> Bob Graham Round: Jane Grundy

Monday 29th May 2000

After 2 attempts last year which were both sabotaged by increasingly horrendous weather in the Bowfell region, the obvious resolution for 2000 was to get the BGR ticked once and for all. I hope my support team will forgive me, therefore, for delaying by 24 hours at the last minute in order to try to make the best of the weather forecast. It certainly worked in the end.

Midnight arrived and we set off at a steady pace out through Keswick. As we progressed up Skiddaw the lights of Keswick faded until we were in the mist at about 2400ft. My legs were feeling a little sluggish at this point, probably as a result of the huge quantities of pasta eaten over the last couple of days. John and Jeremy did a great job of feeding and watering me. We came off Skiddaw a little too early and ended up slipping down the greasy scree slopes onto the Hare Crag spur. Undeterred we continued and took a guided tour of Hare Crag before arriving at the Cumbria Way. Onwards up Great Calva without incident, my legs were just beginning to warm up but little did they know what was in store!. Blencathra saw a very heavy shower, which lasted all the way up and it also became a little cold at this point. Once on the summit, Hall's Fell ridge was greasy but the top bit was avoided on the grass at the side.

Off up Clough Head, munching a sandwich as I had cut short my road stop. I was wondering how to harness Nick and Wayne at this point as they shot off into the sunrise. My legs were by now beginning to get the message that something big was going on and they should start moving, which they duly did once over Clough Head. Excellent navigation meant not a second was lost over the ridge. Fairfield proved tough, but I had in my head those immortal words of advice 'Just keep going' and soon enough we were there. Arrival at Dunmail, though a few minutes late, saw a shoe change and porridge – what more could a woman want??

I could tell from the moment we left Dunmail we were on a mission on this leg. My pacers had made it their target to chip away steadily at those lost minutes and skilfully reduced my deficit by a minute per peak. Soon we were jogging to Rossett Pike where I was actually ahead of schedule! This continued and I was feeling good, making up considerable time as I went along. My major psychological barrier of Bowfell came and went, in beautiful weather, and 13 minutes up on schedule. An inane grin seemed to affix itself to my mouth. I knew I was only half way round and there was a long way to go, but here was the first time that I started to dare to hope that it was, just maybe, within grasp on this third attempt. Joe Faulkner had come up to meet us on Esk Pike and ran to Wasdale. Broad Stand was executed in a manner which a beached whale would have been hard pushed to beat for style. Wasdale 20 minutes early – things were looking and feeling good!

All good things have to come to an end and Yewbarrow did its best. I really struggled with this one – it felt like I was trying to scale an overhanging rock face without a rope. Every time I put one foot in front of the other I seemed to slip backwards. I felt sick and very tired. Once again the pacers were great and enormously patient – and though still up on time I had lost quite a bit there. The rest of the section went ok, although I could gradually feel myself getting more tired, until Kirk Fell. Once again that overhanging wall seemed to appear. I had to follow Lewis, one very small step after another, not looking up. At the top of the gully I was given what seemed to be a caffeine overdose, but it worked and I went onto Gable feeling considerably better but still a little wobbly. Got to Honister still happy, still up on time, but considerably more tired than at Wasdale!

Leg 5 was enjoyable, the highlight being the sunset from Robinson which was absolutely stunning – we even took a few minutes for photos here. The last descent was very hard work - it took all three pacers to almost manhandle me down the small rocky steps off Robinson as my brain had stopped sending out signals a long time ago and any form of co-ordination had deserted me. A quick change into road shoes at Newlands and onwards. This proved not too bad, as I had been dreading it. There were lots of people around, all encouraging me and feeding me yet more food. Even more people in Keswick to see me finish which was great. A short hill rep saw me arrive at the Moot Hall at 23.25hrs precisely, inane grin still attached!

My most sincere thanks go to my support team both on and off the fell: John Armstrong, Jeremy Barker, Malcolm Bird, Joe Faulkner, Nick Harris, Denis Lucas, Dave McDonough, Wayne Percival, Mike Sadula, Jim Sherlock, Gill and Gavin Taylor, Ruth Taylor, Brian Nelson and of course my youngest supporter, 3 week old Robert Taylor-Nelson.

Not least for his constant encouragement and belief in me, and especially for the survival techniques employed on Kirk Fell, without which success would have been in doubt, my husband and greatest friend, Lewis.

Jane Grundy Bob Graham Schedule - 29 May 2000
Midnight Start
Section Keswick - Threlkeld
(14.2 miles 5360ft)
  Schedule Actual Time Difference Pacers
Keswick Moot Hall 0 0 0 John Armstrong
Jeremy Barker
Skiddaw 1.25 1.26 1
Great Calva 2.16 2.26 10
Blencathra 3.26 3.53 27
Threlkeld 3.57 4.30 33
3hrs 57 mins
4hrs 30mins
Section Threlkeld - Dunmail
(15.75miles 6400ft)
  Schedule Actual Time Difference Pacers
Leave Threlkeld 4.07 4.35 28 Dave McDonough
Wayne Percival
Nick Harris
Clough Head 5.06 5.25 19
Great Dodd 5.36 5.53 17
Watson Dodd 5.45 6.02 17
Stybarrow Dodd 5.54 6.12 18
Raise 6.12 6.28 16
White Side 6.2 6.35 15
Helvellyn Lower Man 6.33 6.5 17
Helvellyn 6.43 6.58 15
Nethermost Pike 6.56 7.14 18
Dollywaggon Pike 7.05 7.21 16
Fairfield 7.43 8.01 18
Seat Sandal 8.18 8.28 10
Dunmail Raise 8.33 8.43 10
4hrs 26mins
4hrs 8mins
Section Dunmail-Wasdale
(18.9 miles 7400ft)
  Schedule Actual Time Difference Pacers
Leave Dunmail 8.48 8.54 6 Denis Lucas
Malcolm Bird
Steel Fell 9.13 9.19 6
Calf Crag 9.33 9.38 5
High Raise 10.08 10.12 4
Sergeant Man 10.17 10.18 1
Thunacar Knot 10.32 10.31 -1
Harrison Stickle 10.42 10.38 -4
Pike O'Stickle 10.54 10.51 -3
Rossett Crag 11.39 11.31 -8
Bowfell 12.14 12.01 -13
Esk Pike 12.39 12.23 -16
Great End 13.04 12.47 -17
Ill Crag 13.19 13.02 -17
Broad Crag 13.29 13.13 -16
Scafell Pike 13.41 13.26 -15
Scafell 14.13 13.57 -16
Wasdale Head 14.48 14.33 -15
5hrs 39mins
Section Wasdale-Honister
(13.5 Miles 7200ft)
  Schedule Actual Time Difference Pacers
Leave Wasdale 15.03 14.42 -21 Lewis Grundy
Mike Sadula
Yewbarrow 15.53 15.39 -14
Red Pike 16.43 16.26 -17
Steeple 17.08 16.45 -23
Pillar 17.42 17.17 -25
Kirk Fell 18.32 18.15 -17
Great Gable 19.15 18.58 -17
Green Gable 19.28 19.12 -16
Brandreth 19.46 19.27 -19
Grey Knotts 19.54 19.36 -18
Honister Pass 20.07 19.52 -15
5hrs 4mins
5hrs 10mins
Section Honister-Keswick
(12.1 miles 2150ft)
  Schedule Actual Time Difference Pacers
Leave Honister 20.19 20.04 -15 Lewis Grundy
John Armstrong
Jim Sherlock
Dale Head 20.55 20.41 -14
Hindscarth 21.2 21.02 -18
Robinson 21.5 21.32 -18
Keswick Moot Hall 23.35 23.25 -10
  Total 3hrs 16mins Total 3hrs 19mins    

Jane Grundy

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