Summits 7-12+1

First light, second half, summit number 7 at 07.35hrs! Accompanied by Helen after she'd charitably got up at  04.30hrs to make bacon butties, let the reluctant chickens out, feed the dogs and cats and drive the 30 minutes to deliver the foil wrapped delights :-) My bestest buddy Linley also,very sportingly, came back up after meeting me halfway on my return from number 6. He tried to hide in the shadows at the side of the path to give me a scare but I'd know that silhouette anywhere Jenx!!

Brackenb!!! :-) Lesley is one of my flickr contacts who came with her son, Jack, to support me in the wind and low cloud as I  summited for the 8th time at 10.06hrs. She was very brave because despite a number of changes of clothing I stunk!! Lesley and Jack gave me a huge lift as I was feeling completely spent after number 7. Doubt had crept in and I'd said to Helen and Linley that I wasn't sure I'd make it to 24hrs and may be content with just beating Richard's record. The descent was lovely, nice chat, the weather started to improve and I had my spirits lifted by the various people wishing me luck along the way as the mountain got busier.

Summit number 9 bagged at 12.13hrs after having had a spot of lunch and a quick chat with some people gathered around the BLESMA banner that Helen had erected on the gate at the start of the footpath. Time to get a shift on - Steve the ice cream man pointed out that I was running out of time to make 12 up and down and he was right! So I ran back down from here to my and Helen's surprise. I was feeling good - Dextrose energy tablets, Ibuprofen and 500mg Paracetamol all working together!! I was also lifted yet again by the support of Karen and Sean Griffin, friends of mine who'd also come to support me - thank you both!!

Now that was a boost!!! I was running down from number 9 and who should be coming up to meet me but John Jones himself - hard as bloody nails! Young Rhys was dragging him up by his carbon fibre mind you!! Only kidding JJ, tremendous effort pal especially after completing JOGLE only 2 weeks earlier. I honestly don't know how you do it. The last time we were up there it took John 7 hours round trip. 18 months later it took him half that!

Unknowing masses. It was quite funny listening to people talking about 'some bloke' who's 'trying to spend 24hrs on the top' yet not realising even when I had ten fingers up that it was me or what I was trying to achieve. Still, summit number 10 was a doddle at 13.29hrs, just an hour and a quarter after number 9. Boy did I peak too early!!!!

I think the mask is starting to crack in this shot. Summit number 11 and I honestly thought that this was game over. It was 15.26hrs and I was broken. My knees were in bits, I had chaffing and I ached. I'd passed John and Rhys a few times by now but sadly missed them on the summit. It was no place for a young boy afterall with 50mph winds and rain threatening. I told John I thought I would make it back up for 12 summits in 24hrs but inside I doubted myself. I limped back down but then saw John and Rhys in the distance . . . I ran the rest of the way out of shame more than determination. "Bloody hell, I don't know what pain is, John knows what pain is!!"

On top of the world......nearly! Summit number 12 at 17.06 hrs accompanied yet again by Helen and Linley.
Helen climbed Pen y Fan 3 times in 24hrs, which considering she's not put a pair of walking boots on for about 7 years is pretty bloody good! Jenx also did 2.5 summits with me but he's old so can be forgiven ;-)
And just to add the extra we three are at the summit of Corn Du before the final descent at 17.29hrs. Just enough time to make it back to Pont ar Daf before the 24hr mark.......maybe.
 That's it!!! Done. 12 times up and down in 23hrs 50 minutes. We had a bit of a panic when we were met half way down by my parents, our lovely daughter and niece. We realised that we needed to run down to make it in time so Jenx and I put a spurt on - apologies to all those poor walkers who had to contend with us hammering recklessly passed them!!