Ultra runner Kim Collison got the "Fastest Known Time" ball rolling in 2021 with an impressive Paddy Buckley Round finish at the weekend.
Kim, who is based the English Lake District, completed the tough 100km Welsh round of 47 summits in northern Snowdonia, with a total ascent of 8535m, in 16 hours 20 minutes and 40 seconds.
Kim, who is a running coach (opens in new tab) and supported by La Sportiva, has been keen to attempt the Welsh round last year.
But the 40-year-old was stopped in his tracks when the UK went into Covid-19 lockdown and instead he made his 2020 focus the Lakes 24-hour. He broke the record last July.
A month later Math, who lives in Wales, set his blistering record on the Paddy Buckley Round and Kim decided he would need to fully recover from his Lakes 24-hour effort before going for the Welsh round.
At the start of 2021, Kim said he made the Paddy Buckley his "A plan". He reveals: “I knew I would need to be in really good form to have a chance of breaking Math’s time so I left it for 2021. I started my ‘A goal’ training for the Paddy in January and then I was fortunate that the Covid restrictions eased in England at the perfect time – and with great weather – for me to give it a go.
“I am really happy to have set a new record.”
Kim's record-breaking Paddy Buckley Round
The Paddy Buckley is one of three classic fell running rounds in Britain. The other two are the Ramsay Round in Scotland and the Bob Graham in England.
Kim, who set a winter Bob Graham record in 2019, describes the Paddy Buckley as more challenging. He said: “Although they are similar in distance and summits, there are fewer well-worn trods to follow on the Paddy. There are more bogs, tussocks and rocky scrambly bits.”
Kim took on the Paddy Buckley as a supported round. He enjoyed running with friends and had at least two runners per five legs of the course. He followed the same route as Math.
Kim said: “Looking at the splits for each leg, Math and I were very similar in legs three, four and five. It was the first two legs in which I gained my time advantage by going out faster and harder. I pretty much held on to this advantage, plus or minus a minute, for the rest of the course.”
Thanks to good weather, Kim was able to enjoy stunning views of the Welsh landscape throughout the route. He said: “Highlights were an amazing sunrise, great views all day and having many friends along to support me.
“We all had such a great day out and it was really good to see the joy on everyone’s face as we came together to run in the hills again.
“The camaraderie of the fell running community is something I really like and the day was immense.”
Math joined Kim for the final half leg. Kim said: “It was really good of Math to join me at the end.
"I had a great day out on a shared journey with other enthusiastic runners and I am really pleased to have set a new record time.”
Fiona Russell is a widely published adventure journalist and blogger, who is better known as Fiona Outdoors. She is based in Scotland and is an all-round outdoors enthusiast with favourite activities including trail running, mountain walking, mountain biking, road cycling, triathlon and skiing, both downhill and back country. Her target for 2021 is to finish the final nine summits in her first round of all 282 Munros, the Scottish mountains of more than 3,000ft high. Aside from being outdoors, Fiona's biggest aim is to inspire others to enjoy the great outdoors, especially through her writing. She is also rarely seen without a running skort! Find out more at Fiona Outdoors (opens in new tab).
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