24 May 2010

paddy buckley round-a supporters view

23 hours and 43 minutes is what it took simon to complete the paddy buckley round, 61 miles with 28000' ascent. but this fact alone doesn't even scratch the surface of the true story. a year of total dedication, a winter of long runs and an absolute resolve to get round in under 24 hours.

starting at 6pm on friday, he leaves aberglaslyn with jon and ant. we went to the pub. it was hot, thirsty work waiting around for them. back to the roadside and team O-P swung into action. already an hour up on schedule, but i think this was kinda the plan.

he heads of into the dark with gareth. just the small matter of snowdon in between him and the next pot noodle. anxious that more time might be gained paul and i are waiting in llanberis from 0115. well, you never know. night running is not a spectators sport but the sense of anticipation and excitement is getting to me. am i jealous? anyway....

they arrive. simon still looking fresh but unable to eat. it's hot and it's only 0230. tea and crisps forced down. paul leads him up into the deserted mines and i take gareth back to the campsite. still up on schedule.

the next roadside crossing and support happens whilst i'm still asleep. but team O-P, gaynor, ant, jon and some bagpipes were all around the ogwen area from about 0530. and it's starting to get hotter....

1030 and gaynor comes storming up the road, "tea and soup, tea and soup". once again the roadside crew start simultaneously, boiling and cooling water. somehow simon manages to change shoes, have blisters burst, drink a mug of tea, spoon warm broth and change into shorts all at the same time.

simon's not looking quite as fresh, in fact, everyone's looking a bit pink and sweaty. on the final leg it's me, shane and jon-but no bagpipes. there's absolutely no wind and not a cloud in the sky. a steady pace up moel siabod and a cracking run down.

then things start to get a bit sketchy. jon is fantastic and steps up to the job of navigator. we just try and keep moving and every so often force a gel on simon. the summits are indistinct rocky outcrops surrounded by bog. the bog is sapping energy and time. quite a bit of time actually.

slowly doubt crept into simon's mind. he's blown it, there's no hope of a sub 24 any more. despite jon's calculations, simon became convinced and personally i thought he might be right. just get to the quarries. jane and gareth are there waiting with more food and water. in fact they would spend a good 5 hours up there. yup, things weren't looking good.

eventually the moelwyns come into view. blimey, that took a lot longer than i thought, almost an hour longer.... a speedy refill and we're off on a 'quick' loop of the three summits. simon seems almost resigned to the fact that time is slipping away. and there's still a few hills to go.

my legs had starting to cramp. i couldn't believe how strong simon seemed in comparison. i miss craig ysgan and head straight up moelwyn mawr. jon and shane are going well and keeping the pace going. i take few motivational phone calls from simon's wife. she says, we have to be tough with him, keep him going, he needs to get in under 24hr. message passed on.

another flying descent but this time no stopping. filling up as we pass jane and gareth. it's still on but it's going to be very close. climbing cnict i stick with simon. i can't imagine where he's getting his strength from. but he seems to be gaining seconds with every step. he's starting to believe in himself again. it was bloody amazing watching that transformation. final summit reached soon after 1700.

from the top it's all i can do to hang on. jon and shane literally tear down the hillside, simon hot on their heals. i keep them in sight out of shear survial, not knowing the final few miles!! it was an awesome performance and totally humbling to witness.

simon showed such strength of character, a true determination to succeed. when it got tough, it then got a bit tougher, and a little bit tougher and he just got on with the job in hand. he didn't once talk of stopping, just slowing. somehow he turned it around whilst ascending a scree slop to the top of cnict.

well and truly inspired.


SS:Mtn Biker said...

Mad props and huge congrads for that performance!!! Truely an inspiration to me :-)


Ben said...

Amazing, it must have been roasting. Good support job done obviously.

Donkarlo said...

Sounds like a great day out well done to Simon and well done to the support.

ultra collie said...

great report
that looks like jonathan whilock on the left no doubt

iain said...

Kate i'm helping Jon the bagpiper on his Paddy in a couple of weeks time. And possibly Shane on his BG middle of June. Tis a neat friendly world of fell running. Not met Simon but very good effort in those conditions.

Pedalling Polarcherry said...

have to say I love the team spirit in fell running. must give you all a happy glow to know your being looked after

kate said...

ss- it's certainly going to keep me going for a while! hope you get on those wheels soon :)

ben- will pass it on, cheers!

donkarlo- it truly was. is a pb on your horizon?

uc- i think it is. met him for the first time. lovely guy.

iain- isn't it a small and friendly, hilly world. jon is looking really strong, hope it's a bit cooler for you though. and i really hope shane gets his support sorted. think he's having a bit of a nightmare.

ppc- we're all warm and fuzzy. but i think that might be the heat stroke ;)

The Sunday Adventure Club said...

brilliant run and brilliant read, well done all!

sbrt said...

Well done all.

Is this a recce for your PB

Emma said...

Kate, great account, must admit it's really ggod to get a supports perspective....SO, you'll be up for a bit of nav-ving now then?!! ;-)
Hope things are well with you x

kate said...

SAC- cheers, and passed on :)

sbrt- haha!!! it does appeal to me but i'm a long way off that sort of craziness!

emma- roadside support is pretty nerve racking but certainly easier than stepping up to navving!! ...thanks :)

Anonymous said...

Fantastic! What an achievement. Many congratulations to Simon, and to those who supported him.

GaryUFM said...

Bit late seeing this. Great effort by Simon, and well supported!! Sounds like an epic day in the hills. One to remember.