Meghan Hicks’s 2017 Bob Graham Round Attempt

Continuing what was then an already many-decades-old tradition of connects peak bagging in ’rounds’ in England’s Lake District, Bob Graham summited 42 Lake District peaks in under 24 hours in 1932. That feat wasn’t equaled until 1960, when Alan Heaton repeated the task. Over the half century and change since then, another 2,000-plus runners have officially completed what’s come to be known as the Bob Graham Round, which has been formalized into summiting the 42 peaks summited by Mr. Graham in 1932 starting and finishing at Moot Hall in Keswick within 24 hours. For more on the BGR, check out this introduction as well as the rest of the Bob Graham 24 Hour Club’s website.

Starting at 3 a.m. local time (WEST) on Saturday, May 20th, Meghan Hicks will make her attempt to finish the BGR and to join the Bob Graham Club. In the process, she’ll cover approximately 66 miles and climb 27,000 feet. Her attempt will be well supported, as is the tradition with the Round, going back to its very first completion. Thanks to the dozen or so people supporting Meghan’s BGR attempt and to locally-based trail running brand Inov-8 for helping make it possible.

While mobile service is intermittent at the route’s crew-accessible locations, I’ll update this page as I can. I’ll do so in reverse chronological order. This is likely only to happen at or after Meghan passes through the four road crossings at Threlkeld (by 7 a.m.), Dunmail Raise (by 11:30 a.m.), Wasdale (by 6 p.m.), and Honister Pass (~10:30 p.m.), although I’ll be running with Meghan from Honsiter (where there’s no cell service), so an update might not happen there. I’ll try to post from up high.

For more frequent updates, you can also jump down to her Spot tracker map below.

– Bryon

Note From Meghan

Hello, thank you for following me along the Bob Graham Round. I’m being supported today by a full team of locals–something like 15 people total!–including Steve and Wynn Cliff. We just published an article this week about these legends of the U.K. fell running community. In 2015, Steve was diagnosed with progressive bulbar palsy, a motor neurone disease. Since his diagnosis, he’s raised more than £250,000 for the nonprofit Motor Neurone Disease Association and he’s not stopping there. Please consider supporting Steve’s fundraising efforts on his Just Giving donation page. Thank you.

Update 11: Post-Attempt, May 22

Meghan has submitted her splits for ratification into the Bob Graham 24-Hour Club, and they were approved by the club. For transparency, we’ve published the splits she’s submitted below.

Update 10: Moot Hall, Keswick – 1:24 a.m. (22:24 elapsed)

Meghan Hicks completes the Bob Graham Round in 22:24.


Update 9: Robinson – 11:41

Meghan’s topped out on Robinson, the final peak of her Bob Graham Round. From here, she heads down toward the finish at Moot Hall in Keswick.


Update 8: Honister Pass – 10:09 p.m.

It’s turned into an absolutely stellar evening on the last part of the Bob Graham Round in the clockwise direction. The skies have mostly cleared and the air is dry. It’s a bit chilly and there’s a breeze mid-mountain, but it’s still pleasant and will be great for the last climb.


Meghan came into Honister at 10:09. She left three minutes later.


If you’re getting this, we’re atop Dale Head, peak 40 of 42 with mobile service from the finishing town of Keswick. Time for Meghan to finish this up!



Update 7: Wasdale Head – 5:09 p.m (14:09 elapsed)
Meghan came into the car park at Wasdale Head at 5:09 p.m. She’d planned on 6:09 for Leg 3 and it took 6:13. She said it was really slippery on wet rocks through that leg an she just had to move slower. She made up two minutes on her estimated time in the checkpoint. Overall, she’s between 40 and 45 minutes ahead of schedule.


She’s in tremendously good spirits and moving well. She was smiling and laughing away while with her crew. She shoveled in a ton of buttery potatoes here, as well.


She blitzed up Yewbarrow with two pacers, Alicia Hudelson (a previous American BGR finisher) and Tim Ripper (who also paced Leg 3), along with Tim’s two border collies.
Since she’s left it’s cooled off with a brisk wind even in the valley floor. The wind looks like it’s whipping up high.



Update 6: Wasdale Head Inn Pub – 3:47 p.m.

It’s been raining heavily from time to time from a bit before 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. or so. Things seem to have cleared up noticeably since then, though anything goes up high and there’ll surely be some more showers, at the least.


Jo Zakrzewski, who joined Meghan for the first part of Leg 3, reports that “she was looking awesome.”

Meghan should be atop Scafell Pike by now, so I’d best leave the pub and see her in. :-)


More updates and pics once I’m back in cell service.

Update 5: Dunmail Raise – 10:44 a.m.
Meghan ran a strong Leg 2. Her pacers say she was “metronomic,” “made it look easy,” and “broke into a run whenever it flattened out.” She also ate a ton on the trail.


Meghan came into Dunmail Raise 47 minutes ahead of schedule and left five minutes later 52 minutes up.



She’s on her way up Steel Fell…


With her puppy pacers, May(hem) and Pip.


Update 4: Dunmail Raise – 7:56 a.m.

Well, it’s raining here at Dunmail Raise, where we’re waiting for Meghan at the end of Leg 2. She’s surely getting rained on up on the fells.


Update 3: Threlkeld – 6:36 a.m.


Meghan came into Threlkeld, the first aid point about 15 minutes ahead of her conservative pace projection. She says she went up Blencathra a bit too fast, but that she relaxed on the way down. She’s doing great and was on her way in five minutes tops.


The pacers who stopped her said it was a great morning up on the fells, with a refreshingly pleasant breeze on top.

Update 2: Blencathra Summit – 6:08 a.m.

We just saw Meghan come off the summit of Blencathra down the Hall’s Fell route with three pacers in tow. She’s about ten minutes ahead of her conservatively estimated pace. More soon.


Update 1: Under Way – 3 a.m.

Meghan headed out from Moot Hall in Keswick right at 3 a.m. local time with three supporters. It’s a pleasantly cool and dry night as she gets underway.



Where Is Meghan

Here’s a link to the map on Spot’s website, as well.


Meghan’s Splits

Here are the splits that Meghan has submitted to the Bob Graham 24-Hour Club for ratification on May 22.

Meghan Hicks Bob Graham Round ratification splits 1

Meghan Hicks Bob Graham Round ratification splits second page

There are 21 comments

  1. Ezequiel Cruz

    wuwuwuwu, pulling an all nighter to catch Meghan’s run!! (and also to get done with school work :P).
    Looks like she’s doing amazing!!, GO GO GO

  2. Dave Lockyer

    Looks like she’s got some good momentum. I’m guessing she’d doing Foxes’ Tarn and then scrambling up Yewbarrow from Wasdale?

  3. a.browning

    Why has the tracker shown she missed high raise, kirk fell and not went to the top of some but did on others? Not even an attempt up high raise?

    1. Dwayne

      GPS coverage is sometimes a bit spotty =D There is supposed to be a dot every 10 minutes, but sometimes there isn’t one for 30 – 60 minutes depending on satellite acquisition. Could have gone up and down in that time so the peak might look like it wasn’t visited.

    2. Meghan Hicks

      a.browning,

      The connection between the device I was carrying and the satellites it connects to is imperfect. First, trees, rocks, clouds/fog, and thick rain/snow can prevent the signal the device is sending out from being reached by satellites and being uploaded to my SPOT tracker page. Second, as Dwayne mentioned, the device on my body sends out a signal every 10 minutes. Some peaks on the Bob Graham Round are passed quickly, such that the tracker may not register I’ve been on it. Most importantly, the tracker is simply entertainment means, so my friends and family back at home can follow along on my progress–it’s not the official means by which my round is be verified.

      That said, I summited all 42 peaks and I had pacers with me who witnessed me at them all and documented my time of passage on each of them. This is the official verification process for joining the Bob Graham Round Club and I followed all the instructions required by the club for verification.

      Thanks for your question and I hope that provides clarification.

    3. Wynn Cliff

      Not being funny but trackers don’t always work here, the weather creates havoc with them – the main check is the people that Meghan had with her…. these people are extremely experienced BG supporters, they know the routes for each section in any conditions, to the footstep. They would not compromise Meghans BG round in any way shape or form.
      Wynn Cliff

  4. Alan Spurr

    Great effort Meghan, congratulations. Now you can crew for Killians record attempt later in the year!!!!!
    Did you go up the dodgy bit between Scafell Pike and Scafell ( Broad stand) or the longer option.? What was your favourite moment? Looking forward to the write up.
    Also are you guys coming back to the UK to cover the Glencoe skyline race in September ? Looks an awesome start list.

  5. a.browning

    So why have you removed the tracking section that shows high raise? The two points you were tracked with kirk fell 36 to 37 in between shows 10 mins, you are saying you got up and down kirk fell from there in 10 mins, you arent that fast. It seems like you went to the wrong top with kirk fell there are two tops even if you went up the gully, the spot height is 787 the true top is 802 alot of people mistake that for the summit. Even so tracker 36 before kirk fell and the one after 10 mins later at 37 after kirk fell would be too fast for you to summit kirk fell!! Then half an hour late up gable, billys time was 25 mins!

    I am aware of the verification process you need someone to say you hit it, thats easy to say even if you didnt when you want to write articles about it.

    1. Beriba

      So you’re suggesting that Megan and all her crew are lying and that she took a shorter route so she could write an article about it….

      Can’t decide if you’re a troll or an arsehole.

    2. alicia

      Hey a.browning,

      I was with Meghan on top of Kirk Fell and I have been up there many times so I know exactly where the summit is. I was wearing a gps watch that got an accurate track, and I’ve sent that to Meghan. It shows us reaching the summit. I think your confusion is due to you mistakenly thinking that her tracker point 36 is at the bottom of the hill when in fact it is more like halfway up the gully. You’re welcome to my photos of Meghan headed up the gully as well, if you’d like!

    3. Meghan Hicks

      a.browning,

      I am going to address all of your concerns in the order in which you have presented them.

      1. “So why have you removed the tracking section that shows high raise?”

      I have not modified any of the data my SPOT tracker produced during the event. My SPOT tracker was programmed to send out a location every 10 minutes. As I said in my previous comment, it’s not infallible given terrain, weather, and triangulation problems. Overall, it performed pretty well throughout my Bob Graham Round attempt.

      In the vicinity of High Raise, the SPOT tracker pinged twice, once at 12:11pm and again at 12:21pm–10 minutes apart. The straight line which is drawn on the SPOT website between those points does not indicate my actual travel, only the actual ping points represent my location to the best of the SPOT satellite system’s ability at those times. If you are familiar with that terrain and you zoom into the map in satellite form, you can see that the 12:11pm data point is on the line a person would hike/jog between Sergeant Man and High Raise, and the 12:21pm data point is on the line a person would hike/jog between High Raise and Thunacar Knott. So the SPOT tracker located me at 12:11pm as I was headed to High Raise from Sergeant Man and 10 minutes later at 12:21pm as I was headed from High Raise to Thunacar Knott.

      Additionally, I have submitted the splits my helpers recorded for the Bob Graham Round 24-Hour Club for ratification, and I have added them to this page for transparency. As you can see, my witnesses recorded me hitting High Raise at 12:16pm, which aligns with the SPOT tracker’s data points.

      2. “The two points you were tracked with kirk fell 36 to 37 in between shows 10 mins, you are saying you got up and down kirk fell from there in 10 mins, you arent that fast. It seems like you went to the wrong top with kirk fell there are two tops even if you went up the gully, the spot height is 787 the true top is 802 alot of people mistake that for the summit. Even so tracker 36 before kirk fell and the one after 10 mins later at 37 after kirk fell would be too fast for you to summit kirk fell!!”

      Below are the data points that the SPOT tracker collected while I was approaching and descending Kirkfell, and also the time stamp my witnesses recorded me at the top of Kirkfell.
      SPOT point 36 on my tracker – 8:28pm – This location is just under 1,100 lateral feet and 118 vertical feet below the Kirkfell summit, located on the line one would hike/jog between the top of Joss’s Gully, which is how I got on top of the main body of Kirkfell, and the Kirkfell summit.
      Helper’s time stamp for me on Kirkfell: 8:32pm
      SPOT point 37 on my tracker – 8:38pm – This location is just over 1,500 lateral feet and 150 vertical feet below the Kirkfell summit, located on the line one would hike/jog off the summit of Kirkfell and toward Great Gable.

      Not only am I confident that I summited Kirkfell, but I also think the distances between the SPOT data points and the summit are reasonable distances for me to travel in 10 minutes at this point during my Bob Graham Round attempt.

      3. “Then half an hour late up gable, billys time was 25 mins!”

      I’m not sure where you have retrieved this time from my SPOT tracker, as split times from summit to summit cannot be yielded from the SPOT data available.

      First, my witnesses recorded me at Kirkfell at 8:32pm and Great Gable at 9:13pm, a 41-minute split.

      Second, my SPOT tracker recorded four data points between the summits of Kirkfell and Great Gable:
      SPOT point 37 on my tracker – 8:38pm
      SPOT point 38 on my tracker – 8:48pm
      SPOT point 39 on my tracker – 8:58pm
      SPOT point 40 on my tracker – 9:07pm – This location is 368 lateral feet and 117 vertical feet below the Great Gable summit, on the line one would travel to the summit.
      Following that, the SPOT system did not log another ping point for an hour, until I was nearing Honister Pass.

      Not only am I confident that I summited Great Gable, but I think that a 41-minute travel time between the Kirkfell and Great Gable summits is reasonable for me at this point in my Bob Graham Round attempt. I also think that five minutes of travel time from the SPOT point 40 at 9:07pm and the summit at 9:13pm is another reasonable distance for me to travel at that moment.

      In conclusion, this comment contains two forms of data to corroborate my statement that I summited the peaks you are accusing me of not summiting. Additionally, the Bob Graham Round 24-Hour Club has just approved my ratification form, which should bring this matter to its conclusion.

    4. Wynn Cliff

      So, you think that the BG club would agree to making stuff up so Meghan could do a write up….. Really….. I’ve been a member of the BG committee for years and have never been called a liar before. We have supported hundreds of BG rounds over 30 years.
      On a round you take your lumps as they come, weather, food, fittness and the outcome is the outcome.

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