Saturday, 15 December 2007

What do you do at 55?

I was tempted to ask "what to do after the Lakeland Classics?" but it was too contrived, even for me. Anyway, having previously considered a 12 hour "Joss Naylor" (JNT) to be beyond my reach and had it in the back of my mind to wait until the time allowed extended to 15 hours. The temptation of a 'new' age category is also lurking in the background but much as I enjoy long races (yes, it is possible to enjoy Ennerdale) it is long days out I really enjoy. So I started to lean towards a JNT until I had another look at the BG and much as the genie of the Lakeland Classics had shimmered out of the lamp another genie began to emerge, from I know not where, and I found myself wondering about another BG.

I started to gather accounts and other details of extended rounds and realised it is perfectly possible to put together a 50 summit round, even a 55 summit round that is barely more difficult than the original 42 summits. For most people the biggest difficulty is the tradition of not tackling a 50 summit round until you are 50 and, of course, another 5 years are required before the 55 summit round. Being 55 only two years after my 42 summit rounds this is less of a problem.

One way or the other another genie had escaped and another year's target crystallised. Route selection - actualy summit selection - took a bit of time and before I had finalised my choices I sought the advice of Paul Murray who has completed 42, 50 and 55 summit rounds. Extended Rounds are relatively rare with around fifteen 50@50s and 4 55@55s although there may be others I am unaware of but in comparison with the over 1300 members of the 24 Hour Club even the 50@50 completers are very few.

"Why so few?" I asked Paul and with his enigmatic half-smile all he said "Well, it is all in your head". Persuaded this was an adequate explanation (although I am still wondering) I asked about route choice. This time his reply contained not a trace of enigma but it is, as they say 'another story' - to be told on another day.

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