Keswick to Barrow Walk 2013-05-09


The Team

 The Team

PO Benson 
CPO Dean 
WTR Baker  
 LET Coultard  
ET Bennet  
LET Warren 
LSTD Munro  
WTR Weaver    
CPO Stevenson  
 CPO Scott     
LET Gyte      
CPO Anderson    
WO2 Ritchie   
LSCISM Shaw    
CPO Middleton 
LOGS Hamilton   
 LOGS Szulc  
WTR Morgan    

On the 11th May 2013,  20 members of HMS ARTFUL will join 3000 other walkers to take part in the 47th annual 40 mile charity walk, consisting 15 walkers and 5 support crew. 

The 15 walkers are split into 2 teams, that will be competing for the Resolution Trophy. 


The Teams are

Team 1 

  • Craig Middleton
  • Dave Ritchie
  • Bagsy Baker
  • Ginge Gyte
  • Chris ‘Bungle’ Warren
  • Benny Benson
  • Rick Rotimi
  • Davie Shaw
  • Matt Scott
  • Matt King

Team 2

  • Dixie Dean
  • Rattler Morgan
  • Grant Weaver
  • Neil Stevenson
  • Ryan Szulc
  • Supported By
  • Neal Anderson
  • Ed Munro
  • Neil Coultard
  • Wiggy Bennet
  • Hammy Hamilton

The optimum number in a team is 10 to gain maximum points and the slowest persons time recorded will be that of the 10th person, last year we entered 12 and our 12th man was the slowest time recorded for our team.  I have not made the same mistake again this year.

A little bit about the Walk

‘The Keswick to Barrow (K2B) Walk is a 40 mile sponsored walking and running event in the English Lake District. Teams of between 6 and 12 members test themselves on a challenging route, to raise money for charities and good causes.’

‘The K2B route starts at Rough How Bridge, three miles south of Keswick, proceeds down the peaceful banks of Thirlmere at the foot of Helvellyn, winds up and over Dunmail Raise, and continues down through the villages of Grasmere and Elterwater.

From there the route passes Yew Tree Tarn before reaching the head of Coniston Water, where the quiet east bank of the lake is followed. There are fine views of Coniston Old Man as the route passes Brantwood, the former home of John Ruskin, then continues through the tranquil village of Nibthwaite before arriving in Lowick.

The most challenging section is the progressive ascent up Kirkby Moor to the highest point of the route. Then it descends through the village of Marton and on via Dalton-in-Furness to the finish at Hawcoat Park Sports Club on the outskirts of Barrow-in-Furness.

There are eight official timing checkpoints, and a number of other locations where participants can obtain free drinks, food, first aid, and support. The fastest runners complete the 40 mile official race in just over 4 hours, and the majority of walkers take between 8 and 12 hours. All finishers receive a completion certificate and a commemorative medal.’

The History

The idea of walking from Keswick to Barrow originated in 1966 as a result of a statement made by the late U.S. President, John F Kennedy, that “every American should be capable of walking 50 miles a day”.

We have researched further back (‘Time’ magazine, 22nd Feb 1963) and found that in 1908, U.S. President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt had issued an Executive Order requiring all Marine Corps Officers to be able to walk 50 miles within 20 hours. In 1963, U.S. Marine Commandant David M Shoup unearthed the Roosevelt Executive Order and sent this curio to another presidential believer in vigour, JFK, who replied asking if U.S. Marines were still fit enough to complete this test. The president’s response was published and soon everyone was in the act: Americans were taking an old-fashioned 50-mile walk. JFK’s brother, the Attorney-General, Robert F Kennedy, upheld the honour of the Executive Branch (i.e. the deskbound Government officers), by completing 50 miles from Great Falls, Virginia, to Camp David, Maryland, in 17 hours 50 minutes.”I’m a little stiff” he admitted, “but that’s natural, never having walked 50 miles before”.

In 1966 the first Royal Naval Polaris Submarine, HMS Resolution, was under construction at the Barrow Shipyard where several American experts were involved with the project. The idea of the walk was conceived and plans were soon under way to organise it and build relationships between the submarine crew and the Shipyard workers. The initiative was taken by the Installation Manager (Submarines) to formally challenge the Commanding Officer of HMS Resolution to form a team and walk from Keswick to Barrow, approximately 50 miles, on 1st April 1967.

The Commercial Department of Vickers heard of this challenge and joined in the walk making it a three-way contest with the crew of HMS Resolution and the yard team. The HMS Resolution crew finally won the team contest in the face of severe competition but a Shipyard worker claimed the honour of being the first person back to Barrow.

Within the space of just 7 years, the walk had grown from 63 participants to 1,500 expected walkers (1974), and people from across the country were taking part. In 1974, a team from HMS Vulcan travelled all the way from Dounreay (Thurso, Caithness) at the very top of Scotland to take part in the walk: that’s over 400 miles! Nowadays, it is common for about 2500 walkers start the walk, and charity donations of over £300,000 are made in the autumn after each walk. Teams still arrive from the north coast of Scotland to the south coast of England, and many points in between. Since 1967, £2,401,132 has been raised (2012 figure) and more than 2,120,000 miles have been walked.

Some of the more interesting features that have been present throughout the history of the Keswick to Barrow Walk are the trophies and shields. The “Resolution Cup”, offered by the HMS Resolution crew at the first walk for the first team of walkers home, has been awarded every year since. As a challenge cup, it has been won 10 times by Royal Naval teams and 36 times by Shipyard teams.