FKT: Ben Murcott - Dan Booth Round (United Kingdom) - 2023-02-11

Route variation
any route
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
3h 0m 0s
GPS track(s)

After my first completion of the Dan Booth Round FKT I knew that a sub 3hr round could be on the cards for me in the near future! However, I delayed any summer attempts due to being in a marathon training block. Upon seeing that my time had been beaten by Leon I was keen to give it another go.

So the fateful day came about and a champions breakfast of boiled eggs and soldiers set me up well for the attempt. My kit list goal was to be as light as possible so I only took with me 5 X High5 aqua gels - not my favourite but they had the required calories without the need to carry extra water - and a bottle of squash (with added sugar) was all I thought I needed. I think this saved me around 2kgs of weight which was much appreciated on the final 3 hills of suffering!

For this attempt I decided to shift my start location to Combe Down with the idea that if I was feeling good I would have a couple of miles at the end for a ‘sprint finish’. The first 3 trig points were largely uneventful and I was just trying to conserve energy and not punish my legs too badly. Dropping down to the river I managed to catch my leg on a bramble which I’m pretty sure has gotten me in previous descents.

Heading up to Kelston Round Hill trig I managed to overtake a cyclist who assured me that he would catch me back up on the downhills, an event I managed to avoid due to being at the top of the hill when he came shooting past. Arriving at Lansdown trig I was spot on the schedule and almost half way around but I knew that the dreaded 3 hills were on the horizon so I kept my mind composed.

Unlikely in my previous attempt I decided not to push it too hard down from Hanging Hill trig to conserve my legs for the hills. The descent from Little Solsbury trig was the beginning of a bit of soreness in my legs and heading up Bannerdown seemed to go on for ages but I was still on schedule. Finally, the hill up to the golf course was conquered with a new little shortcut and I even had time (although semi-forced) to admire a rather excellent golf shot and find the trig point – one that I always seem to struggle to get to.

Now the business end of the round, looking down at my watch I had just over 14mins for the final 2 and a bit miles. The sub 3hr attempt was possible but it would most likely be a painful couple of miles. But my pace was good and a quick call to a group of dog walkers letting them know I was coming through at speed ensured I made good time. In the past few hundred meters I started looking down at my watch… 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, stop!!!! I had finished with my watch showing 2:59:59 although Garmin later rounded this up to 3:00:00 (damn!!!!).

Overall, an excellent day on the trails around Bath and excellent conditions that allowed me to execute my ‘race’ perfectly (millisecond precision) and a new FKT to go with it.