Paddy Buckley Record

Originally posted on May 20, 2013 by Chris Baynham-Hughes

Sadly not for me, but happily I got to be a part of a new Ladies record this weekend. The incredible Nicky Spinks now holds both the Bob Graham and Paddy Buckley records following a round in just 19 hours and 2 minutes.

At 3am on Sunday morning I set off with Karl Steinegger (a very talented young fell runner who just gets better every time I see him), Rob Woodall (Long distance fell supremo and holder of the Paddy Buckley extended tops record) and most importantly Nicky Spinks as she attempted to break the Paddy Buckley record. We started out on Leg 1; The longest of the lot from Capel Curig to Nantmor. I was very pleased that Karl was on board as I feared that I wouldn’t be able to keep up and didn’t want to let Nicky down.

The route starts with a stiff climb to Moel Siabod then takes in the bogs and multiple peaks to the quarry at the base of Foel Ddu near Blaenau Ffestiniog where we met Wayne (Karl’s dad and former Helsby runner – the first person to complete a BG for Helsby) for his usual incredible standard of logistical support (it was like walking into a café/ sweet shop!)

Foel Ddu was next on the way to the Moelwyns before looping back to Nantmor via Cnicht. Conditions were perfect, I just wasn’t perfectly dressed for it! I’d expected it to be cold so wore full length skins and an ice breaker. I was soaked to the skin by the end! Thankfully I managed to keep up despite going up to my thighs twice in bogs and doing mini sprints back and forth to Nicky when she needed food or water (Rob and I let Karl do most of them… good training for him :)).

The highlights have to be the sunrise crossing the tops towards the quarries and the view from the top of Moelwyn Bach The peace and tranquillity up there was astounding and the sights brought back memories of the Dragon’s back. I confess to being left for dead on the climb up Cnicht with only Karl just managing to keep up. If I could consistently climb like Nicky I’d be in a totally different league, she’s just a machine when it comes to the steep stuff! I did manage to catch up well before the road though and just in time to supply a well needed gel and banana. The section was finished in roughly 5 hours and 36 minutes which was just incredible and well up on the record breaking schedule she had set herself.

Watching my phone for text updates throughout the day built the excitement as Nicky neared a sub 19 hour finish. The clock just beat her to that, but she comfortably took the record by 17 minutes, finishing in 19 hours and 2 minutes. Phenomenal. A real honour to be a part of it.

I was back just in time to shower and head to Rhys’ school fete. He took part in the fancy dress toddle (it wasn’t a race… honest) and he came second to a princess (it wouldn’t have been the done thing to beat a princess) who was a foot taller than him…. But it wasn’t a race… no, no. Not a race at all. 🙂

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