Friday, 13 November 2009

Fell running

The sport of fell-running rarely makes the news unless there's some sort of 'disaster' to report such as the 2008 OMM - The Original Mountain Marathon*. Joss, the recent biography of Joss Naylor, generally considered Britain's greatest fell runner, received scant attention in the mainstream press, while great endurance races such as the Fellsman (61 miles over rugged moorland in under 24 hours) are almost totally ignored.

Over the years though, there have been a number of profiles and features that give a glimpse of just what amazing feats of stamina participants of the sport perform. The most famous race, albeit against the clock, is the Bob Graham Round in the English Lake District. Named after a Keswick guest-house proprietor, on June 13 1932, Graham climbed 42 peaks, 28,500 feet of ascent and covering a distance of 74 miles, in less that 24 hours. The following picture appeared the day after:

Chris Brasher, former Observer sports editor and founder of the London Marathon, took part in an attempt in August 1977:

One of the runners accompanying Brasher was Charlie Ramsay who, in July 1978, made the first circuit of the Scottish Lochaber mountains (24 Munros - mountains over 3,000 feet) in a single day - subsequently called Ramsay's Round. Read more about this amazing feat on Charlie's site.

* For a detailed explanation of how the media had problems reporting this, see Robin Askwith's report in the Independent.

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