Many Congratulations to Richard Kendall, our first 23 Before Tea runner of 2023, who broke the record by 27 minutes in an incredible time of 7 hours and 17 minutes – less than half the time taken on the original route by our intrepid record setter Dave Cummins.
Richard, a civil servant and father of two, who runs with Marple Runners and Peak and Valley Trail Runners, did a lot of research about the route – something he enjoys, and is a key part of the 23 Before Tea challenge. Runners can chart their own route, and runners are gradually finding more and more efficient ways to get to around to 23 Wainwright peaks and back to the Hostel door.
He told us that he tends do well in navigation events such as mountain marathons and this challenge felt like a “score” event (where you get to pick your own route) and this was definitely a win for route planning over athletic ability.
He went on to say: “One of the things I really enjoyed about this was the openness of the challenge – coming up with a route was as much fun as running it. The first option I considered did the coniston fells, then over crinkle crags as far as great end and Allen Crags, back via the Langdales and Silver Howe. But I had a feeling a route around the central fells and then the Fairfield horseshoe would be more efficient. The route I picked was about a mile shorter with a bit less height gain than any alternatives I could find, and I thought the grassy Fairfield hills would be quicker, which I think was definitely the case today as rocks were icy higher up.”
The Route was Silver Howe, Blea Rigg, Pavey Ark, Harrison Stickle, Loft Crag, Pike o’ Stickle, Thunacar Knott, High raise, Sergeant Man, Tarn Crag, Calf Crag, Gibson Knott, Helm Crag, Nab Scar, Heron Crag, Stone Arthur, Great Rigg, Fairfield, Hart Crag, Dove Crag, High Pike, Low pike, Loughrigg. A route which turns out to be about a mile shorter and with slightly less height gain than the alternatives he looked at.
The challenge is open to everyone but please let us know if you plan to have a go so that we can make sure there is someone to greet you and have a cuppa ready on your return.