Sunday, May 30, 2010
But this will make me slower
Stop the presses - hold the back page - drop the dead donkey.
Stu Stoddart has completed the Bob Graham Round in 21hrs 07 minutes!!!
Well done Cowboy, great achievement.
Saturday came far too early - 5am I was up. 6am left the house. 6:45 arrived at Keswick to be given a lift to Dunmail Raise where I was to meet Stu as he finished leg 2.
We didnt have long to wait as he was ahead of schedule and looking good as he lead his overnight pacers down off Seat Sandal. No sooner had he sat down than we were off again, the stiff climb of Steel Fell a tough opening
to this middle section of the round which includes Englands highest point. Stu had some trouble with cramp in his legs but despite this we stuck to the schedule he had prepared for himself, even knocking off a minute or two on occasional summits. The cramp must have gone away (or he just stopped moaning on a bout it) because when he was striding out up the gentle slopes he was really moving quite fast - certainly faster than I could comfortably walk and I was forced to do the odd little jog to keep up. The steep hills were a different matter and by Bowfell he was having a real bad spell. This was good for me as I finally had the opportunity to stop for a much needed 'call of nature' and also to search in my backpack for some food, then catch up again before the summit. The summit which incidentally he only 'lost' a couple of minutes despite the problems.
We encountered a problem at Broad Stand when Iain, our navigator and a skilled climber was unable to scale the rock to rig up a rope to assist mine and Stu's ascent. It was just too wet and greasy for Iain to get a firm enough handhold so he shouted down that we should forget this option. We had to lose a lot of height that then needed to be regained as we took the Foxes Tarn route. After this we dropped down thousands of feet to Wasdale, enjoying the climbing temperature's and improving views as we dropped out of the clag, riding the scree in the gullies
Wasdale is where I left Stu to carry on with his epic day. I was nowhere near as tired as I expected to be, and as ever, I pondered whether or not I could do the BGR myself one day.
This morning I made up for yesterdays early start by staying in bed for a total of 10 hours. I walked the dog long and then ran an easy 7 miles.
Another thrilling installment by Steve at 13:02