being in a group setting i had little if any Nav to do,just double checking lines rather than following others blindly ,saying that it went without hitch.
Back to the campsite sleep was difficult as i was just so excited/nervous and kept checking my phone for updates.
In the morning it was off for breakfast with my wife and the two teammates who did leg 2 (perfectly i may add,and better than leg 1 they may add 😉 )
During breakfast we found out the contender was gaining ground on our predicted schedule and was around 40 mins up!
I then thought I better get to Honister pass which is the start of the final leg sooner rather than later!
Gear all packed we arrived at Honister just in time to see the Buttermere fell racers fly past us but before i knew it ,it was go time.
I was a little nervous of this section as although i had studied the route i hadn’t been up to recce it. my worries became unnecessary as the leg 5 nav guy was fantastic,not a single step out of place!
The final 10k of the round is on roads and we met up with support crew and teammates for a change of shoes and a trot back into Keswick!
Now i knew we were well up on time but obviously after moving for the best part of the day the contender had no idea,i just reminded them that everything was fine and not to worry unless the support crew started to pick up the pace ;).
Leg 5 was such a great experience the chaps on support really know how to lift spirits and i don’t think i have laughed so much in ages! this at heart is what the day was all about ,the contender described it perfectly in the week on facebook….
“See you all on Friday/Saturday. If nothing else we are going to have some craic on the fells”
I think that sums it up perfectly TBH.
The final 800 metres or so we were greeted by the site of a sea of our club vests and i don’t think there was a dry eye anywhere ( I have Hayfever,i’m not sure what was wrong with those soft nellys!!)
We agreed to let the contender run up main street alone and enjoy the moment of touching moot hall again and just to soak in the moment.
My wife was waiting and as always got some fantastic photos of the contender arriving at Moot hall the look of elation and exhaustion etched on her face!
That’s right,the Contender was my friend Fiona,Only the second person from our club and the first lady to complete the Bob Graham round ! (I hope there isn’t a near 25 year gap until the next attempt!)
Some people use the phrase ‘you run like a girl’ as an insult but you know what? if I could run like this one i would be bloody made up!!