Irish Mountain
Running Association

‘Sciencey’ Tips for a Successful Round

Brian KitsonMay 27 2021, 7:28pmWith so many people attempting the Wicklow Round in the coming weeks, I thought I’d distil the latest and finest scientific factual tips to ensure 100% success in your Round attempt.

So, in no particular order:

PACING. Show the course who’s boss by going out hard. You should running so hot by the time you hit Carrigvore that you have discarded most of your gear. The Round entity will be so surprised by your aura of invincibility it will yield to you and make the remaining 20-odd hours seem ridiculously easy.

KIT CHECK. Shades…check, golf-visor…check, neon calf-guards…check. You’re all set for that cover feature spread in American Runner magazine. Skin is waterproof so what more could you possibly need?

HIGH PERFORMING CREW. Crewing is boring so it’s vital to keep your crew on their toes. Provide them with wildly inaccurate check-point rendezvous times and locations. When they eventually find you and ask want food you want, say ‘surprise me’ and whatever they give you SPIT IT OUT IN DISGUST.

FUEL WISELY. Stop for a fortifying pint of stout or several at the Glenmalure Lodge. It’s been scientifically proven that Guinness is good for you and as it’s usually consumed in ‘rounds’ this obviously means that, for you, more Guinness = more goodness.

NAV PAR EXCELLENCE. Be damned what your map and compass is indicating. If your gut feel tells you that it’s the other way, then it’s the other way. End of.

SUPPORTERS. Insist that your close family and friends provide you with early support at the military road after you come off Kippure. Regardless of how ungodly the hour. Have them make inspirational signs displaying messages such as ‘RUN LIKE YOU LEFT THE IMMERSION ON!!!’, ‘EVEN CHUCK NORRIS DIDN’T DO THE WICKLOW ROUND!!!!’ and, of course, ‘NEARLY THERE!’. This will make the remaining 100km fly by.

TRAVEL LIGHT. Save weight by not carrying a map for the section after Glendalough to the finish. Simply ask one of the tourists there for directions. Their “Let’s Go! British Isles” guidebook will indicate the best line off Scarr and Tonduff.

NATURAL RESOURCES. Mother Nature is rooting for you so harness what’s around you. Did you know that most of the vegetation on the Wicklow Round is fully edible? Munching away at gorse, heather and ferns is a great way of fuelling and clearing the trail at the same time. Drink from the steams when thirsty and the remains of that dead sheep upstream will provide you with a much needed protein hit and rapid weight loss.

Let me know if there are any I've missed.
Michael DowlingMay 27 2021, 7:34pmLOL... brilliant Brian, I have taken note of all but one, I am afraid if I stopped off in the Lodge I might get roped into work... but all the others are excellent advice....
Robert CostelloMay 27 2021, 8:42pmWas this your approach on your first or third attempt? ;-p
Linda O'ConnorMay 28 2021, 8:55amSound advice there Brian, can't wait to try them all :)
Conor KeaneMay 28 2021, 2:31pmBrilliant Brian, myself and the lads hadn't considered a couple of these!
Peter BellMay 28 2021, 4:33pmBrilliant Brian!, its funny cause its true. I have followed most of that for years and its only let me down on most occasions.