Sunday, May 17, 2009

Lakes 24

An attempt to repeat Chris Upson's 24 Marilyn Challenge, 75 miles, 28,000 feet, 25 hours

Helvellyn - one of the 24 tops

Chris Upson set this challenge in 2003, since when it hasn't been repeated.  I decided to change the route and to add a further top to extend the challenge if I had time.  The weather was really poor to begin with, but I ran well through the wind and rain, solo to begin with and then with support from High Street onwards.  However, the wind began to take it out of me, and I struggled in to the face of a head wind up St. Sunday Crag and Fairfield.  The wind didn't let up in the night and the mist came down, which made for a slow traverse of Grasmoor, whilst the thrash up and down Swinside in the dark was as I expected - pretty awful.  By Newlands I had lost a lot of time and more importantly energy.  The break of day didn't bring about renewed vigour and it began to slip away.  Food at Honister did revive me a bit, and for ten minutes I thought I might still make it, but it was not to be.  My body said 'no' and I experienced a severe bout of painful hiccups all the way up Gable.  By the top it was causing me considerable pain and I'd had enough, since I didn't think I could make it in time to Pillar.  So my attempt ended on Gable with just two summit to go.

Chris Upson's Challenge

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