We’re starting to run out of superlatives for Jasmin Paris, who has now set a new record time for the Ramsay Round. She ran the 58-mile / 28,500ft circuit of 24 Scottish peaks, including Great Britain’s highest, Ben Nevis, in an incredible 16hrs 13mins, not only smashing the women’s record for the challenge but also beating the men’s previous best time by 46 minutes. Check out our Q&A with Jasmin:
1. Did you think you were going to run the Ramsay Round that fast?
I set off with a number of schedules to refer to (17, 18 and 19 hour times, based on the splits Jon Ascroft ran when he set the previous record in 2015), but I think all my supporters knew which record I was really aiming for…. On the day, I simply set off and ran as fast as I thought was maintainable. Jon is a close friend, and we often run together (in 2014 the two of us ran the Tranter Round in 12:41 and have previously paired each other in the Elite class at the OMM etc), so I knew that beating his record was theoretically achievable. That said, I also knew I’d need to have a really good run to do so – I supported the last section of his 2015 Ramsey Round, and he wasn’t hanging around!
2. How did you feel crossing the finish knowing you’d beaten the women’s and men’s record times?
Euphoric and exhausted!
3. How much confidence did running a women’s record 15:24 for the Bob Graham in England in April give you for the Ramsay Round attempt?
Certainly, it changed my mindset. Before the Bob Graham Round I didn’t even consider trying to break the men’s record. But after running 15:24, the idea no longer seemed so preposterous. In fact, I started wondering whether I could have gone any faster if I had started with a different aim (men’s as opposed to women’s record). Probably not, but it did get me thinking….
4. You’ve taken women’s fell and hill running onto a new level. Do you think others will also begin to push men’s record times and potentially beat them in races?
I really hope so! It would be wonderful if this run inspired other women to get out fell running, and to believe in their ability to challenge the men on an equal footing.
5. Will you now attempt to complete the trio this year and go for a Paddy Buckley Round record in Wales?
Yes, I think most people have guessed that the Paddy Buckley is on my radar. The problem will be squeezing it into this summer’s rather ambitious racing schedule, which includes the UTMB, Tromso and Glencoe Skyline. I will need to do some recceing of the Paddy too, since there are sections I don’t know at all (in contrast to the Bob Graham and Ramsay).
6. What was your favourite Ramsay Round moment and why?
Probably the finish – following Finlay Wild off the Ben, and dropping into Glen Nevis accompanied by the sound of Jonathan Whilock (leg 1 supporter) playing the bagpipes, was very special.
7. Which did you find the toughest summit to crack and why?
Probably Beinn na Lap, which is the first Munro on leg 2. At that point I still had a long way to go, and was feeling sick. The second Stob Ban was quite an effort too. I think that was the only climb on which I stopped to drink, rather than doing it as I walked.
8. How crucial was your support team in helping you set a new record?
My supporters were amazing; I really couldn’t have done it without them. I contacted a relatively select group of friends (3 to 4 on each leg) who knew the route well, and would be capable of keeping up whilst carrying a pack. They tended to my every whim, and fed me non-stop – all I had to do was to put one foot in front of the other.
9. Did you recce all of the Ramsay Round prior to your attempt?
The Tranter Round covers the Mamores, the Grey Corries and the 4000’ers, so I knew those sections from my 2014 run. To recce the hills around Loch Trieg we had previously run them as a circular route from Fersit. So the only sections I didn’t know were the descents off Sgurr Eilde Mor and Stob Coire Easain, and the ascent of the second Stob Ban.
10. How did you celebrate your record run?
I got to do the spraying thing with a bottle of champagne, thus fulfilling a life-long ambition… 😉 Then we drank it, and went to the pub for burgers and chips!
* Follow Jasmin on Twitter.