|Joss Naylor MBE|
Yesterday was quite a day! The all time greatest fell runner was celebrating his 80th by running over 30 miles from Caldbeck in the northern Lake District back to his home in Wasdale. The route charting his family history.
Not only that but Joss was raising money for Brathay Trust. He has raised money for disadvantaged kids and for Brathay for many years.
My plan was to drive up to Wasdale, park up there, and run out to hopefully find Joss and his group. As I had never been in those hills this was somewhat more daunting than it sounds! So armed with map and compass I duly set off. After a few hesitations and doubting my navigational skills I found my way to Honister. A relief and a triumph!
I arrived a bit early for Joss’s arrival so I set off to Dale Head. But didn’t see him so I returned to Honister and found he’d arrived there. As I discovered on the way back to Wasdale Joss knows these hills so well that he takes routes you would never choose yourself – largely because they don’t exist on any map!!
There were loads of people surrounding him at Honister as he sat there taking a drink and a bit of Mary’s food. I had a long chat with him as everyone else seemed to be just looking at him! And then Mary insisted on me being in a photograph with her!
And then we were off. Joss was using 2 poles – but not your fancy poles. Two sticks he’d honed himself from branches he’d found round home! His left leg is fine, but due to serious back injuries and surgery early in his life his right leg does not work properly any more. But boy does he move – just sets a cracking pace and never varies, never slows, never hesitates whatever the terrain. His descent down into Wasdale was awesome.
What a man, what a day, what a privilege.