Irish Mountain
Running Association

Wicklow Round Radio Documentary / Newstalk - October 24th

Ciarán RyanOct 18 2021, 1:52pmHi all,
Hope it is ok to post this rather lengthy post! Thank you to all of the IMRA community who participated in various ways over the last couple of years as I put together a radio documentary on The Wicklow Round. I'm very grateful for those who shared their history with the round as well as those who let me follow them on their attempts this year.

In total, there were 23 different contributors on mic (and a few of you may also recognise yourself in the background) in this 46 minute documentary. With such a range of experiences, I hope it will give listeners a flavour of the Wicklow Round.

The programme goes out next Sunday (October 24th) at 7am. I'll post up a podcast link after if people are interested.

Thank you to all of the following for agreeing to talk into a microphone, some mere moments after their rounds finished. This is the order in which they will appear:

Joe Lalor; Moire O’Sullivan; Richard Nunan; Paul Mahon; Paddy O’Leary; Karina Jonina; Stephen Brennan; Eoin Keith; Michael Dowling; JP Byrne; Linda O’Connor; Gavin Byrne; Shane Lynch; Conor Keane; Richie Cooper; Charles Burgess; Gary Warnock; Jane Brennan; Luke Rafferty; Liam Vines; Ivana Kolaric; Paul O’Callaghan; Rob Costello

Full details here:
This weekend on Documentary On Newstalk, the story of one of Ireland’s most unique and most difficult running challenges.

In ‘The Wicklow Round’, radio producer Ciarán Ryan meets with and follows a number of runners who have taken on The Wicklow Round, a grueling 110km+ self-navigated challenge to 26 summits in the Wicklow Mountains. The documentary charts the origins of the ‘round’ back to the early part of this century, meeting some of the pioneers involved in setting the route and those who took it on first.

We meet record breakers and non-finishers as they relieve their experiences navigating and moving through the Wicklow terrain. 2021 was in a sense the ‘Year of the Round’, with the highest number of runners ever taking on the challenge. This documentary gives snapshots and behind the scenes insights into some of the attempts that took place this year, following runners through the highs and lows as they try to reach their goal in under 24 hours. We hear from crews and family members, as they support their endeavours, highlighting the community aspect of what may seem like a very individual pursuit.

The Wicklow Round gives a taste of what awaits in the Irish mountain running community, with plenty of mud, sweat and tears (to borrow from the title of contributor Moire O’Sullivan’s book on the round) along the way.

‘The Wicklow Round’ will be broadcast on Newstalk Sunday October 24th at 7am and again on Saturday October 30th and will be available to stream and as a podcast.

The documentary was funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, through the television licence fee.
Joe LalorOct 24 2021, 10:24amExcellent piece broadcasted this morning.
Below link to hear
Listen and try to see how many IMRA voices you can identify, then start training for next year
Joe LalorOct 24 2021, 10:58am
This link should work
Ciarán RyanOct 25 2021, 10:08amThanks Joe.

This should also now be available anywhere that people usually use to listen to podcasts



Newstalk direct:
Jeff FitzsimonsOct 25 2021, 3:33pmThat's a great listen. Very well put together Ciaran.
Enda CloakeOct 26 2021, 1:23pmGreat insight into the Round. Makes me wonder, is there an FKT for a Winter Round or just one FKT regardless of when the run takes place? Can only imagine the time difference doing the Round in early Jan compared in mid summer
Warren SwordsOct 26 2021, 3:20pmSure we might as well have a Winter Round FKT.

I believe Liam Vines is currently winter Round record holder in 22 hours 56 who did it in December.

Paul O'Callaghan also competed a winter round on December 21st.

I believe our running colleagues in UK have debated a fair bit on what constitutes a winter round for Bob Graham. To the extent they have two! To quote BG website.

"the "Mid-winter" round which, taking its inspiration from the earliest attempts on a winter round by Pete Simpson and Martin Stone in the early 1980s, is attempted at any time from the weekend before the shortest day through to the first period of decent weather after the shortest day but to be completed no later than 10 January;

the "Winter" round, which is a round not falling within the definition set out above, attempted during the period starting on 1 December and finishing on the last day of February.
Ciarán RyanOct 26 2021, 8:12pmThanks @Jeff and @Enda for the nice words

@Warren - I did chat to Liam Vines a bit about his winter round, but unfortunately just didn't have space to include it.

Maybe a winter round documentary will have to be made at some stage.......
Enda CloakeOct 27 2021, 8:07pmWarran - a winter round will be more of an incentive to finish quicker and get out of the cold! Might give it a go in December
Enda CloakeOct 27 2021, 8:08pm*Warren
Eoin KellyOct 28 2021, 11:26amI listened to this documentary yesterday and it's really good. Very enjoyable listen and gives a great flavour of the Wicklow Round. So much so that I'll be getting the maps and compass out and starting the recces for a go in the future.

Well done Ciaran
Raymond CumminsOct 29 2021, 6:03pmExcellent program, well done to all involved. Great to hear some familiar voices too. It was great to be able to listen to this and get the wider message out there about getting involved in running in the hills.