This Sunday, American ultrarunner John Kelly and British ultrarunner Russell Bentley set out to complete midwinter Paddy Buckley Rounds, starting out in the same place and running opposite directions to meet each other back at the finish. Bentley had a fantastic day, and ended up setting a new FKT (fastest known time) on the 100K route, finishing in 20:15:49.
Tomorrow at 7 AM UK time I'll set off on a Paddy Buckley Round clockwise starting at Capel Curig for hopefully my 1st of 3 mid winter solo adventures. To add to the fun, @russell_runner will set off at the same time in the opposite direction. Tracking: https://t.co/fF5UL3ZUFN
— John Kelly (@RndmForestRunnr) December 18, 2021
The Paddy Buckley Round is an extremely challenging course in Wales that takes runners over 47 summits throughout the 100K route for a total of 28,000 feet of elevation gain. According to fastestknowntime.com, it was first completed in 1982 by Wendy Dobbs. The winter FKT on the course was previously held by British runner Damian Hall, who completed the loop on January 29, 2020, in 21:30:06. Bentley’s time smashed Hall’s record by nearly one hour and fifteen minutes, and Hall himself made a point of congratulating Bentley on his accomplishment.
Huge congrats to the talented @russell_runner on a new Winter Paddy Buckley Record, and unsupported too. I've seen the hard work he's put in, plus I couldn't be handing it over to an acer dood. What a year he's had in the Welsh mountains. #PaddyBuckleyRound #recordbimble https://t.co/KUdPMJszth
— Damian Hall (@Ultra_Damo) December 20, 2021
Bentley ran the course unsupported, counter-clockwise, while Kelly ran the route clockwise. Unfortunately, Kelly made it as far as the Llanberis checkpoint in 14:49:29 before throwing in the towel. This was Bentley’s second attempt at the winter Paddy Buckley Round after his first try in December 2020, which he completed in 22:45. Bentley is a UK Athletics-qualified coach and is sponsored Noble Pro VJ Sport Vroom Nutrition. He has a marathon personal best of 2:20:20 from the Berlin Marathon, and has only begun tackling longer runs since the COVID-19 pandemic began.