In May this year Lochaber based business development manager Keri Page, 31, hopes to complete a solo walk of the UK's big three fell runner's rounds, raising money for Water Aid and the John Muir Trust.
The challenge starts in Snowdonia with the Paddy Buckley Round, then takes in the Lake District's Bob Graham Round before a grand finale on Lochaber's Ramsay Round, giving a total of 187 miles and 83,000 feet of ascent over 113 mountain summits. Keri will drive between the hill stages, and hopes to complete the trip in less than 14 days between May 16th and 28th. A keen climber, hillwalker and runner, Keri competes in mountain marathons and fell races for Lochaber Athletic Club, but has never before attempted something of this scale and has not previously tried any of the three rounds.
'Each round in the UK Big 3 is an ultra-distance classic in its own right, rich in history and interesting characters!' she says on her blog. 'The three rounds are famous as 24h fell-running challenges, not as walks. Nevertheless, attempting all three back-to-back as one long endurance walk is still a huge undertaking. This is especially true for someone of average ability.'
'I have decided... that in the name of being 'fast-and-light', I am going to spend my nights in local accommodation (with a bath and comfy bed!) rather than camping en route. This will allow me to do the rounds without carrying camping equipment everywhere with me. This will certainly be the case in Wales and the Lake District, although in Scotland I will [stay] in bothies along the way.'
'For the Paddy Buckley and Bob Graham round[s] I have decided to accept an offer of help from a family 'support team' who will follow me round the country, driving me here there and everywhere! This will maximise time for rest.'
Keri, who is currently training on long hill days every weekend, anticipates that the hardest part of the challenge will be keeping going day after day without conceding any overuse injuries or niggles.
'I think after completing the Welsh and English stages, the Ramsay Round in Scotland will be the hardest of the three. I aim to complete this in just three days (while I'll be doing the others in four) because it is my local area and I know the hills here relatively well. Having said this, the mountains on the Scottish round are higher, rockier and wilder than those in either England or Wales. In May it could even be a blizzard on the Ben - who knows!'
To follow her progress or make a donation see Keri's blog.
Paddy Buckley Round
A 62 mile circuit of 47 Snowdonian summits, the round was devised by Paddy Buckley but first run in under 24 hours by Martin Stone in 1985. The route includes the Carneddau, the Glyderau, the Snowdon range, the Moelwynion and the Moel Hebog range. For more details check out runner Bob Wightman's website.
Bob Graham Round
Done as a sub-24 hour push the Bob Graham round of 42 Lakeland peaks (including the four 3000-ers) is one of the toughest fell runner's challenges in the country. Wearing tennis shoes and fuelled on bread and butter the man himself set the bar high way back in 1932 and his time of 23 hours 39 minutes stood for 28 years. See the Bob Graham Club website for more.
An extension of an earlier effort by Philip Tranter, Charlie Ramsay's amazing effort covers 24 Lochaber Munros over around 60 miles, including Ben Nevis, the Aonachs, the Grey Corries, the Easains and Loch Treig Munros and the whole Mamores ridge. Ramsay just scraped inside the 24 hour limit in 1978; the current record stands at 18hrs23. More info at the Ramsay's Round site.