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Frog Graham Round


The UK's Ultimate SwimRun Challenge

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Frog Graham Round


The UK's Ultimate SwimRun Challenge

Introduction

The Frog Graham Round is a fell-running and swimming challenge that was created by Peter Hayes via inspirations from the classic Bob Graham Round but with an added twist:

Along with covering just over 40 miles and ascending and descending 15,750 feet over the Lakeland Fells, the contender must swim across Bassenthwaite Lake, Crummock Water, Buttermere and Derwent Water before finishing where it all started at Keswick’s Moot Hall.
 
This is a formidable, very tough challenge and will appeal to endurance athletes who wish to push themselves one step further.  

It is not for novices and any considering taking on the challenge should be an experienced off-road runner and open-water swimmer.

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The Challenge


The Challenge


Unlike the Bob Graham Round, there is no time limit.  How you complete the Frog Graham Round is largely down to you and there are very few rules, but the following must be observed:

  • You must start and finish at Keswick's Moot Hall
  • You must visit all the designated summits, islands and other features
  • You must touch the summit cairns
  • You must have all of your body above the waterline when transiting the Derwentwater islands
  • You must have appropriate clothing and equipment available to ensure your safety at all times

You can choose your own route, although it goes against the spirit of the Frog Graham Round to run round the edge of the lakes instead of swimming across them.

More information about the Frog Graham Round and other adventures in and around the Lake District can be found in "Swimhiking in the Lake District and North East England" by Peter Hayes.

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Freshwater plants and animals are threatening the Lake District’s wildlife: Floating pennywort, Australian swamp stonecrop, American signal crayfish and the killer shrimp are just a few of the species that will have devastating effects on our water ecology.
More information about this can be found on the Lake District National Park and National Trust websites

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The Spirit


Peter Hayes, creator of the Frog Graham Round outlines the spirit of the challenge

The Spirit


Peter Hayes, creator of the Frog Graham Round outlines the spirit of the challenge

The inaugural Frog Graham Round (FGR) was completed by Peter Hayes in May 2005 and was completely self-supported.  Tim Mosedale followed with the second FGR in a similar fashion in 2014, but how you tackle the round is completely down to your personal preference.  Those contenders who have already undertaken the Bob Graham Round will be familiar with a model where a person is supported by other runners who carry his/her equipment and provide navigational guidance; while this is completely acceptable for the FGR, contenders should consider how Peter defines the Spirit and Ethos of the round and tailor their decisions accordingly.

 Peter Hayes swimming in Ullswater with swimsac

Peter Hayes swimming in Ullswater with swimsac

"The Frog Graham Round will be beyond the physical capabilities of some people, however I still want the challenge to be open to as many people as possible who would like to try it.  For this reason there is no time limit and why taking everything you need with you in a swimsac is part of the Spirit of the challenge rather than a rule and is not something that should be enforced.”
 

"I think that when people decide to do it in a way that is other than self-supported they are best placed to judge for themselves what degree of support is reasonable and what might leave them feeling that they have made things too easy for themselves.  

If, say, someone of 'advanced years' managed to get round the route with lots of support, then this is wholly within the spirit of the Frog Graham Round, because it would be impossible for them to get round otherwise; they have done all that they can within their capabilities – well done to them!  However, if someone much younger and at peak fitness – someone for whom the route is no more than a longish day out - went round with lots of support that would still be acceptable, but perhaps they would feel that it had not been quite in the spirit of the thing.”

On the subject of canoes/kayaks accompanying swimmers:

"I would again want to leave this to the discretion of the contender as it might be another nice way of getting friends and family to participate.  The last thing I would want is for anyone to get into trouble during the swims, but I am not wholly sure that canoes make things safer:

  1. There are more things to go wrong (in one abortive attempt the support canoe blew away) and
  2. People may spur each other on.  (meaning the contender works harder than he/she would otherwise)

Safety must be absolutely paramount on any Frog Graham Round attempt and while this is the completely down to the individual, I would much prefer that contenders take all the necessary steps to minimise risk."

Chasing The Frog a film by Ian Palmer