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77 Year-old fell running legend offers runners the chance to help him complete missed run of 1964

by Press Release
Tuesday 21st May 2013

Fell running legend Joss Naylor, known as the King of the Fells amongst the running fraternity, is taking to the peaks of Cumbria again this summer in an attempt to complete a full series of runs in the Lake District Mountain Trial

Since its inception, in 1952, Joss has been a keen follower of the Trial, one of the longest and toughest fell races in the calendar. His enthusiasm, dedication and commitment, has seen him take part in a staggering 51, of the 52 Lake District Mountain Trials staged, since he first ran it in 1960.

And now, at an age when many would be forgiven for pursuing a more forgiving leisure activity, he aims to complete the route of 1964, which he failed to start due to injury.

Joss intends to complete his 52nd Trial on Friday 21st June, 2013, exactly 49 years to the day since the original 1964 race. The route starts at Glenridding and finishes at the Old Dungeon Ghyll, Langdale. There will be checkpoints at Red Tarn, Grisedale Tarn, Tarn at Leaves, Stake Beck and Angle Tarn.

The 16 mile route will see the septuagenarian climb an impressive 7,000ft through often difficult and dangerous terrain. Joss will also have to test his mountaineering ability, stamina and his navigational skills if he is to safely complete the challenge.

Whilst Joss sees the run as completing ‘unfinished business’, he’s also using the occasion to raise much needed funds for Brathay Trust, the Ambleside based national charity that improves the life chances of children and young people, by inspiring them to engage positively in their community.

To help him raise the cash Joss is appealing for four runners to join him on route. He’s looking for two runners to accompany him from Glenridding to Dunmail Raise and a further two to complete the run from Dunmail Raise to Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel. In return Joss is asking that interested individuals place an auction bid at:  http://goo.gl/MhI10

pend the day with MBE “legendary Cumbrian fell runner and sheep farmer” Joss Naylor

Photo © Val Corbett

The highest bidders, for this once in a lifetime opportunity, will then get the chance to run alongside their hero on what will be an unforgettable day.

Alternatively, if you feel that your body is incapable of surviving the rigorous nature of the challenge, but you would like to support Joss in his attempt, you can sponsor him by visiting his Just Giving page: http://www.justgiving.com/joss-naylor

Recalling his first experience of the Trial, in 1960, Joss said: “It was a real beautiful day. The committee had asked me to run but I said I couldn’t as I was just having my breakfast. I had no shoes or owt like. No shorts.”

They managed to persuade him to take part but his approach to the run was slightly unorthodox, as he explained: “I got my knife out and cut the legs of me trousers. About six inches above the knee. I put me big fell boots on and marched myself down to the start. I struggled with cramp later in the race but luckily there were two old ladies by a bridge having a picnic and they had a salt pot out. I just got a handful of salt and was moving a lot better after that.”

Despite the stamina sapping nature of the course Joss is sure to regale his lucky running companions with similarly fascinating anecdotes, from his time scaling the peaks of Cumbria.

Mark Bushell from Brathay Trust said: “Joss is an incredible man and it’s unlikely that anyone will ever better his achievements so I’m sure that there will be many runners out there who will be desperate to run alongside him. To dedicate this run to Brathay Trust shows that he’s not only passionate about all things running, but also about improving the life chances of children and young people.”

For a closer look at the King of the Fells check out this article (HERE)

For a closer look at the Lake District Mountain Trial check out this article (HERE)


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