After the horrific Nepal earthquake in April, Keswick guesthouse owner Tim Mosedale decided to raise money through an ‘ultra triathlon’. Unbelievably the plan was to cycle the 112-mile Fred Whitton course through the Lakeland passes, swim the length of Derwentwater - twice - and run the Bob Graham Round across 42 summits. Non-stop!
Tim is a qualified Mountain Guide who has led many people to the summit of Everest; he knows Nepal as well as Newlands. The plan is to raise at least £50,000. Here’s his report…
The challenge went swimmingly well (no pun intended) and I wouldn’t change anything… except Leg 3 of the Bob Graham Round.
For the Fred Whitton I was joined by six riders for the first three passes, and then they returned to Keswick leaving myself and Stuart Holmes to continue. We were then joined by Les Barker from Fangs Brow - both stayed with me for the duration - and then Martin Bell joined us at Troutbeck for the final ride in to Keswick. We were followed by a vehicle throughout and they did a lot of filming and got some drone footage, and we were also met every hour or so for a bite to eat and a drink. I made it over all the passes without needing to get off, and completed The Fred in around 11hrs 30mins – a little bit behind my anticipated schedule, but I probably had about two hours worth of my time replenishing supplies. As a result of that I was in tip-top condition for the swim.
Paul Weller (from Keswick Canoe and Bushcraft; not THE Paul Weller) accompanied me in a canoe for the swim and the conditions were absolutely perfect. Flat calm, and we had a great sunrise. Unfortunately at the far end of the lake, where the river comes in, I was swimming in to cooler water and as a result I was very cold when I go to the Lodore landing. I had a bite to eat and poured a flask of hot water into my suit, and then swam back.
Met by my support crew to get changed and have breakfast. Mooched up to Keswick’s Moot Hall (start/finish point for the Bob Graham) and found that I had the company of nine fell runners! Two had come from Retford, and Andy Airey joined us halfway up Skiddaw. Felt very humbled.
Leg 1 went well. Leg 2 was good, but I was finding it difficult to tolerate as much food as I should have. Glorious sunset conditions on Helvellyn and Fairfield.
Leg 3 was awful. The nav is quite challenging even by day, so by night you have to take compass bearings and walk in straight lines which means you’re often not on the best trail. I really, really wanted to sleep… and indeed I had to have a few power naps because I was hallucinating and feeling very groggy and dazed.
We had a spectacular sunrise on Bow Fell and I really perked up with the daylight. Indeed I was faster from then on than I
had been through the night. Leg 3 took around 11 hours! As a result a few people realised that my support team, who were supposed to be doing Legs 3 and 4, were going to be in for a 20-hour day and so they took it upon themselves to reorganise the roster.
Got down to Wasdale to find that Kate Simpson and Lisa Bergerud were back - having done Leg 2, they re-volunteered themselves for Leg 4. Awesome. They also managed to recruit a couple of guys from Cockermouth Mountain Rescue team.
Joss Naylor came along to say hello and give a bit of moral support. Brilliant!
Leg 4 went very well even though we were going into some quite challenging conditions. Rain started coming in whilst going up Yewbarrow. Very windy by the time we were on Steeple. Atrocious from Pillar onwards.
Got to Honister to find another fantastic bunch of folk waiting to meet and greet and accompany me on the final leg (there were another nine folk coming along).
Got to Keswick just under 52 hours after starting. A bit behind my hoped-for schedule, but I completed which was the main thing.
I couldn’t have done it without the fantastic support I received from the road crew, the cyclists, the canoeist and the fellow fell runners who all gave up their time and effort to help me along the way.
YOU CAN STILL DONATE! If Tim has the motivation to complete this incredible challenge, surely the least we can do is recognise his efforts and donate.
The website: http://timmosedalechallenge.co.uk/
Donate at: www.justgiving.com/timmosedale
Cover photo: It’s only the Fred Whitton…
Above left: Tim is joined by fell-running legend Joss Naylor
Above right: Cold half-way through the swim