THE challenge was to run 42 of the highest peaks in the Lake District within 24 hours.
So, congratulations go to Lawrence Friell of Drove Road, Langholm, who completed The 24-hour Bob Graham Round which is a 66-mile, 27,000-feet circuit.
Together with the Paddy Buckley Round (Wales) and the Ramsay Round (Scotland) the Bob Graham Round is one of the classic mountain challenges in the UK.
The route is named after Bob Graham (1889-1966), a Keswick guest-house owner who, in June 1932, broke the Lakeland Fell record by traversing 42 fells within 24 houra.
To participate, applicants must register with Bob Graham Club administrators before and after their attempt.
For safety and ethical reasons the club encourages the use of pacers who accompany the aspirant challenger throughout the round, aiding with navigation, carrying supplies and providing verification of summits reached.
In the spirit of the club many pacers are past participants who uphold the camaraderie of the event.
Following club tradition, Lawrence started and ended his round at the Moot Hall in Keswick, departing at 7pm last Friday.
He tackled the round in five stages, stopping briefly to refuel, change kit and switch pacer.
The day was not without incident, with one pacer ending up in Carlisle A&E, having torn his thumb during a fence crossing, and Lawrence’s satellite tracker stalling on stage four near Great Gable.
Lawrence received tremendous support from friends and family, including Matt, Mike, Martin, Clive, Chris and Mark who kept both his spirits and pace high.
Lawrence’s wife, Joanne, joined him for the final three-hour leg back into Keswick.
He reached the Moot Hall at 5.50pm last Saturday, achieving a time of 22 hours and 50 minutes.
In recent years the challenge has grown in popularity and the club registers about 150 to 250 annual attempts of the Round. The club cites success rates of one in three.
Spanish ultra-runner Kilian Jornet holds the men’s record of 12 hours, 52 minutes (July 7, 2018).
Jornet holds the fastest-known time for the ascent and descent of Matterhorn, Mont Blanc, Denali and Everest.
The women’s record is held by British ultra-runner Jasmin Paris (April 23 2016) who completed the round in 15 hours, 24 minutes. Jasmin holds the record for the women’s Spine Race along the 268-mile Pennine Way.
The six stages are Keswick to Threlkeld, Threlkeld to Dunmail, Dunmail to Wasdale, Wasdale to Honister, Honister to Newlands Hause and Newlands House to Keswick.