Incredible! On Saturday April 23rd Jasmin Paris smashed the women’s Bob Graham Round record by over two-and-a-half hours. She ran the 66-mile circuit over 42 of England’s highest summits in 15 hours and 24 minutes. The previous record was held by Nicky Spinks, who ran 18:06 last year. Jasmin was only 90 minutes outside the men’s record of 13:53, set by Billy Bland in 1982. Check out our Q&A with Jasmin:
1. Congratulations Jasmin on your new women’s Bob Graham Round (BGR) record of 15:24. Did you think you would run it quite that fast?
No, it was a bit of a surprise! I set off on a 17:15 hour schedule, and thought I might be able to make some time up on that, but sub-16 hours was more of a daydream than a realistic target.
2. You kept it extremely low-key in the build up and on the day itself. Do you prefer to run more under-the-radar and how have you found all the attention since the attempt?
Yes, I definitely prefer to keep things low-key. If I had announced it beforehand there would have been a build-up, with expectation and pressure attached, and the whole day would have taken on a much more serious note. As it was, I achieved my main aim, which was that my supporters and I should enjoy it. The attention since the attempt has been overwhelming. I am touched by all the kind messages, but simultaneously feel rather embarrassed by so much praise.
Amazing day out on the Bob Graham yesterday, finishing in 15:24:15 (based on my GPS trace). Huge thanks for all the support! 🙂
— Jasmin Paris (@JasminKParis) April 24, 2016
3. 15:24 makes you the 5th fastest person to complete the BGR and you were just 90 minutes off Billy Bland’s record. Do you think it is now conceivable that someone could beat Billy’s ‘unbeatable’ record?
Yes, I do. Nothing has changed in terms of how beatable Billy’s record is but perhaps something will have changed in terms of how beatable people believe it to be – which is the key for someone attempting it.
4. If you had to pick just one, what was your favourite moment from your record run and why?
That’s a tricky one. The finish was obviously very special (the coincidental crowd gathered at Moot Hall for a charity event added to already fantastic atmosphere), but the moments I’ll probably remember most were the beautiful sunrise over Blencathra (first leg) and the fantastic running along the Helvellyn ridge, in the sun and frost, accompanied by the sound of larks singing (second leg).
5. You completed a winter Bob Graham earlier this year and spent a lot of time reccying in the Lake District. How valuable were these experiences on the day?
Knowing the route definitely helped. Not so much from a route-finding point of view (I had a fantastic team of supporters/navigators, including several local runners, who surprised me on the day with the brilliance of their lines), but because it helped mentally to know what was coming next.
6. How crucial was your support team in helping you achieve that 15:24 clocking?
I can’t overemphasize just how important the support team was in this round. It was a bizarre feeling for me, to be carrying nothing, and have someone feeding me non-stop, but it did make it a great deal easier. More importantly though, it felt like a team effort, and the group enthusiasm was what sustained me when I was struggling.
7. Of the 42 summits, which one did you find the toughest on your round and why?
Bowfell. As one of my supporters on leg 3 put it, I went ‘silent’ at this point. For me, this was the point when I started to tire, and to question the speed at which I had run legs 1 and 2, knowing how far I still had to go. It didn’t help that I had started to feel sick, and was struggling to eat anything substantial.
8. What are your running plans and aims for the remainder of 2016?
I’m planning to run several of the longer skyraces, including the Glencoe Skyline, Tromso, the Buff Epic Trail and the Mourne Skyline. I have an entry for the UTMB too, which could be an interesting experience, given that it is almost twice the distance of anything I’ve run before.
9. Tell us a bit about Jasmin Paris away from running. What does she do when not in the hills?
I am a specialist small animal vet (internal medicine), working at Edinburgh University. I am currently taking a few years out from clinical work to do a PhD, researching stem cells in Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, at the Centre for Regenerative Medicine. When I am not running or working, I enjoy swimming outdoors, baking, and painting.
10. Finally, you wore the Mudclaw 300 for your BGR. Why did you select this shoe and how did it help you on the day?
It’s my shoe of choice for longer runs/races over tricky terrain, when I need durability and protection, but more importantly good grip over a mixture of surfaces (the BG has everything, from steep grassy descents to rocky scrambling sections).
* All photos courtesy of Jasmin Paris. Follow Jasmin on Twitter.