Fellrunning legend Joss Naylor

Fellrunning legend Joss Naylor. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

A fellrunning legend has invited fellow runners to join him at the weekend as he tackles a 30-mile route across the Lakeland mountains to mark his 80th birthday.

Wasdale farmer Joss Naylor will kick off his run in the village of Caldbeck, where his father Joe was brought up, and make the journey to Wasdale, which became the family home in 1927.

Naylor has a long list of fellrunning achievements and, at the age of 70, ran the same number of Lake District fell tops in a route stretching more than 50 miles, and involving 25,000ft of ascent.

The fellrunner, who was appointed an MBE for his services to sport and charity, has posted numerous long-distance records including running 72 Lake District peaks in less than 24 hours in 1975. When he was 50 he completed the 214 Wainwright fells in seven days, a feat only bettered 28 years later by another Cumbrian runner, Steve Birkinshaw.

Naylor completed 60 Lake District peaks for his 60th birthday and went 10 better with a 50-mile route in less than 21 hours to celebrate his seven decades. In 1974 he ran the Pennine Way in a little over three days.

His 48km (30-mile) run on Saturday will begin in the village on the north-eastern fringe of the Lake District national park and end, after 2,140m (7,020ft) of ascent at Low Greendale, his home in Wasdale.

He says he is making the journey in memory of his father Joe, who made the journey from Caldbeck to Wasdale, and also to raise money for the Brathay charity, which helps disadvantaged young people.

Joss Naylor will run to his home valley of Wasdale. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Joss Naylor will run to his home valley of Wasdale. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The route is via Park Head, Fell Side and Branthwaite, Little Sca Fell, Knott, Great Calva, Skiddaw House, Little Town, Dale Head Tarn, Honister, Grey Knotts, Gillercombe, Base Brown, Sty Head, into Wasdale calling at St Olaf’s Church, Middle Row, the packhorse bridge and Bowderdale before ending at Low Greendale.

He will set off from Caldbeck churchyard on 25 June at 7am and is expected at Fellside at 7.20am; the Blencathra Centre at 11am; Keswick Moot Hall at 11.40am; Little Town at 12.20pm; Honister at 3pm; Wasdale Head Inn at 6pm and Greendale Bridge about 7.15pm.

Anyone joining a leg will need to provide their own transport.

Details are on the Brathay website. He has also set up a justgiving page for the venture with a target of £10,000.

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