Irish Mountain
Running Association

Interesting article on the Wicklow Round

Rene BorgApr 17 2007, 9:29pmI was reading the fell running article on Wikipedia and came across the following part on the Wicklow Round:

New Irish Round
The Irish Mountain Running Association has organised a very challenging round. The Wickow Round is a long distance run covering 27 peaks in Wicklow. It totals over 100K and over 6,000M climb. It is governed and ratified by the Irish Mountain Running Association. There are three finishing standards, Gold ? Finish in under 12 hours , Silver ? Finish in under 15 hours, Bronze ? Finish in under 24 hours. It has been said that the gold standard is beyond human achievement. Full details are available on *Irish Mountain Running Association*

I wonder how true this is, and where they got the "it is said" from. Compared to the other rounds:

Round Name Peaks Km Ascent Record
Bob Graham Round 42 106 8382 13h53min
Ramsay's Round 24 97 8687 18h23min
Paddy Buckley Round 47 98 8839 ??
Wicklow Round 27 100+ 6000 TBD

The far lower ascent than the other rounds makes a case for it being possible to do it quicker than the Bob Graham Round (while Billy Bland who set the record is a legend, many have completed close to the time). Less ascent can mean less descent (or should) in general, though, so I'm wondering if shaving almost two hours of one of the best mountain runners of all times' record on a similar (albeit harsher) route, is feasible.

Then again, in human history every record, however unbreakable it has seemed, has eventually fallen.
Eoin O'DriscollApr 17 2007, 10:02pmThe only thing I'd say about the round is that the terrain is very boggy and therefore even though there isnt as much ascent as the other rounds the conditions underfoot aren't as good. Moving quickly over that sort of ground is next to near impossible. You cant see where your placing your feet which seriously hinders your speed.

Though in saying that I'd love to see the round being completed at all first! I'm considering trying the Bronze challenge on the August bank holiday.
Rene BorgApr 17 2007, 10:49pmI wish you best of luck then Eoin! But I'm sure it'll numerous times in our livetimes, it just needs time to get started.

The Ramsay and Graham rounds have been around for ages, but even though only picked up slowly (I think 20 or 30 odd years passed before anyone copied Bob Graham's achievement, but since then the rate has accelerated).

I did hear that some of specific rules are considered slightly "stringent" by some, but with the astounding records that have been set (77 Lakeland peaks in 24 hours, all three rounds run below 24 hours in midst of winter etc. etc.), a below 24-hour round should be well within human achievement.

I'll be following the attempts with interest! Let's hope Irish mountain running gets a book of its own some day as well!
Eoin O'DriscollApr 18 2007, 1:21amDon't get me wrong, im positive it'll be done loads of times in my life. I'm just talking about doing it in under 12 hours for the gold standard. Thats the equivilant of running straight for 12 hours at 7.2 mins per km. That would be an incredible achievement, totally out of this world in my opinion.
Rene BorgApr 18 2007, 8:44amWell looking at that statistic and the records for the only possible comparisons (the other rounds), I can only agree to that. But who knows, we may have bionic legs by that time!
Paul nolanApr 18 2007, 9:05amBearing in mind that the Wicklow Round is really 120km (give or take 2km for variation of routes) and given the no guides rule the 12 hour time is never going to happen. 24 hours is the target you can forget about all that gold, silver and bronze stuff.

Also I reckon it's not a Round until someone has completed it. Right now it's a challenge, an enormous one.
Brendan LawlorApr 18 2007, 9:20amI agree with Paul..the Green Blazer will be well moth eaten before its taken from the IMRA cupboard for presentation.

I have a small wager with Route co-founder Brian Bell that we won't see a silver round before 2009

Hopefully we'll have word of the first formal attempt in the next month or two
Rene BorgApr 18 2007, 10:06amWell looking at that statistic and the records for the only possible comparisons (the other rounds), I can only agree to that. But who knows, we may have bionic legs by that time!
kevin garveyMay 1 2007, 2:58pmok - forgive this totally naiive novice ipnput but I live abroad where I do a bit of 10k type running. I'm planning in being in wicklow this summer and was looking up runs. Is this Wicklow Round really undoable and how bad is the terrian. Is there places to overnight on the way and forget the gold medal business and just do the 120k over say three-four days? Again apologies if this is not at all what it's about - I'm new to hill running!
Brendan LawlorMay 1 2007, 3:04pmKevin

The Wicklow Round is very doable and would make a beautiful 2 or 3 day hike covering some of the best of Wicklows mountains.

There are plenty of places to stay just off the route but you would need to do a bit of homework. Camping is another option.

The debate here is about can the route be done in 12, 15 or even 24 hours
Conor O'FarrellJul 17 2020, 6:07pmI just stumbled across this old gem of a post. Interesting to note that no-one has managed to get a "silver round" yet. Gav, Shane, Paddy, Joe, Eoin? ;-)
Brendan LawlorJul 17 2020, 6:54pmThe founding fathers were a little over ambitious..and that was for the original longer Round with Croghanmoira included !

We might yet see a sub 15 on the current Round though, hopefully

Good to see that the arguing about the rules still hasn’t abated too !
Paddy O'LearyJul 26 2020, 10:00pmIn fairness, Gav probably would have got the silver round if he spent less time taking selfies throughout?
Gavin ByrneJul 26 2020, 10:24pmLads why didn't someone mention this before we did.. a silver round would of been nice. Could a gold be ran? Maybe Killian jornet.. Paddy ask him to pop over
Warren SwordsJul 26 2020, 10:55pmSo we all have the same colour medal as Gavin? Haha. Fantastic.