For more information about up and coming cross country fixtures and other news see the latest newsletter hot off the press.
On Sunday June 13th 1932 a guest house owner from Keswick went for a long run in the Lake District hills. He had planned to go the weekend before, but bad weather had made him postpone it by a week.
The run was to celebrate his 42 birthday. Leaving Keswick Town Hall at 1.00 am he was joined by a couple of friends on different parts of the run. The weather was fine, with good visibility. Following a clockwise route he ran over 42 of the Lake District hills, and arrived back at Keswick Town Hall (now known as the Moot Hall) at 00.39 hrs on Monday the 14th June.
His name was Bob Graham.
The route he took covered about 74 miles and 29000ft of climbing and descending. It would be 1960 before this feat would be repeated by Alan Heaton of Clayton le Moors Harriers. During the following decades the number of people who completed the round within the 24 hour time limit grew from a trickle to a couple of dozen or more each year. At present there are probably about 1300 people who have completed the round.
Times have become faster since 1960. Billy Bland set a record of 13.53 in 1982. Mark Hartell attempted to break this record in 1999, but only managed 14.54 to record the second ever fastest time. While some went for fast rounds, others seeking a more severe challenge added more miles, more climbing and more peaks to the round. While not able to break the record for speed Mark Hartell does hold the record for the most number of peaks with an amazing 77. You can check out his schedules on Macclesfield Harriers website.
The rules for completing the standard round are fairly simple. It should start and finish at the Moot Hall in Keswick, take less than 24 hrs, and for an attempt to be recorded there should be a witness to confirm that you have visited each summit. The route can be attempted either clockwise or anti clockwise. There have been endless arguments over the years, usually in a pub, as to which way is best, and the best time of day to start. There is still no agreement. Anti clockwise used to be most popular in the early days, but in more recent years almost every one goes clockwise, the same way as Bob Graham. (more…)
You would have had to travel far from Moffat last Saturday to find a finer group of athletes. Stout of heart and strong of leg, 23 of the best Scotland could provide (well, on that day anyway) met at Corehead Farm for the annual Devil’s Beeftub race.
Race HQ was expertly managed by Willie Gibson under a tent like contraption, and for the exchange of 2 coins of the realm, which are probably worthless now, a number was issued and details entered on the race HQ database (a laptop).
A 15 minute trek led through the fields to the start area, while the mist and drizzle intensified. Low clouds swirled round the upper slopes, and if this place is not haunted then it should be. A very eerie place to be.
Race supremo Gibson explained the course to the race virgins. Up there and down over there, and the bit in between is obvious. No doubt once upon a time they used to sacrifice virgins in these parts, but that is just so 20th Century. Now they just go hill running.
And so to the start. It was decided this year to go for a Le Mans style start this year, with all competitors holding on to the fence, not electrified I hasten to add. One thought crosses my mind – it looks a lot steeper than last year.
The starter’s gun – well he just shouts ‘go’ – starts the race, and optimum or even maximum speed is just about reached by the end of the 20 yards of level ground. The 60 or 70 degree slope rapidly arrests forward speed. Upward speed exceeds forward speed. There is serious risk of having your fingers trodden on by the runner in front as you hang onto rushes growing on the hillside to help pull yourself up the slope. After about 5 minutes the gradient starts to ease, and the road appears. About 400 yards of horizontal distance has been covered. (more…)
The Scottish Junior Home International Trials take place this Sunday (September 21st) at Bonaly, Edinburgh.
There was great support for the final race of the series on Wednesday 10th September. Despite the hideously soggy evening, a total of 74 runners turned out for a quick 2 lap blast of the mile circuit. A highly competitive race (in both the mens & womens categories) was made much more “interesting” by the need for tight cornering in the wet – fortunately (as far as I’m aware), there were no accidents, although there may have been a few incidents…
Very few Edinburgh AC runners in evidence on the night, although Roger Alsop was 6th & Jenny MacLean 2nd lady. For some reason, there were a very large number of brown vests on display!
These events are really well organised, fun & friendly. I’m only sorry I didn’t make it along to more over the course of the summer. Look out for the 2009 series from May onwards
If you want to see photos from recent competitions try the following websites. Some allow copies to be used freely, others will charge you for a printed copy.
Photos by Rob Cleat -
Photos by Willie Lyall -
UK Young Athletes League Final
UK Junior League Final
National Junior League Final – Grand Prix, Derby 14 September 2008
Following on from last week’s 4th place in the UK Young Athletes League Final, Team Edinburgh (the Under 20 age group from Edinburgh AC, Lasswade and Corstorphine) were not to be outdone and also managed a very impressive 4th place in the National Junior League Final in Derby.
Although there was only one ‘A’ string winner, Garry McKay in the Long Jump, the events were well covered with only 2 gaps and good performances throughout the range of events.
There was a total of 21 best performances – a great way to end the season.
In the National Junior League Grand Prix for individual athletes, Sarah Warnock who had qualified from performances earlier in the season in the NJAL finished in 4th place out the 8 athletes who qualified for the final.
On the day Sarah competed in the 100m, Long Jump and Triple Jump.
Congratulations to all the athletes and thanks to all coaches, officials and parents for your support throughout the season.
Team Edinburgh results below; full results available on www.nationaljuniorathleticleague.co.uk
|Blackheath & Bromley||1||504|
|Enfield & Haringey||2||477.5|
|Sale Harriers, Manchester||6||377.5|
|Windsor, Slough, Eton, H||7||349.5|
Paralympic Games – Beijing
Congratulations to Libby Clegg who won the women’s T12 100m silver medal in the Paralympic Games in Beijing after a brilliant personal best performance for Team GB, racing to a time of 12.51s for second place, behind Ukraine’s Oxana Boturchuk (12.38s).
In yesterday’s heats Libby, who is coached by Bob Moxey, improved on her previous best, clocking 12.71s to win her heat and to progress to the semi-finals as one of the fastest qualifiers. In the semi finals she went even faster (12.69s) to go into today’s final with the third fastest time.