New Winter Record for the Ramsay Round

by Andy Hyslop Over Thursday 14th February and Friday 15th February Shane Ohly set a new winter record for the Ramsay Round in a time of 29:59:34 The previous winter record was 33:48:00 set by Gary Tompsett in 2003. The Ramsay Round, established in 1978 by Charlie Ramsay from Edinburgh, is Scotland´s Classic Mountain Marathon, covering a distance of 60 miles and 28,500 feet of climbing, Shane Ohly sent us this account: “My round was solo, unsupported and largely ´on-sight´ as my recce efforts earlier in the winter were consistently thwarted by poor weather. I chose to travel clockwise taking on Ben Nevis and the Aonachs first. I wanted to get the highest and most technical section of the round completed first, when I was fresh, and I also didn´t fancy descending the stony path down Ben Nevis at the end of the round. The first 10 hours or so were a joy. I chatted with walkers on the summits, felt fresh and was comfortably keeping under my sub 24 hour schedule. Then my body died. I´ve analysed my food wrappings and calculated I ate less than 5,000 calories the entire time I was out! I was basically ´bonked´ for the last 2/3 of the round. I don´t know why I stopped eating but it´s something I need to think hard about before my next attempt. The last 1/3 of the round was truly painful. I was seeing sleepmonsters (think mythological creatures) and hearing music (despite being alone on the hills). In the final stages, cutting down through the forest near Achriabhach, I caught myself on some brambles and nearly burst into tears. As for winter conditions, I was hoping for the hills to be ´whiter´ than they where. However, I am happy that the Round was sufficiently wintry and in keeping with the other winter rounds of the Ramsay. I definitely believe that the Ramsay Round can be done in sub 24 hours in winter and I have already decided to have another go next year. The whole experience was fantastic with the long night section being particularly memorable….and cold!”