I find that in the running community, one of the most commonly talked about topics is shockingly, running. One of the most frequently asked questions I seem to get is ‘so, what’s next, anything planned?’ to which my usual answer is no, not really. I don’t often plan events far in advance, and tend to go where the mood strikes me, so here’s a brief insight into ‘What Fiona Did Next’
Many have heard of the Bob Graham Round, who devised a route across 42 Lakeland Fells and was (wait for it) 42 at the time. Over the years, others (including Geoff) have felt that this is not sufficient and added extra fells on, to mark the passing of their extra years. A few weeks before my 28th birthday, I decided that 28 sounded just about doable and could be nicely contained into a circuit around Ullswater, beginning and ending at Pooley Bridge.
The original birthday plan had been to complete the Abraham Tea Round with Elaine and Nina, but with Elaine having a bad knee, and Nina sensibly opting for a run out with Jan I set off on a solo mission to count down 28 completely arbitrary summits on a clear, crisp winter morning.
I began with Gowbarrow Fell, before heading up onto the Helvellyn ridge, right along to the High Street ridge, and back along the over Loadpot Hill. My headtorch went on just before the last summit, Arthur’s Pike and I even passed a few walkers just afterwards who looked like they too had been out for a rather long day. I stopped into the shop in Pooley Bridge before leaving, and the friendly shopkeeper asked what I’d been up to – I think I looked a bit tired – ‘over to Helvellyn’ – I’m not sure he realised I’d been there on foot!
The whole route took me around 9.5 hours and was around 40 miles, with 11,000 ft of climbing (I think, my watch ran out of battery at about 9 hours and 36 miles somewhere above Ullswater). Summits included Wainwrights, Hewitts and Birketts (Every Wainwright is a Birkett and a Hewitt, but not every Hewitt and Birkett is a Wainwright…)