Nicky Spinks completes first double Ramsay Round
Inspirational runner Nicky Spinks has become the first person to complete a gruelling 116-mile double Ramsay Round in the Scottish mountains.
The 51-year-old cancer survivor and inov-8 brand ambassador summitted 48 peaks, including the UK’s highest Ben Nevis, on a run that took 55 hours and 56 minutes.
Starting and finishing near Fort William, Nicky battled heat exhaustion and sleep deprivation to complete a challenge that saw her ascend a massive 57,000ft, which equates to almost twice the height of Everest.
The “standard” Ramsay Round is a notoriously tough 24-hour challenge that sees mountain runners attempt a 58-mile circuit over 24 rocky summits.
Only 113 completions have been recorded since its inception by Charlie Ramsay in 1978. Two of those belong to Nicky, who completed the round in 2008 (22hrs 32mins) and again in 2014 (19hrs 39mins).
Nicky does the double
No runner had previously recorded a double Ramsay Round of any kind. In becoming the first person to do so, Nicky twice summitted each of the 24 peaks (23 of which are classed as Munros – Scottish mountains with a summit of more than 3,000ft).
Nicky’s double Ramsay Round attempt began from Glen Nevis Youth Hostel at midnight on Friday June 29. She was supported on the mountains by running friends who carried food and water, as well assisting with navigation. She also received support at valley crossings, where more friends armed with supplies were waiting.
Running in an anti-clockwise direction, Nicky first summitted Mullach nan Coirean (3,081ft), heading out into The Mamores mountains and around Loch Treig before eventually reaching Stob Coire Easain (summit number 16). She then turned around and retraced her steps back to Glen Nevis Youth Hostel.
From there and with 31 summits bagged, Nicky then ran in a clockwise direction, starting with the ascent to the roof of the UK (Ben Nevis at 4,411ft).
She headed out over The Grey Corries and finally summitted Stob Coire Easian for a second time, once again turning around at this point.
What remained after that was eight summits and a long descent off Ben Nevis back to Glen Nevis Youth Hostel, reaching the finish on Monday morning.
At the finish line she tucked into a meal of bacon, egg and beans.
Nicky 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 stunning, and so were the never-ending panoramic views of the Scottish mountains.
“I have loved Scotland for years but it surpassed all expectations this weekend.”
Lee Procter, from inov-8, who supported Nicky’s challenge throughout, said: “To complete a regular Ramsay Round is seriously tough, so to achieve a double Ramsay Round is pretty much beyond belief.
“Nicky once again demonstrated just how strong she is, not just physically but also mentally.
“To run 116 miles over the UK’s toughest mountains in such oppressive heat is phenomenal. We are all extremely proud of Nicky.”
Nicky’s challenges in aid of charity
A farmer from Yorkshire, Nicky recovered from breast cancer in 2006 and uses her running challenges to raise money for cancer charity Odyssey You can donate, too. She has so far raised £16,000 and earlier this month was rewarded for her services to sport and charity with the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
In 2016, Nicky became the fastest person to run a 132-mile double Bob Graham Round (the English mountain equivalent of the Ramsay Round), clocking 45hrs 32mins and making headline news.