Runner completes continuous round of UK's big four

© Ross Jenkin collection

Ross Jenkin has today become the first person to complete a continuous circuit of the UK's 'big four' hill rounds - the Paddy Buckley Round in North Wales, the Denis Rankin Round in Northern Ireland, the Ramsay Round in Scotland, and the Bob Graham Round in the Lake District.

Elation at the finish in Keswick  © Ross Jenkin collection
Elation at the finish in Keswick
© Ross Jenkin collection

Starting in Snowdonia, before moving on through Northern Ireland, and Lochaber, to finish on home turf in Lakeland, his journey took in a total of 152 summits, 387km on foot and 31,800m of ascent. He only rested on the travel legs between each round.

Jenkin, a Cumbrian police officer, attempted the challenge last August but was thwarted by Storm Francis on the Ramsay Round, and though he then managed to complete the Denis Rankin Round in good order, he suffered excruciating tendonitis fighting to the finish on the Paddy Buckley, and had to call it a day without attempting the Bob Graham.

Sunny conditions on the Paddy Buckley  © Ross Jenkin collection
Sunny conditions on the Paddy Buckley
© Ross Jenkin collection

"I promised myself and my team that I would be back for another attempt" he wrote after the event. "The next few months I focused on recovery, physical and mental." 

Each of the big four is generally treated by runners as a sub-24 hour challenge, but hitherto nobody is known to have done them all back to back.

On his successful attempt Jenkin completed the first two Rounds within 24hrs apiece, but the Ramsay Round took over 26 hours, and he completed the Bob Graham in 29:48 as fatigue finally began to show. His support team reported that in the final stages Jenkin was still climbing well, but downhill sections were causing him considerable discomfort.

Dennis Rankin Round  © Ross Jenkin collection
Dennis Rankin Round
© Ross Jenkin collection

Charlie Ramsay Round  © Ross Jenkin collection
Charlie Ramsay Round
© Ross Jenkin collection

Speaking at the finish, he thanked the dedication of his supporters, his family, and all the people who sent messages of encouragement during the challenge.

Jenkin is raising funds for CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably)

"I suffer from depression, so I wanted to encourage others to do something which helps their own mental health" he said at the finish. "I can safely say that I am stronger now than I was before all this. Don't man-up, speak-up!"

Ross Jenkin is sponsored by: Dynafit

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24 Jun, 2021

We’ll done Ross. Awesome effort for a great cause!

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