BG 2026 21st June @ 18:45
It’s very early for these things but the obvious date for 2024 is 21st June
The camp site seems OK to host us next year and I have heard no more about the problems at Keswick. It is usual to start getting involved about Christmas time so anyone interested in making the challenge should get in toutch about then.
Meanwhile a bit of reading
BG Club announcement
The worldwide Covid-19 pandemic is affecting all our lives. It is understandable that as fell runners we seek “release” through our sport. However fell running does not exist in isolation, self or otherwise, and we need to consider any knock-on effects of what we do. All fell racing in the UK is on hold for the foreseeable future, partly due to gatherings of large numbers of people and partly the risk from those people travelling from and returning to different communities.
The UK government appears to be taking a “ramped” response to the pandemic allowing the population time to adjust to each measure. We have no way of knowing how far they intend to take this process or what any future restrictions might be or how well they will be enforced. At the time of writing (19th March 2020) the government recognises physical activity as being beneficial and is not being viewed as “non-essential”.
The Lake District Mountain Rescue Teams have issued a statement about emergency coverage in the weeks and months ahead – acting within your abilities and experience will substantially lessen any risks. In the 49 years of the Bob Graham Club there have been, to our knowledge, only two Mountain Rescue call-outs for contenders either reccying the Round or on an actual attempt. That is an exemplary record but as investment adverts state: “past performance is no guarantee of the future”. For the Bob Graham Round this would mean avoiding Broad Stand and Lord’s Rake/West Wall Traverse and taking particular care on the rocky ground between Rossett Pike and Scafell Pike.
For the moment the Club recommends postponing any attempt but will accept any successful attempt that takes place should that individual decide to go ahead. In this instance we would recommend the absolute minimum of supporters/pacers and that all members of the attempt have sufficient fell experience. However should travel restrictions be imposed or outdoor activities be banned by the government we will not recognise attempts after the date of introduction of any such restrictions.
“The mountains will always be there. The trick is to make sure you are.”
Start 18:45 Leave camp 18:00
Threlkeld 22:37 Ready 22:00 Leave camp 9:30
Dunmail 3:39 Ready 3:00 Leave camp 2:30
Wasdale 10:11 Ready 9:30 Leave camp 8:00 (do not underestimate how long it takes to drive there)
Honister 15:26 Ready 14:00 Leave camp 13:30
Can prospective contenders please note the following:
The goal of DPFR with regards to the BG has always been to help the maximum number of people who want to complete the round. The club has been very successful in achieving this. Due to the large number of people involved we have to set a fixed date and time and stick to it. This means running in whatever weather and with whoever is there. There have been a few issues coming from the 2013 attempt where five people successfully completed the round in pretty poor conditions. This is a great credit to all involved but requires a great effort from a large number of individuals. To make things clearer to all, I am proposing a few guidelines (we do not have rules) –
- All candidates should ideally let me (Richard H) know around January if they are proposing to run. This doesn’t have to be public knowledge at this time and it doesn’t have to be a definite intention, but it is when you need to start taking your training seriously.
- Limiting numbers to eight. We just have to keep a lid on the size of the event; if you want to run, contact early and plan your round – do not wait and see.
- Everyone who is running should have made their final decisions about a month before the run. We should discourage ‘tag-a-longers’ even if we cannot stop people following us; and we will always help anyone found in need on the hills.
- Supporters are there to help with navigation, help carry and cajole, not carry everything. Contenders should still manage themselves and carry some of the smaller needier items with them at all times. Supporters absolutely must carry the basic kit of map compass food and spare clothing and be capable of getting themselves off the hills and back to camp without anyone worrying about them.
- The longest leg is 6 hrs. The maximum you can expected to eat is approximately 50 gms an hour, so 300 grams add a bit and we are still only at 500 gms. Supporters should be able to carry some of the food, hat/gloves, waterproofs etc. when they are not required over longer periods, but not everything.
- Other items such as poles seem to cause problems. They are difficult for supporters to carry, they do not inspire confidence and are potentially dangerous to others, particularly when in use by tired people; they are of questionable value.
- It is helpful that candidates are known to each other and to the supporters. While accepting that everyone will not be known to everyone else. If the contenders are at least known early, then communal training can be more easily organised see the Facebook page. If you all know each other you will know each person’s strengths and weaknesses and be more inclined to share the common goals of getting all the contenders round.
As the goal of the Dark Peak attempt is to get as many round as possible there is one darker aspect that has to be tackled. That is when contenders are running over time. It has long been held that on our 18:45 start, 16:30 is the latest it is reasonable to leave Honister. I think we need to make a firmer cut off at Wasdale. There is inevitably more variables at this stage, but I would suggest 11:00 is the latest time that the round can be recovered from unless there are strong reasons to expect a better pace.
The contenders also need to share the effort to recruit supporters. Eight people over five legs is forty people at one supporter on each leg, but frequently two supporters are needed. This adds up to a lot of people. The supporters should however always be capable of looking after themselves. There have been numerous incidents in the past where supporters have lost the group, all of whom have so far fortunately resolved their own problems. The supporters should also be prepared to support anyone who is in need, and not necessarily stick dogmatically to some prior support plan.
As it is hoped that the club will run BG attempts into the future, it is important to keep fresh blood coming into the round and also to develop the skills of existing supporters. It is therefore inevitable that inexperienced runners will be out on the hills. The intention will be to keep these people spread and match their skills to the needs of the day. We must always be tolerant of inexperience, but would also recommend that inexperienced supporters and contenders consider taking advantage of one or more of the navigation, first aid and mountain skills courses that the club put on from time to time.
For further info, contact Richard Hakes email