Pupils & Staff Support Record-Breaking Run

Report written by Head of Year 10, Mr Seddon-Roberts

It’s 4am in Threlkeld Cricket Club car park and Joe and Sam (Evans Year 12) and Mr Seddon-Roberts are watching two headtorch lights bobbing their way down Halls Fell ridge on Blencathra. They are awaiting the competitors of the inaugural edition of ‘The Cumbrian’, a 352km race across fells, lakes and mountain passes. The challenge is to complete:

Frog Graham (distance: 64km, climbing: 4750m, fell running and swim across 4 lakes),

Bob Graham Round (distance: 106km, climbing: 8230m, fell running 42 Lakes District  summits in under 24 hours) and

Fred Whitton (distance: 182km, climbing: 3950m, cycling in under 12 hours)

Over 3 consecutive days with only 3 hours rest in between each challenge. The challenge is being taken on by Tim Jenner and Kirk Wadsworth, former colleagues of Mr Seddon-Roberts, with the aim of raising £10,000 for 3 charities: Jigsaw (Cumbria’s Children’s Hospice), Keswick Mountain Rescue Team and Brathay Trust.

The morning begins on a sour note, as the team learn that Tim has retired with an injured knee. Undeterred, Kirk is pushing on and he is one of the two headtorches the boys spot coming off Blencathra. With the Sedberghians loaded up with supplies for Kirk, Joe on energy drinks, Sam on water and Mr Seddon-Roberts lead navigator, they head up the steep ascent to Clough Head following a short pit stop in the car park. Kirk is in good spirits despite having been on the move for most of the last 24 hours and enjoys getting to know Joe and Sam including finding out about their epic 3 Peaks Yacht race experience.

A better morning could not have been selected as clear, blue skies and a glorious sunrise accompany the team across the Dodds. Every 30 minutes Kirk’s alarm buzzes which calls Joe and Sam into action as they pass on the food and drink that he asks for. Following the Dodds, the running is good and Helvellyn is reached, approximately half way and the highest point on this leg. A bank of mist awaits the remainder of the run as the blue skies disappear and visibility is reduced to 50 metres. Kirk is in good shape and after a tough climb up the notorious Fairfield, he flies off on the descent, zigzagging down the scree path using his poles like a slalom skier – Joe and Sam have no problem keeping up though. The final summit is Seat Sandal and after descending out of the mist to Dunmail Raise, the supporters were relieved to get dry and warm in the car. Not for Kirk though, who continued on up Steel Fell in good spirits with still another 14-15 hours of fell running to go!

Kirk went on to complete his Bob Graham in 23 hours 53 minutes and the Fred Whitton in 11 hours 30 minutes – a superb achievement. Joe and Sam came away feeling inspired and Sam was even talking of a possible future attempt!

It is still possible to donate to these 3 fantastic causes: Donate | The Cumbrian (cumbrian22.co.uk)

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