Tom Hollins 5@50 - the UK and Ireland's 5 consecutively.

Tom Hollins 5@50 - the UK and Ireland's 5 consecutively.

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SCARPA Athlete Tom Hollins is no stranger to the UK and Ireland's '24 hour rounds' completing all five and even some double rounds.

So to celebrate his 50th he has decided to attempt all 5 rounds in one go! Tom sets of on his 5@50 challenge on Saturday 18th May - you can use the live tracker to follow his progress. LIVE TRACKER.

We caught up with Tom ahead of his challenge to get the low down on his plans and the inspiration behind the challenge.

"15 years ago I was gifted the book Feet in the Clouds by a grateful patient. I’ve wondered many times if he had any idea the impact that gift would have on my life. Up until that point I had been a hill walker that had experimented with a few fell races.

From then on, I was hooked on the idea that someone could run 42 Lake District peaks in 24hrs. To me, this was experimenting with the boundaries of what is humanly possible, and I wanted to see how I would cope with that level of challenge.

After a couple of years working out the route (which in those days wasn’t obvious), and training over some shorter ultras, on the 1st June 2012 I did my first run over 50 miles and my first Bob Graham. 

I was convinced that I would take 20hrs and I was profoundly wrong. A few tears were spilt, but I did crawl into Keswick 22hrs later. I wasn’t put off. Instead I felt a growing fascination in finding out what more I could achieve with my mind and my own 2 feet.

Since that day I have completed the 5 UK and Irish 24hr rounds – Charlie Ramsay, Bob Graham, Paddy Buckley, Denis Rankin and the Wicklow. Each has its own unique charm and challenges. Each is beautiful in its own right. The rules are similar, with the common theme of trying to complete in under 24hrs, but there are also variations.

The Wicklow for example banning the use of support on the hill and requiring the only navigation to be with a map and compass. I have also experimented with some double rounds having done an unsupported double Bob Graham, and done the Rankin and Wicklow rounds back to back cycling inbetween.

This May is the 20th anniversary of the first publication of Feet in the Clouds. I have returned to the source of my original awe and fascination and wondered what the limit is that could be achieved in running consecutive 24hr rounds. Mike Hartley’s record of 86hrs20 for Ramsay, Bob, Paddy back to back has stood since 1990 and even that great man didn’t do all 3 rounds in 24hrs.

Ross Jenkin then completed Paddy, Rankin, Ramsay, Bob back to back in 2021 in a time of 165hrs, pushing the boat out one round further. I turned 50 in August 2023. It feels fitting that this May should be the time to attempt 5 rounds at 50. It is a step into the unknown, and I suspect that it is impossible for me to achieve. That, of course, is the attraction of trying."

Tom sets off on his 5 rounds challenge on Saturday 18th May - you can use the live tracker to follow his progress. LIVE TRACKER