Running the Bob Graham Round for SSAFA

On 21 June 2023, Ben Hewett and Tom Steingold will be undertaking the Bob Graham Round – a course notorious within the fell running world.

The course includes 42 of the highest peaks in the Lake District, covering a distance of 106km (66 miles), with over 27,000 ft (8230m) of climbing. The goal is to complete the course and return to Moot Hall, Keswick within 24 hours in order to join the elite ‘Bob Graham Club’. All this is to raise money and awareness for SSAFA, the Armed Forces Charity.

Tom Stiengold and Ben Hewett are students at Felsted School. Tom is completing his International Baccalaureate and is a part of the Felsted CCF where his rank is Cdt. RQMS. Ben is also in Upper Sixth at Felsted School and is completing his A-Levels this year – he is also a part of the Felsted CCF where hisrank is Cdt. RSM. Both have exams this summer and have been a part of the cadets for the past four years. Ben has written the following article about their plans…

“As Upper Sixth cadets at Felsted School, we are always striving to push ourselves to the limit, both academically and physically. Last year, we completed the National Three Peaks Challenge to raise funds for SSAFA, the Armed Forces Charity. However, our desire to make a difference and support this important cause did not stop there.

“This year, we are taking on an even greater challenge: the Bob Graham Round. Known as one of the most gruelling and demanding courses in the fell running world, this course includes 42 of the highest peaks in the Lake District, covering a distance of 106 km with over 27,000 ft of climbing which equates to just below the height of Mount Everest. Our goal is to complete the course within 24 hours, returning to Moot Hall, Keswick, and join the elite ‘Bob Graham Club’, while raising £5,000 for SSAFA.

“We have chosen to raise funds for SSAFA because of the vital support they provide to the military community. As the oldest tri-service charity, they have a long history of offering assistance to serving personnel, veterans, and their families. Despite this, they are not as well-known as some other charities. We believe it is important to give them the recognition they deserve and to help them continue to provide their invaluable services to those who need it most.

“Balancing our school work and training has been a challenge, but we have remained committed to our goal. Upholding the values of Integrity, Excellence, Respect, and Resilience, we have maintained a rigorous training schedule of running 60-70 km per week, supplemented with strength and conditioning sessions in the gym. Even as we prepare for our final exams this summer, we remain focused on this important cause and the difference we hope to make.

“We hope to inspire others to support us in our mission to raise £5,000 for SSAFA. By donating to this worthy cause, you can help make a difference in the lives of those who have served our country. Together, we can show our gratitude and support for our military community.”

James Dodson, SSAFA – Divisional Treasurer, Braintree, Essex:

“Following their successful 3 Peaks Challenge in 2022, raising over £3,000 for SSAFA, Ben Hewett and Tom Stiengold, students at Felsted School have now signed up to complete the Bob Graham Round, the notorious fell running challenge in the English Lake District again in support of SSAFA. The Braintree divisional team (within Essex Branch) are delighted to support the boys with the provision of specialist kit and fell running shoes, and extend our best wishes for the challenge, and heartfelt thanks for your commitment and support for SSAFA. Good luck!”

Major (Retired) Lee Jay – Felsted School CCF:

“Both Ben and Tom have been with the CCF at Felsted School since Year 9 and have gone from strength to strength. Both have invested much time and effort in supporting others and encouraging fellow cadets to do well, they have both climbed the CCF Cadet rank ladder impressively. It is of no surprise that they take on this task and much admiration is given both, to their cause and indeed their motivation to complete the challenge. We as a CCF wish them every success.”



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