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Paul Conways Bob Graham Round
 
August 1991, 8.30AM, Anti Clockwise

The sun is out and the sky is almost cloudless, the temperature is getting up not ideal conditions for the round, good support, food and water should see me through.
Off down Keswick main street and first few miles dont seem like the Bob Graham round. After going through Newlands its good to start ascending Robinson. The first three summits are all climbed and the descent to Honister at 10:30 is on time.
The first problem , no support, runners waiting and ready for the off. Half a mile away in convoy is the car with trusty members of Dewsbury Road Runners. The lads arrive, said they got stuck in traffic probably got stuck in the pub late last night, a quick change and its off to the start of the second section.
Grey Knotts, Brandreth, Gable are all climbed. Route finding slightly out in places, having to stop on most of the summits for water. The temperature is getting high, its good Ive got sun cream on Im getting quite a tan. Its a fairly tough section this, lots of rocks, loose shale etc. The summit of Yewbarrow is reached at 2:16pm, the descent from here taking 19 minutes in to Wasdale.
 
June administers first aid in generous amounts after a boulder rolled over my hand and arm descending Yewbarrow, never mind the creams and plasters June, lets eat. The next section was always going to be a stuffer, so after hot spaghetti, lots of water, rice pudding and anything else that fits in my stomach, its a long 77 minute drag up Scafell. Ray is now supporting, hes a 2hr 52min marathon runner with plastic ankles to boot (joke), he storms ahead. Scafell Pike is reached and then a lesson from Roger in rope techniques is in order to reach the Broad Crag.
The squeeze, fat mans agony, is no problem, I must have lost half a stone by now, this section is now long and rocky. The support runners Robin and Hue are waiting with food and water as Rosset Crag is reached. Robins cagoule is now welcome as the temperature is starting to drop. Steel Fell. The 27th summit is reached and the long descent of Dunmail Raise. Julian comes up to greet me looking fit, ready and raring to go into the night section. I get the feeling he wants to set off immediately.
Time is now 8-50pm, for me its more hot spaghetti, rice pudding followed by the best treat so far a cup of tea.
 
Its nice and warm in the van, a complete change of clothes plus thermals and its off for 9-15pm, new support runners are Joe and Julian thanks for turning out Fred.
We go up Seat Sandal, Joe says Im five minutes up, I cant understand as Im feeling tired and I want to go to bed for a few days. We go down the other side and then up Fairfield and Dollywaggon Pike. On this section its hat, cagoule and gloves time, the temperature seems to be dropping and the winds getting up too. The lights fading fast and Joe decides to lose his bum bag! Off he goes back down Dollywagon on a search and rescue mission with his torch, its only got the map and compass in it. He must want to get some mileage in, you should be doing the round and me supporting you!
The night section goes well, the compass works precise, well done Joe.
Helvellyn, White Side, the Dodds are reached on time, a long descent off Clough Head to Threlkeld and Peter comes running to meet me in the distance.
 
Time is now 2-20am and the worst point about going into the van is having to come out again, cant I cheat and miss out the last section and all drive to Keswick? New support runners are Ken and Hue, both looking fit Im envious. Off we go and the 40th summit Blecathra is climbed with me having to take frequent stops to get body and soul together. Dawn is now breaking and Great Calva can be seen in the distance, the weathers been good so far. A long downhill stretch and we pass a tent at the foot of Great Calva, I feel like evicting the occupants, pushing them in the river and crawling into the tent. Great Calva seems long and drawn out, I have to keep stopping Ken and Hue offer me words of encouragement.
The summit is reached by 4-58am and theres one more to go. After Scafell, Skiddaw was always the one I didnt want to do, coming off Great Calva its more or less a straight line up, more stopping and walking. Three quarters of an hour of this and Skiddaw is ticked off at 6-07am. Wind and sleet is all we dont need and its just what we got. From here, the route is almost all downhill, five and a half miles to Keswick. The lads meet me to run the last two miles to the finish. Joe eventually leads at 5.50 pace or so it seems, does he want a death at Fitz Park the first Bob Graham casualty?.
I now have to slow down a bit, my luck is in and I make it to Moot Hall at 7-08am. Its raining but it doesnt matter. A happy end to an excellent weekend with some smashing people.
 
My most sincere thanks to all who turned out, supported and encouraged me, without whom I could not have done it.
My thanks go to the following:
Peter, Roger, Rita, Joe, Ken, Hue, Robin, James, Richard, Kevin, Carol, Steve, David, Julian, Ray, George, June, Mrs Wilson and all the other lads and lasses of Dewsbury Road Runners.
 
Submitted by Paul Conway
 
 
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