In a famous speech in 1910 Theodore Roosevelt said of the man in the arena: “Who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly”, writes Dave Eveleigh.

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These marvellous words are perfect for describing the exploits of seven Exmouth Harriers at Wasdale in North West England.

Bob Keast, Paul Champion, Dave Backway, Katie Comer, Lorraine Gilson and Terry Oldham were there for the Saunders Mountain Marathon with Sue Wilkin as one woman support crew.

An impressive environment which in the recent prevailing weather attracted the extra adjective of fearful for the team’s visit.

Keast and Champion successfully completed their challenge finishing 89th in the Cannock Fell category, “the triumph of high achievement”.

Backway, Oldham, Comer and Gilson, competing in the more demanding Kirk Fell category ended unplaced due to missing control points!

The unplaced Harriers were really undone by the sheer magnitude of the task, this is not to be compared with a Half Marathon on the roads for example.

However, not surprisingly this summer’s dreadful weather played a part with peat bogs at Caw Fell being much wetter than usual.

Did they: “Fail whilst daring greatly?”

Driving to the other end of the country to self-navigate across 18 to 20 miles of open country around Scafell, then camping overnight using only equipment you have carried through the day, before doing the same sort of thing the next day, would count, in most people’s eyes, control points reached or not!

Ellie Sutcliffe has produced a more detailed report which can be seen, along with some pictures from the week-end at www.exmouth-harriers.blogspot.co.uk

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