Paddy Buckley success for North Wales fell runners
The most prominent ‘Round’ in the UK fell running scene has to be the Bob Graham. An iconic 42 peaks to be completed in 24 hours, starting and finishing at Moot Hall in Keswick and renowned as an amazing feather in the cap of any fell runner…
The Scots have the super-tough Ramsey Round, another beast of a challenge requiring runners to complete 24 Munro’s of over 3000ft in the same allotted time.
As you would expect, Wales also has its own, and some would argue the toughest of the lot. Bob Wightman describes the Paddy Buckley Round as:
The Paddy Buckley Round is much newer than its better known Lakeland counterpart, the BGR. As a consequence many fewer people have succeeded on it or even attempted it. It is of similar distance to the Bob Graham but has slightly greater ascent and descent. In keeping with Snowdonia being rockier than the Lake District it also traverses generally rougher ground.
With ascent of over 29,000ft and around 62 miles the PBR is certainly up there.
So, on Saturday a crack team of four North Wales-based fell runners (Jonathan Moore, Dylan Webber, Matt Fortes and Craig Stansfield) set out to have a go at the Paddy Buckley. Their back-up and pacing team included Snowdonian mountain goats Iain and Sarah Ridgway, Matthew Roberts, Noel Craine and many more, so with reasonable weather conditions the odds looked to be in their favour.
Matt Fortes picks up the story:
“Jonathan Moore, Dylan Webber and myself (Eryri), and Craig Stansfield, set off from Capel Curig at 11:30am on Saturday on a sunny but cold day to attempt the 62 mile , 47 tops including 29000ft of ascent and descent Paddy Buckley Round.
“The first couple of legs went really well with us gaining time despite encountering the odd light snow flurry, and we were met by a glorious sunset as we passed over the Nantlle ridge.
“Unfortunately, an earlier back injury meant that Dylan wisely called it a day after leg two. The night section passed well, and the long climb up to Elidir Fach seemed to go on forever, but as dawn broke over the Glyders, our spirits rose, and we finally began to feel that we might actually complete it!
“The final leg over the Carneddau was tough, but under glorious sunshine we ran (hobbled!) down the final section back towards the Pinnacle Cafe with huge smiles on our faces to be welcomed by a large crowd of family, friends and supporters.
“Our time was 23 hours and 29 minutes. Many thanks to all the kind people who gave up their bank holiday weekend to provide running and road support on this fantastic day out in Snowdonia! – Sarah, Ali, David, Math, Rory, Anthony, Shane, Dick, George, Iain, Paul, Jim, Noel, Gary, Paul, James, Becki, Nicola and Lisa.
Check out Sarah’s brilliant set of images here.
So, if you fancy a Round in the UK anytime soon, consider the PBR, it might not quite have the same mythical nature as the BGR, but it will certainly make up for it in toughness. Well done all!