On Friday 16th July, Former Evans Housemaster Jon Lidiard (E 95-00) and Alumni Director Ben Collins (P 97-02) embarked on one of the most demanding mountain challenges in England- The Bob Graham Round. The fell running challenge traverses 42 hills over a 66-mile course with 27,000 ft (8,230m) of elevation gain – virtually the equivalent height of Mt Everest- all within 24 hours. First completed way back in 1932 by Bob Graham, the classic mountain route is a route of contrasts, beginning and ending at Moot Hall in Keswick, the course follows from the sanitised track and crowds of Skiddaw to the loneliness of Great Calva; from the exposed scrambling of Hall’s Fell to quintessential Lakeland.
The earliest known Sedberghian attempt was by Freddie Spencer Chapman who made the attempt the same year as Bob Graham himself in 1932. Bob Graham himself met Chapman on the top of Bow Fell with a mug of hot chocolate.
Jon and Ben had a strong support team which consisted of Sedbergh staff, Sedberghians and some local fell runners. The team set off from Moot Hall in Keswick at 6pm in 27 degree heat. All was going well until Ben unfortunately suffered bad cramp in both legs which he sadly couldn’t get rid of and had to withdraw from the challenge.
Jon and his support team pressed on without him in the dark and then faced intense heat on leg 4 and 5. Jon heroically battled through the heat and arrived back at Moot Hall, completing the Bob Graham Round in a very decent time of 23 hours and 15 minutes. Considering the high temperatures he faced this was an incredible effort.
Well done Jon and a massive thanks to all of those who supported the challenge!