On Saturday (20 July) legendary fell runner Joss Naylor returned to the one race he never quite managed to finish, the 1962 Lake District Mountain Trial. This weekend, and at the age of 83, he returned to successfully complete the missing section some 57 years later.
In 1962, the event took place in exceptionally poor weather and Joss says it has always bothered him that he had to retire from the race due to severe cramp and the appalling weather conditions.
Well, on Saturday he returned to complete the section, a 12.5 mile route to Patterdale that took him via the high fells of Stoney Cove Pike, Thornthwaite Crag and High Street. Conditions improved as Joss descended into Patterdale at Angle Tarn, via Place Fell.
Joss was running in memory of George Brass the only runner to finish the 1962 Lake District Mountain Trail out of the 55 starters, and for the Brathay Trust. Joss has raised over £50,000 for the Trust.
Brathay’s Head of Fundraising Scott Umpleby, who joined Joss on Saturday, said: “Joss is still an inspiration to us and this time it was for tackling incredibly challenging terrain in his 80s. Not only was it steep on the ascent and descent but he kept up the same brisk pace regardless of conditions underfoot – from very uneven surfaces to heather and loose stone.
“It took him six hours and 20 minutes, including a stop for a sandwich and we ended the day in the local pub where Joss enjoyed a Guinness. It was also great to see so many people turn out to support him including his contemporaries Peter Hall, Peter Nelson and Ken Ledward.”