Irish Mountain
Running Association

Wicklow Round Attempt

Luke RaffertySep 10 2020, 1:22pmGood afternoon all - hope you are well. This is notice of my intention to attempt doing the Wicklow Round starting today the 10th of September at 1.30pm. I hope this challenge is my friend today and that I can break the 'Spell' it has cast on me many years ago. Regards, Luke.
Brian KitsonSep 10 2020, 1:27pmA dot i’m looking forward to following. Delighted you’re having a crack at it, fella.
Andre Van BarneveldSep 10 2020, 1:41pmAwesome! Best of luck and good conditions Luke
Mike JordanSep 10 2020, 1:49pmHead down, keep truckin' Luke!
Mick HanneySep 10 2020, 2:52pmBest wishes Luke.
John CondonSep 10 2020, 3:38pmGood luck Luke.
Stephen BrennanSep 10 2020, 3:55pmAll the best Luke. Flying start!
Graham K. BusheSep 10 2020, 4:03pmGreat Stuff Luke. Wishing you all the best. Hope it all goes to plan. As I write this you have already crossed Duff Hill!
Christopher DunneSep 10 2020, 4:16pmBest of luck Luke....
Gordon PlaceSep 10 2020, 5:11pmBest of luck Luke!!
Paul KevilleSep 10 2020, 7:11pmGood stuff luke enjoy it
Thomas RocheSep 10 2020, 7:15pmNice surprise to see this, best of luck Luke, I hope u smash it
Damian KellySep 10 2020, 8:15pmBest of luck Luke and you are having a great start, go and nail it as you really deserve it.
Ross FitzgeraldSep 10 2020, 8:17pmGood man Luke, keep her lit
John J BarrySep 11 2020, 11:04amOh! - exciting Luke coming to last climb (PWS) and out for 21 hours. He be okay for time but not a lot to spare. Could be ~23:30 by the end.
Jeff FitzsimonsSep 11 2020, 11:47amWoohoo, good luck.
John J BarrySep 11 2020, 1:35pmCongratulations Luke..

It's beginning to look like the definitive round route now. There will be a good track been formed for the people following..
Richard NunanSep 11 2020, 6:09pmWell done Luke, super running out there! Great to another successful round attempt ! Nice thing about finishing midday is you get to go to the pub for 90 Minutes :-) Enjoy !
Lillian DeeganSep 12 2020, 12:46pmFair play Luke. Absolutely great to hear you closed this one out. Delighted for you. Well done!
Luke RaffertySep 14 2020, 1:47pmHey All – I hope you are good?

Well I managed to break the ‘Spell’ which has left me feeling kind of strange. There were lots of experiences throughout my Wicklow Round but here are a few words on 2 moments.

After the lowest point I’ve ever had for any event in Glenmac and after losing so much time I was under pressure, I was throwing myself off Lugala. I took the turn down for the Cloghoge River crossing too soon and had to make my way out left. The most frightening thing then happened, I looked up and caught a glimpse of Djouce. It has never looked so immense and terrifying.

The checkpoint was up and running and I spent no more than 5 minutes there. I made my way up Djouce and all I could think about was getting to Tonduff. I knew my Tonduff line was perfect and if I got there without letting up on the way I'd make it back to where I started.

The descent off Tonduff was born out of an idea that Liam Vines had for his Winter Round. I had listened to himself and Don Hannon talking about it and about how much time could be saved if there was a way down. I trained with Liam for his winter round and one night we went off Tonduff and the experience left me shell shocked. I am lucky that there is not a memorial up there now for the 2 of us!

We would constantly talk about it since and I reccied every other way around to PWS from this point. One fine clear morning myself and Jason Dowling went up that direction and in a last-minute decision we decided to just take a look. We managed to work our way down quicker than we expected. Got to the bottom and thought that was very quick. I went back up with Liam one day after that and could not replicate it. So thought it was just a phantom line, a once off piece of luck or just a fluke.

When I decided I was going to go back to the start line again, I went back to Tonduff and I reccied it constantly in good weather and bad. Over time I developed the line and it was perfect. It saved my bacon.

Thank you all again for the messages of support, it is a nice feeling having been able to solider through the low point with the help of my outstanding crew.

The hardest part for me was actually driving to the start line last Thursday for a 3rd attempt. My father passed away in late July and he was one of the main influencers in my love of the Dublin / Wicklow mountains. As Sean Mason said to me yesterday “he had a nice birds eye view”.

I wish anyone else thinking of doing it the absolute best, it’s worth every moment.
Miriam MaherSep 14 2020, 2:07pmLuke,

What a wonderful account. Huge congratulations on your achievement.
Condelences on the recent loss of your father, there could be no doubt but that he was watching over you.

Laura FlynnSep 14 2020, 3:27pmWell done Luke, that makes great reading and what a lovely tribute to your late father. He would have been proud.
Niamh KellySep 14 2020, 4:12pmWell done Luke what a great write up and no doubt your Dad was with you fantastic running
Sarah BradySep 14 2020, 6:04pmLovely words Luke and congratulations on an awesome achievement!
Brendan NevilleSep 15 2020, 1:14pmLuke lovely sentiment - your Dad was with you every step!