The Semples on Tour

Callum and Dad’s 10 Peak Challenge
(Please note who had top billing)

Once upon a time not so very long ago my eldest son Callum wanted to be just like his Dad… sadly that time has passed and now all he wants to do is be better than him!!

Part of the problem is the gene pool, both his mother and I are very competitive, not painfully so, but enough to niggle.

In 2012 I competed and came 14th place (can you tell that I’m still dining out on that?) My children and chiefly Callum helped me write a blog for the 10 Peaks website. This seemed to capture his imagination and he went on to help me pre plan my 10 Peaks Brecon course and nav with some adventure camping over a weekend. I eventually didn’t compete due to a blown knee and so my heart was set on 2014.


Callum was an Army Cadet, a strong athlete with good navigation skills, but and it’s a big but…. he was 14! The race, because of its very nature has an 18+ age limit.

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Ultra Race / 24 Hour Round Training and Preparation by Nicky Spinks

Since 2005, when I first completed the Bob Graham (23.33 hours) I have trained and prepared for seven more 24 hour rounds. Only one of these; my first Paddy Buckley was “unsuccessful” as such (25.45 hours). I learnt a lot from those early rounds and have since completed six more successful rounds including four record rounds. A summary of the rounds and my significant Ultra races are below.

2005 Bob Graham 23.33 hours
2006 Paddy Buckley 25.45 hours
2007 Paddy Buckley 23.55 hours
2008 Charlie Ramsay 22.32 hours
2009 Grand Raid Reunion 4th Lady
2010 Grand Raid Pyrenees 1st Lady
2011 Fellsman 1st Lady Course record 11.51 hours
2011 Ladies Lake District round 64 peaks in 23.15 hours
2011 Grand Raid Pyrenees 1st Lady
2012 Bob Graham Ladies record 18.12 hours
2013 Paddy Buckley record 19.02 hours
2014 Charlie Ramsay record 19.39 hours
2014 10Peaks Xtreme Overall winner 18.26 hours


2014 Ramsay Record

These are a few tips I would give to anyone training for an Ultra Race such as the 10Peaks Xtreme or a 24 hour round. If you would like to learn more or for some one to one tuition then come along to my training day!!

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IOM Mountain 50K Ultra

By Mark Bottomley of 10 – 3rd place

I hadn’t been to the Isle of Man before, and to be honest, it had never really featured on my radar. This all changed though when I heard about the IOM 50km Ultra, which for some reason instantly grabbed my attention. It required a certain amount of navigational competence; would be a linear route (with 98% of the course being off-road); would take you from one end of the Island to the other; and involved 2500 meters of ascent! What more could you ask for from a race? I checked out the flight and accommodation options and when I discovered how cheap they were I signed up.

Mark-iom{Unfortunately, within a week of entering the race I developed an Achilles injury thereby thwarting all of my training plans, but when the race weekend arrived I thought I may as well travel over to enjoy the views and experience.}

The course takes a diagonal south-west route across the Island’s array of mountains and hills, to finally join up with the western coastal path and finishing in Port Erin. I was staying in an apartment at the finish location, having reserved a seat on the race organisers’ bus transporting runners from Port Erin to the start.

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Grom and the 10 Peaks – Part 3

An emotional farewell from Jessy. “You can do this thing!” were the words, accompanied with some tears and a nice big hug.

I leave Torquay for Keswick, driving in my green diesel VW polo. Although its a bit  messier, much slower and terribly noisier than the banana car, one advantage was the Bluetooth connection for the stereo. The Bastille Album would accompany on my journey. Music blaring I hit the road to Keswick. It took 8 hours to negotiate the M5 and M6. It was a bit like my training, slow traffic but kept moving.

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Clif Bar 10 Peaks The Lakes Race Report

A light breeze, clear visibility and 20 degrees was the forecast enticing the 260 entrants to leave work on Friday evening and travel to Keswick, ready for the early morning start of the Clif Bar 10 Peaks race in the Lake District. As it happened, injury, traffic and family commitments managed to claim some 50 of them, but there were still over 200 keen competitors chomping at the bit at first light.

Approaching Helvellyn with Catstycam and Swirral Edge to the left, Lower Man to the right. ©Stewart Bondi

The forecast did not let us down for the 5th edition of the Lake District race held on the weekend of 28/29 June. With 3 distances to choose from (48km, 73km or 100km) and ascent ranging from 3200m on the short course to nearly 8000m on the Xtreme course, there was something for every ultra distance mountain lover. This was proved by the enormous variety of competitors that showed up – sponsored athletes; record holders; Bob Graham legends; hardy regular ultra runners; those that had attempted the race many times before but not quite succeeded and new-comers doing their first real long distance mountain race. Each and every one of them with their own personal goal, equally as important as everyone elses.

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10 Peaks Xtreme – Wasdale

The enclosed map shows the location of the new check point at Wasdale. This is located near to the National Trust car park and is available for all Xtreme and Long Course competitors opting to take the Alternative Route.

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Brecon Beacons 10 Peaks Race Report

With Mountainous Ultra running growing ever more popular, we decided it was time to introduce an additional location in which to hold an identical 10 Peaks event to the one that had been running in the Lake District since 2010.

On 7th September 2013 the Brecon Beacons hosted the second 10peaks event of the year, copying the exact same format as the Lake District event that had taken place just 3 months earlier – 10 highest peaks, 24 hour cut-off time and navigation being a key component.

©2013 Stephen Fitzsimmons

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Posted in Brecon Beacons 2013

Richard Lendon – The Lakes Race Report

“So how far was it, Rich?”
Around 43 miles…..
“How long did it take you?”
14 hours and 42 minutes……
“That’s very slow for you. Where did you finish?”
“Out of 6?”
Very funny. Out of 150 starters.
“Wow! It must have been tough”
It was.

04:00 start from Thirlspot. 03:15 buses leave from race HQ in Keswick. Alarm set for 02:00. Woke up at 01:00!

Around 150 runners were taken by bus to the race start at Thirlspot, under Helvellyn. It was good to catch up with some of the usual suspects including Annie and Andrew. Several said hello to me, but I couldn’t quite remember who they were; the ravages of the aging process. After the race briefing, and with dawn’s first light just breaking through, we were off, straight up Helvellyn.

Sticking to my now standard plan of taking it steady at the start, going at my own pace, rather than getting excited and following the lead pack, I reached the summit (Peak 1) in 49 minutes. Straight back down, via a bit of cross-country, through CP1, and it was the long haul up Wyth Burn and it’s famous bogs, which were particularly boggy.

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Clif Bar 10 Peaks – Short Course by Tony Holland

My lungs are heaving and my legs are still aching from the brutal awaking they had 20minutes earlier. I glance down at my watch. Its 5.20am. Half way up the first peak of the day, Helvellyn. I am trying hard to keep as close to Mr White as I can, but he is slowly opening up the gap between us.

20 minutes earlier I had powered as hard as I could out of Swirls car park, determined to start the day as I meant to go on and happy to be finally away from annoying midges that had plagued everyone as we waited for the start of the 2013 Clif Bar 10 Peaks Short Race. Over the bridge and up to the gate that leads out onto the fell. Clatter! I hear the gate close again, a minute or so later. Someone is close and pushing hard. Sure enough, half way to the first summit I am passed by a guy in white and he is strong, fast and obviously an experienced mountain runner.  I ignore my complaining legs and just manage to hold the gap steady but I am well beaten to the first summit. With the first route decision of the day already made, I use a little local knowledge to get down to Wythburn Church as fast as I can, but hitting the forest at the wrong place meant almost a hands and knees crawl through dense trees and undergrowth to reach the forest trail.

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Clif Bar 10 Peaks, The Lakes, 2013

The weekend of 29th June saw the return of the 10 Peaks event in the Lake District, now with a new headline sponsor, Clif Bar. There was another key addition to this year’s event, the introduction of the “short” course, designed for those competitors that saw the 73km long course, with it’s 5600m of height gain, a step too far. The “short” course would follow the same route as the long but would miss out a few loop sections, cutting down the overall distance to a more manageable 50km.

Peak 1 – Helvellyn ©2013 Sarah Booth

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