Paddy Buckley Round
Coordinates: The Paddy Buckley Round is a long distance fell running challenge in Snowdonia, Wales. The route is a circuit of just over 100 km long taking in some 47 summits. The aim is for participants to complete the route, on foot rather than bike or quadbike. Although no time limit is set, an arbitrary 24 hours is applied, similar to the Bob Graham Round. 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 well 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. Unlike the Bob Graham Round in the lake district there is no 24-hour time limit for the Paddy Buckley because the first completer exceeded the original aim of 24 hours.
The fastest known completion of the Round was, for many years, by Mark Hartell in 18 hours 10 minutes. On 4 May 2008, this time was matched by Chris Near of Eryri Harriers. Finally, this old record was broken by Tim Higginbottom in July 2009 to set a new record at 17 hours and 42 minutes. The women's record is held by Nicky Spinks, who set a time of 19 hours and 2 minutes in 2013.
The Round has the reputation of being somewhat tougher to complete than its English Lake District equivalent, the Bob Graham Round. Certainly, far fewer runners have completed the Paddy Buckley; however, relatively few have actually attempted it. 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.
In their book, "The Welsh Three Thousand Foot Challenges: A Guide for Walkers and Hill Runners", Ronald Turnbull and Roy Clayton describe a version of the route, which avoids the slate quarries which the fastest line utilises, and also suggest attempting it as a four-day backpacking (lightweight camping) excursion.
Below is a list of the summits that must be visited, in a clockwise direction, if starting from Llanberis.
|Summit||Grid reference||Altitude/m||Approximate cumulative distance/km|
|9||Pen yr Ole Wen||SH655619||978||18|
|12||Pen yr Helgi Du||SH698630||833||25|
|13||Pen Llithrig y Wrach||SH716623||799||27|
|14||Carnedd Moel Siabod||SH705546||872||36|
|16||Carnedd y Cribau||SH676536||591||40|
|20||Mynydd Llynnau'r Cwn||SH663485||669||46|
|32||Moel yr Ogof||SH556478||655||73|
|36||Trum y Ddysgl||SH544516||709||78|
Below is a profile of the route, again starting and finishing at Llanberis, running in a clockwise direction.