New FKTs (fastest known times) have been set on two of Britain’s three most epic 24-hour fell running quests: both the single and the double Paddy Buckley Round, by Damian Hall (single) and Nicky Spinks (double), and the Charlie Ramsay Round, by Es Tresidder. (The third of these is the Bob Graham Round, on which a new record was set last year by Kilian Jornet.)
The Paddy Buckley Round links 47 summits in Wales, with over 8,500m of elevation change (almost the height of Mt. Everest), covering a distance of more than 61 miles (98K). The previous FKT, set 10 years ago by Tim Higginbottom, was 17 hours and 42 minutes, and that mark taken down in June by Hall, who did it in 17:31.
Hall finished fifth at UTMB last year.
Hall had accumulated a lot of experience on this route over the last year, running it in March but hampered by bad weather, which prevented his finishing in under 24 hours. This year he also supported three other runners in their attempts to conquer it, including Spinks, who completed the first-ever double Paddy Buckley Round. (Spinks, who is in her 50s, is the first person ever to complete doubles of all three classic rounds. She also competed at the Barkley Marathons this year.)
— John Kelly (@RndmForestRunnr) July 7, 2019
In a blog post on the Inov-8 site, Hall refers to the Paddy Buckley as the “least celebrated, probably the trickiest and certainly the quirkiest of the Big Three,” owing to there being no set starting point or official time limit, and to the region’s unpredictable weather.
Hall also credits runner Michael Corrales, without whose “brilliant bullying” he says he would never have taken the record (he went into the fifth and final section of the round 25 minutes past the target).
More recently, Tresidder set a new FKT of 16:12:32 on the Ramsay Round, a 58-mile (93K) route linking 24 Scottish peaks, including Ben Nevis, at 1,343 metres the highest peak in the British Isles. The previous record, only 81 seconds longer, was set in 2016 by Jasmin Paris, who famously won the Montane Spine Race in January, beating both male and female course records, and prompting Laz Lake to speculate that she could become the first woman finisher at the Barkley Marathons. (Paris has yet to enter that race.)
— SteelTownRunner (@SteelTownRunner) July 7, 2019
Such is the supportive nature of Britain’s fell-running community that Paris paced Tresidder on one stage of his quest.
Tresidder is a relative newcomer to this type of quest, and told UKC that at no time was he fully confident of breaking Paris’s record.