Bob Graham Round & Other fell challenges

To provide some balance to the (albiet humorous) anarchy taking place on the Candy Ollier thread bearing this title, I though I'd start up a semi-serious thread for those contemplating this or any other of the well known fell challenges (ie: Paddy Buckley, Cullin Ridge, Welsh 1000's, Bradfield Boundary, Joss Naylor, etc,.)

By "Serious" I mean tips, experiences, gear, requests for support, pacers, information etc,.

If you want to take the p*ss, pick a fight, or whatever please go next door - plenty of room for fun in there - Please don't stomp all over this thread with tri v fell v ultra bickering, its intended for anyone who has a genuine interest.

So post away: My starter for 10 is a couple of info sites

For the Bob Graham try here:-

And for the Bradfield Boundary here:-



  • don't all rush then ¦oD
  • I'll be asking for help in about another 12 months or so:) Going to try some cross country this year, assuming I can get running that is.
  • Im tooscared of falling over to be a serious contender here
    but bloody respect to you all

    Ive only postedcos ive tried lyke wake twice and failed once
  • that mean you succeded once. Always end on a positive note.
  • I'm try the Welsh 3000ers next year. Any tips would be appreciated.
  • smiffy you crack me up mate!
  • Nigel

    I think that Boy Wonder has done the Welshes.


    Lyke Wake is a serious challenge - certainly one that merits inclusion in the opening post (I just put down the first few that came into my head). As for falling over - well where do you think its called "fell" running :-))
  • Can I just lurk please? I promise to try not to ask any really silly questions...

    ...and I'm not in the same league as you serious nutters, but plan to do the BG circuit over three days when time and training permit.
  • and the queen said, "them's all well and good, but I said 'ping pong balls' not 'king kong's balls'"
  • I'd really like to do the BG round. My dad did it eons ago and got round in 21 hrs something. He wasn't running marathon distances prior to really starting training but was running 1.30 half maras on a regular basis. He also spent lots and lots of weekends up in the lakes running parts of the route and running bits in the dark. Seems to work for him
    My boy'f and i are thinking abot doing it in 3 days next year too. I think the best way to do it is to go anti clockwise and cover Robinson, Hindscarth, dale head down to honister and then the gables, pillar steeple and yewbarrow and down to wast water the 1st day. But not sure. I was thinking that it might be best to to the Helvellyn and Doods part together witht he Blencathera, Skidaw and Gt Calva together but apparently that bit is not as short or as easy as it 1st seems.
    How were yout hinking abotu doing it Velociraptor? Will you run it (well as much as you can when your flogging up a 3000ft peak) or walk it? What kind of training are you going to put in?
  • I live in the lakes, and after i've completed some marathons, (fastest just sub 4) i thought i'd like to have a go at a BGR :)

    The breakdown of distance and pace required seemed quite reasonable ;)

    - then i started fell running (as opposed to running on hilly off road routes)and the more i run or race on the fells, the more respect i gain for anyone attempting (never mind completing) a BGR!!!!

    I'd still like to have a go one day, but want to get a few years on the fells under my belt first.

    Will follow thread with interest :)
  • Nice pic Stickinthemud :-))

    If you already live in the lakes then you'll have a head start on most of us !!

    For what its worth (and its probably not much) I'd say the approach of doing it over several days is a good first step. there are some natural breaking points, and its possible to enjoy it rather than worrying about schedules.

  • I agree i think getting a feel for the route in your own time is a good plan, part of the reason for wanting to do it that way. And to determin whether the route you took was the best, as i believe there are quicker ways up or down things (such as onto sca fell).
  • The problem with things like the BGR is it harder to motivate yourself to get out there and do it than it is something that is a fixed date event/race.

    Alot easier to chuck yourslef at a race and be in with a load of others in a simaler predicament, all the mental crutches that an event give you are stripped away on a BGR type challenge.

    its just you and your support crew and the fells. Sorta like doing a really traumatic and hideously difficult Training run I guess.

  • People I know who have completed the BGR (within the 24 Hour cut off) say pretty much the same thing, 'tell yourself that at times, you need to treat it as a fast walk'.
  • Its the only effective way to do it. No amount of studying maps or photo's will substitute for the reality of actually being there on the ground.

  • surely someone who can map read, use a gps and is fit and motivated enough can finish it though? is learning the route really the only effective way?
  • Wouldnt using a GPS be cheating?
  • As most of the navigation is traditionally done by the support team, i'd say a GPS wouldn't necessarily be cheating, although it probably grates a bit with the whole 'ideology' of fell running. ;)

    I'll repeat the quote from the BGR website i'd also posted on the other thread: "He (Bob Graham) believed that anyone fit and well prepared could do the same round" - and to me that's what the challenge is all about - those who have done it don't need to bragg about it or tell others they can't do it, they know just what they've achieved.

    There's a fab report on the website about somebody who took up the challenge at short notice ( - JOHN RYE) so it can be done.

    It has one of my favourite quotes in there: "So what have we learned by doing the Bob Graham? If something's set up as a challenge then it probably is: under-estimate it at your peril. If you're determined to do something, and tenacious in holding to that intent, there is probably no limit to what you can actually do, provided your body does not fail. The best challenges or tests are those which could be failed; the fear of failure, public or private, adds a certain frisson to the effort. "
  • Perhaps someone who was clever enough and had done their homework could possibly give it a good go without recce -ing. They'd need to have very good powers of visualisation though to transfer what they saw on the map to what they saw on the ground. However I wouldn't say that it was impossible. Similarly I wouldn't have a problem with use of a gps - if thats what someone wanted to do. Its good safe technology - if somewhat expensive.

    I agree with everything you say stickinthemud. It is and was an intensly personal challenge, and learning the route was part of how I wanted to do it - others may wish to follow a different route - and the best of luck to them, but for me just being out there was part of the joy of it.
  • I have to be honest and say I'd quite like a few guides when I do it. For me the challenge is doing it not reading the map.
  • Lovely thread fellrunner, I'm joining.

    (hello Vrap, let me know when you come up)

    Seems a coincidence because only this week a few people have suggested I might have a go at the BGR next year. I'm thinking about it, especially the timing. Not sure I've got enough of the long fell races under my belt yet and a season doing those would be good preparation.

    I fall into the camp of those who want to 'earn' it by knowing each section well before I attempt it. It's not something just to 'tick off', that said support from experienced navigators would be a bonus. Also reccying each leg with someone who knows it really well and knows all the little corners you can cut that add up to considerably more over the distance. The terrain varies so much I'd think it's essential to know each part just to know what to expect.

    Talked to a guy the other day who'd trained doing each half, he didn't recommend this approach saying that he was so wrecked after doing half it just made it harder mentally to do the whole round!

    Nigel, I did the Welsh 3's a couple of years ago, it was an amazing experience. We left a stash of food & spare clothes half way around (at Ogwen), set off at 2 am and did Snowdon & Grib Goch by moonlight. Took best part of 14 hours in the end! Top tip: tape up the balls your feet, I remember the blisters!

    Don't get me started on the GPS debate!
  • Thanks Scar Runner,

    My friend and I are wondering whether it's best to do the extra distance like you did, or go up Snowdon the night before and bivvy up there and then drop off the sleeping bag, etc. at a strategically-placed car in the Pass.
  • I know what you mean about these electronic gizmos not being so robust. I generally carry a mobile when I'm out either working on the fells or training. I also carry my grandads old police whistle. Guess which one survived my little trip down the mineshaft ?? :-))

  • I'd also be interested to hear from anyone who's ever attempted the Cullin Ridge. Now there's a grandaddy of a challenge if ever I saw one....
  • Am I wrong in saying that I would happy for someone to do all the arranging and then run alongside for 70+ miles.

    Don't get me wrong, I wil sort out my own challenge but if the times were right I would join someone elses to take advantage of the organisation etc. ..

    judge .... ?
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