Hill runners love their rounds. All the home countries have their own multi-hill challenges – in Scotland there is the Charlie Ramsey Round, in England there is the Bob Graham Round and in Wales there is the Paddy Buckley Round. The latter covers more than 100 km and takes in 47 summits. Wikipedia tells us that –
Runners may start at any point on the circular route (finishing at the same place) and may run the course in either a clockwise or anticlockwise direction. The route takes in the well-known high mountain ranges of Snowdon, the Glyderau and the Carneddau as well as the slightly less visited ranges of Moel Siabod, the Moelwynion, Moel Hebog and the Nantlle Ridge. The route was devised by the eponymous Paddy Buckley and first completed in 1982 by Wendy Dodds. The selection of summits that must be visited is somewhat arbitrary and no rules appear to have been applied in selecting them. Generally, it takes in the major peaks of the ranges that are being crossed, then any minor tops that are passed along the way are also included. Some of these tops really are just bumps on the ridge and not really summits in their own right at all.
- For many years the fastest authentic round was by Mark Hartell in 18 hours 10 minutes;
- Then on 4th May 2008, this time was matched by Chris Near of Eryri Harriers.
- The record was broken in July 2009 by Tim Higginbottom who completed the Round in a time of 17 hours and 42 minutes.
- This was further reduced in 2019 by Damian Hall with 17 hours 31 minutes,
- Again on 30 August 2020 by Matthew Roberts with a time of 16 hours 38 minutes.
- Kim Collison set a new best time of 16 hours 20 minutes in April 2021.
- A year later, in April 2022, a new record was set by Finlay Wild who completed the round solo and unsupported in a time of 15 hours 14 minutes.
We have a separate webpage on Finlay Wild whose run was, as noted above, solo and without any support. This was quite a feat for a man from Fort William running over a course which was so far from home and which, no matter how much planning had gone into it, must have been largely unknown to him.
The women’s record at September 2022 was 18 hours and 33 minutes by Jasmin Paris.