Yesterday, along with several others, I supported Clare Holdcroft, a buxton runner, on her attempt to conquer the Bob Graham Round, a 65 miles circular route that takes in 42 of the highest points in the Lake District. In total it has approximately the same amount of accumulative height gain as Mount Everest, and is mostly off-road.
It was an absolute privilege to witness Clare running and be part of her tremendous journey, al be it for 3 out of the 5 sections, and I have to say that I am truly inspired by the whole experience. Apart from he obvious display of super human endurance, everyone in the support team (whether running or checkpoint support) where totally focused on Clare and her well being, carrying her food, equipment, water and making sure that she didn’t have to worry about navigation.
There’s 4 weeks to go till the start of Barefoot Le Jog, and to have this as training and experience, is priceless, but I’m going to stop spoiling the whole thing through my clumsy use of words and let the pictures speak for themselves.
If you have ever wandered why I, or anyone else, would choose to run for hours on end through the wilderness, then look no further than these images.
Clare after the first leg of the BGR, having a quick break.
Break over and it was time to set off.
The first climb of leg 2 begins.
The sun shortly after sunset.
First big climb done and en route to the next peak
Several peaks later and as we approached the first peak of leg 3 the sun began its rise.
Pre sunrise light.
Temperature inversion in the valley bellow.
Almost time to remove the head torches. The sun had a little surprise for us.
The sky beginning to catch fire.
Sunrise and the sky over the Lake District explodes into colour.
A brief respite from climbing and just enough time to enjoy this.
Another peak bagged
hiding the seriously suspicious looking zip-lock bag of Tailwind Nutrition
Navigation cairns. Although, with Kirsty and Mandy at the helm, these weren’t really of any use.
Lord’s Rake, AKA “really?! After 40 miles this is the best route?”
getting ready for his second leg of support by drying out socks and shoes.