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The Double Bob: A Glorious Failure

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This is a blog about my Double Bob Graham Round.

Many people will have heard of Nicky Spinks’ amazing double round in 2016, and perhaps of Roger Baumeister’s previous round.


There are a few other lesser-known completions too, by Boyd Millen in 1977, and more recently Tom Hollins. There are some amazing stories in these - I am writing an article for the Fellrunner magazine looking at the people, their approach to the double, and how each one was different, but for now this is blog is about my experience.

As we know, the BG is a round of 42 Lakeland peaks, to be completed in 24 hours. A double is therefore a round of 84 peaks, to be completed in 48 hours. That’s what I’d hoped for, but spoiler alert - I finished the peaks but missed out on the time. I am told that the BG club does not specify a time limit for a double round, so mine apparently still “counts”, but either way Nicky and Roger remain the only people to have completed a double BG in less than 48 hours. Anyway…


THE PLAN

Roger…

Oh shittity shit!

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I am great at having ideas. I have them all the time - great fantastic ideas about huge long runs and how wonderful finishing them would feel. Often I get distracted and forget them, sometimes I shorten them, and occasionally I see sense, but sometimes I actually get round to committing to a date and saying I'll give them a try.

That's when I wonder whether they were actually good ideas at all. They suddenly take on a life of their own and become quite scary. Suddenly there's loads to do and I don't feel anywhere near as strong as when I had the idea.

Alternative easy options creep in... "Maybe I need a weekend off?", "I need to repair those windows, paint the kitchen, and the car will never get done if I spend all my time running.". On the path from idea to startline, this hump is the biggest challenge. Once you're over it and you realise it's all just for fun, your mates are ready to come and help regardless of the outcome, and there are t…

Whose round is it anyway?

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If you just want to see the hills and schedule, scroll down to the bottom! For my ramblings, get a cup of brown water and a Vimto bar and read on....
The Peak District Round Over the years lots of us have wondered whether there should be a 24 hour round in the Peak District, or at least why there isn't one. I've had a couple of goes at finding one: The first became a 28-hour death march and ended with imaginary green bunnies (here for more details). The second was an attempt to combine the classic Dark Peak 15 trigs with the lesser-known 11 trigs in the White Peak. Pete Simpson combined the two in 1991, but made a mistake and added Flask Edge too (hopefully winning him the Pertex Trophy?!). I hoped to retain Pete's folly and add another trig, but on the day only managed to add Ox Stones (words about this one here). This took 23:42 and was slightly over 100 miles, giving us a viable 27 trig "Peak BG", but the White Peak 11 don't make for a nice route - there…

The Axe

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Right, here we go then. Apologies if this all gets a bit deep and meaningful. What do you write about winning a race you've dreamed of winning since you started running?

The first time I finished the Fellsman was in 2008. It took over 18 hours. I'd retired the year before - my only memory of that is four of us sitting around a Camping Gaz lantern in a stinking wet tent and whining pathetically as we tried to get warm, then eventually being taken to the finish in a Land Rover. My first completion was with Wil Spain in completely different weather and was more successful, but still felt pretty tough. It broke me for weeks and was the hardest thing I'd done.

After finishing in the middle of the night we slept in a little tent in the car park till about lunchtime, then nearly pulled it down when we tried to stand up and get out.

2008 was actually a notable year in Fellsman history, being the last time that Mark Hartell won. That year I did the race as part of the "Grand S…

The BIG Running Weekend

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Last weekend was a busy one - there was training to do, litterpicking, running with poles, running without poles, talking to people at the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival, watching films, watching people ride bikes down hills, watching people ride bikes up hills, and talking about rubbish, introducing other people to talk about other things, some cycling, and more litterpicking!

In a world first (for me), I'm going to try a two-part blog: Part of it will be on this blog, and part will be over on the Runners Against Rubbish blog. It may or may not work so bear with me, but it's a good way to fit everything in! Here we'll focus on the BIG Running Weekend, whereas over there it's all about ShAFF.

So, here goes... BIG Running Weekend. What a fantastic event. Accelerate are so much more than a running shop - there's Accelerate Trail Runners, WoodRun, Running Past 50, Accelerate Events, and some others I've forgotten. Once a year they all come together for a weeken…