I'm not long back from the Paddy Buckley Round in Wales. Completing the 3 rounds as backpacks means the end of a 3 year project for me - small beer, but my beer. I ended up doing the last half on a sprained ankle, and finished on a hill above a place I wrote about when I first wrote about being out in the hills. This is how we mark our time. Anyway, here's a few of the people I crossed paths with this time out.
''We're out recceing, for his attempt - I did it in 28hours. It's just the love of running. Won't get this in the bloody Olympics!''
''I do the Snowdon 10K every year. This is just my regular training run. I don't think I'm fit enough for the Paddy. Walking it is great - anything that gets people out is positive. You see alot more women and ethnic minorities out in Wales these days, I don't know what changed but something did, and it's a good thing.''
''I've been coming here for 10 years, and I still haven't got to the bottom of it. What I'm getting into now is the age of different parts of the quarry, working out which of the old spoils were disturbed by new digs. There's a transgender guy in the village who goes caving up here - brave stuff. I wouldn't climb in here myself - I've seen things move about on their own.''
''I've been on the go for 6 hours already. I started at 9 from down on the road. I'm late - supposed to be in London tonight. The devil's punchbowl was hot!!''
''I couldn't give a monkey's - I'm too busy trying to breathe...''
''I'm done today, really - some days you're fresh, some days you're not. The record is 17hours? I reckon there's a bit of cheating going on there, what d'you reckon? I use to race, but not anymore. I just like being up in the mountains these days.''