|Ciaran Croke||Jun 16 2021, 10:13am||Hi Folks. |
I've ditched the Garmin and donned the Casio!
I'm going to have a go at the round on Saturday 19th June starting at 02:30. The original plan of going out Sunday morning looked less appetising the closer it got so I decided to go 24 hours earlier. Might see a few of you out there.
|Lillian Deegan||Jun 16 2021, 10:28am||Well now, here’s a surprise one. Good for you Ciaran. Make the most of your jaunt - go smash it!|
|Stephen Brennan||Jun 16 2021, 2:12pm||All the best Ciaran.|
|Graham K. Bushe||Jun 16 2021, 3:30pm||Best of luck Ciaran, I hope it goes well for you. I'm hoping the weather is good too :) :) :)|
|Owen Fenton||Jun 16 2021, 4:35pm||The very best of luck Ciaran - fingers crossed now for a good fine day for you|
|Thomas Roche||Jun 16 2021, 6:52pm||Good luck Ciaran|
|David Dunne||Jun 17 2021, 1:12pm||Very best of Luck Ciaran|
|Ivana Kolaric||Jun 18 2021, 6:48pm||Best of luck Ciaran. :)|
|John Mollohan||Jun 20 2021, 9:07am||Good man Ciaran. Solid as a rock all day chief. Delighted for you |
Hup ya boy ya !!
|Stephen Brennan||Jun 20 2021, 9:55am||Well done Ciaran. Very strong all the way. Great stuff.|
|Ciaran Croke||Jun 21 2021, 12:17pm||Hi All,|
Thank you to everyone for the well wishes. It was an epic day out. I recall a truly fantastic sunrise and many moments of elation as I thought to myself "Sure what else would you be doing on a Saturday".
In particular I would like to extend my gratitude to my crew member Fabio who had the support stops kitted and run like an F1 pit-stop! This man is a pro and I hope to be able to repay the favour in future events to him. Thank you to my partner Katie who put up with my disappearing act over the last few weeks while I spent most of my waking minutes in the hills.
Wicklow has some of the most enjoyable mountain sections I have had the pleasure of navigating. Over the last few weeks out on the recce runs I visited parts of the mountains I had never set foot on before. It was a real sense of adventure. Out for long days on the weekend or straight from work for 2-3 hours in the hills on the weekday evenings, they were all great fun. I had the pleasure of sharing a lot of my recces with some great people, in particular John and Rory who absolutely smashed their round! I got to meet up with people who I haven't seen in many many months which was a real treat after so long separated!
Overall, the day went better than I had planned. I secretly had planned for a cinch under 20-hour round which was what I thought would be a perfect day for me.
The first 7.5 hours I was moving well and coming in a few minutes under my planned splits. The weather was great and the underfoot conditions were perfect. With the exception of getting my leg caught in barbed wire then forgetting to bring my food on the Oakwood to Drumgoff section it was ideal. I managed to get through with a couple of Cliff Blocks until I re-fuelled in Glenmalure.
As midday approached and the climb up Camaderry began I started to feel the first of a couple of low points. The back of my neck started to sizzle, I had a waterfall running down my face and my stomach started to churn. I felt like I could lay down in the ferns, disappear and pretend like I was home in bed. I struggled on and eventually the summit came into sight. I was hoping for a rush of energy on the descent, but it never came. This was a tough one. All I could think of was when I get to Wicklow Gap I'm laying down. The thought of dropping out was dancing around my head. Fortunately, I have some experience of these moments as many of you can relate to so I knew eventually it would pass.
That didn't stop me from having a good moan in the carpark though. The poor people that came out to support me had to endure my perpetual complaining but continued to provide encouragement until I was pushed out potato in hand and sent on my way up Tonelagee.
With strict instruction to keep nibbling the potato on the way up I managed to hit the top and finish my spud. Half-way down my stomach started to feel better.
With a bit more energy I enjoyed the quick catchup at Glenmacnass before taking on the section I had on my mind all day. I was in for a few more tough hours.
One potato per peak. That was the plan to keep going. I hit my lines well and managed a quick dip at the top of lough dan to cool the legs before taking on the lovely steep ascent of Knocknacloghoge. With the ferns present the climb was so much harder than in the recce.
It was two steps forward one step back all the way up. I manged to clamber up the hill and take my split time before a quick breather and descending to Fancy Brook. Bit by bit I started feeling stronger again. By the time I began my descent along the cliff path on Lugalla I felt like I was back at the start. I was a new man.
I arrived in at the support stop at Sheepsbank Bridge happy, energetic and excited as I knew I was going to complete the round now.
With a big buzz after seeing so many people and having a good laugh I trudged my way up Djouce. I was on the countdown now.
I had been losing time since Glendalough and my low point of the day but looking at my split up Djouce I managed to claw some minutes back. This trend continued over War Hill and Tonduff. After essentially rolling down Tonduff I met a few familiar faces who were out supporting Graham on his round.
Heading up through the Oak Glen I had two things on my mind: water and head torch. Thats all I needed to get home I said. With the climb up Prince Williams Seat done, I took it easy over to Knocknagun to regain some energy. I wanted a strong finish.
From Knocknagun I ran back to the gate that I had been visualising all day. With a few fist pumps on the last few hundred meters I was welcomed back by so many of you.
I have been watching others complete the round over the last few years and watched in awe and envy as they leaned back against the gate. This was finally my time to enjoy that moment, so I was quite happy to just stand there, stop moving and soak it all in.
Thanks again to all who helped me out over the last few weeks and who were out supporting on the day.
A special shoutout to the DMR lads (and their partners), great support and advice. It’s such a buzz seeing you all throughout the day and sharing some recce runs with you.
Cheers Richard, IMRA and Primal Tracking.
Well to Graham, Brian, Brendan and David who all ran hard all day.
Congratulations to Ivana on her recent record-breaking round!
I have a deep appreciation for anyone who toes the line at the gate and would highly recommend anyone interested in trying it to give it a go. It’s a challenge you will not regret.
My split times are as follows.
Duff Hill; 02:08:45
East Top; 02:29:09
Table Mountain; 05:26:23
War Hill; 16:42:04
Prince Williams Seat; 18:43:20