An endurance runner from Keswick became the 74th person to successfully complete a Frog Graham Round — in the 10th fastest time.
Jacob Tonkin, 27, finished the 40-mile fell running and swimming challenge, which involves more than 16,500ft of climbing, in 14 hours and two minutes.
Unlike the Bob Graham Round, on which the Frog Graham is based, there is no 24-hour time limit to race against. But it is just as exhausting a challenge as the contender must swim across four lakes before finishing at Keswick’s Moot Hall, which is also the starting point.
“It was a brilliant feeling at the end,” said Jacob, who is a sports masseur. “I have helped a lot of people on the Bob Graham Round and other big challenges and had always felt envious of people getting round and touching the door of the Moot Hall.
“To have that moment myself felt quite special especially in front of friends and family who had been supporting me.”
His route took him from Keswick up Skiddaw, down to Bassenthwaite and then over the Whinlatter and Coledale fells before the swim across Crummock Water.
He then climbed up Melbreak and took on the fells at the back of Buttermere before descending to the lake. After swimming across Buttermere, he ran up Robinson and over to Dale Head and Catbells before taking on the mile-long swim across Derwentwater.
Jacob, who has recently moved to Thirlmere, said that he experienced difficulties after emerging from the chilly and choppy waters of Bassenthwaite.
“I was feeling a bit dizzy and going up Barf I thought I was going to barf!” he said.
Jacob, who runs for Keswick AC and is a member of the Salomon squad, was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at the start of last year. He said 2020 was going to be his “comeback year” and he had planned to complete the Cape Wrath Ultra in May but it got cancelled.
He had also “enjoyed furlough too much” and over-trained during the coronavirus crisis, developing a knee injury, which forced him to take to the water and complete swims in a number of lakes including visiting all the landing stations around Derwentwater.
Jacob, a former head boy at Keswick School, had planned to do the full Bob Graham Round — 66 miles and 42 peaks — at the weekend to coincide with the 40th anniversary of his grandfather Peter Parkins, a former warden at Borrowdale Youth Hostel, successfully completing the challenge. Having not put in the mileage, Jacob scaled back his ambitions and took on the Frog Graham instead.
“It’s good to do these lesser known rounds because they are still great days out,” said Jacob. “One of the hardest things about this challenge was running round carrying your kit in a rucksack. It included my wet suit which got very, very heavy.”
Jacob was supported by a team of pacers — two on each leg — and he was fuelled by some gels which are tailored for people who suffer from inflammatory bowel problems.