With her phenomenal achievement of the first-ever Double Ramsay Round behind her, the incredible Nicky Spinks has had some time, and rest, to reflect on her experience.
Last week, the 51-year-old Yorkshire farmer became the first person ever to run the 116-mile route over 48 Scottish peaks, including Ben Nevis – adding yet another hill-running record to her ever-growing list.
One Ramsay Round is hard enough: 24 summits (23 of which are Munros) in a 58-mile loop – in less than 24 hours.
In fact, it’s so hard, there have only been 113 attempts to complete it since the route was set by Charlie Ramsay in 1978. Two of the completed attempts were by Spinks herself.
But once round clearly wasn’t enough for the indefatigable Spinks. Her run earlier this month was the first ever attempt to do the round twice – by running it once, then retracing her steps.
In all, Spinks, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006, scaled 57,000 ft, almost twice the height of Mount Everest. Over the course of her Double Ramsay Round she reached the summit of 24 peaks twice, in 55 hours and 56 minutes.
Writing in her blog for sponsor Inov-8, Spinks, who was recently awarded the British Empire Medal for her services to sport and charity, said: “I had an incredible weekend running with a great team of supporters in weather that was rather too hot for my liking. The sunrises and sunsets were mind-blowing as were the never-ending panoramic views of the Scottish mountains. I have loved Scotland for years but it surpassed all expectations this weekend.”
Reflecting a week later in her own blog, Spinks said: “I have found my emotions all over the place since the round. Everyone is congratulating me and so I should be happy. I am cross with myself because things went wrong that shouldn't have gone wrong. But overall it was the heat that finished me off.”
Despite not making her target time of 48 hours and enduring pretty much everything a run in the Scottish summer hills could throw at her, Spinks is still positive about her experience. She told The Guardian: “Despite everything, I still found it very enjoyable. It was an excuse to be amongst those Scottish hills and mountains that I have always loved.”
“Would I really do it again?” she asked herself. “I have toyed with the idea but there are lots of other mountains and challenges I’d like to explore. For now I’m going to enjoy my recovery!”
Image: Tom Proctor/Nicky Spinks