AS doubles go, Damian Hall’s success in adding the Paddy Buckley Round winter record to his existing summer one is pretty impressive.

Within ultra trail running circles the 61-mile circuit comprising 47 Welsh mountain peaks is regarded with awe and the utmost respect, so for the Box-based runner to now hold both best times further cements his burgeoning reputation.

Not many runners even dare try the record; Hall was only the 100th man to complete the Round – and only the fifth person in winter - since it was devised by Paddy Buckley and first run in 1982.

“It was very exciting to break the record,” said Hall, aged 44 and a member of Corsham Running Club.

“I have been thinking about it for a few months now having really enjoyed breaking the record last summer. I love that part of the UK as it is so beautiful.”

For record purposes Hall had to tackle the winter round between December 1st and the end of February so the key was finding a window of opportunity when the weather wasn’t too bad and gave him the best chance of beating Jim Mann’s record of 21hours 37minutes.

“At the same time I was mindful I wanted some snow up there on the mountains to give the record some credibility while at the same time hard, icy ground would make it better for running on,” added Hall.

“I also decided to do the record unsupported, where Jim had people helping him with food and drinks along the way. I just carried everything I needed.”

Hall opted to start from Llanberris at 3am in the morning last Wednesday to avoid the prospect of running through the whole night and by and large that approach worked though there were some hiccups.

“Quite early on the wind blew up and I lost my map and schedule” said Hall.

“I did think of stopping to try and retrieve them but I was pretty confident of the route in my mind, even if I was less sure of the time markers for the record attempt. I also lost a glove but fortunately I was wearing two sets.”

In the early stages Hall, who completed the Round last summer in a time of 17hrs 31mins, was well ahead of the record schedule but then the wind and difficult terrain knocked him off schedule.

“Basically, I just got slower and slower due to the effect of carrying my own stuff and trying to run through the snow and into a cold wind – plus at one stage as I headed into the next night, I got lost,” explained Hall.

“Heading to the last stage I knew I had four hours to get up and down Snowdon and also cover four other smaller peaks, so I knew I had a chance even though I was feeling very tired.

“It was basically 50-50 whether I would do it but a few slices of my home-made vegan brownie got me going again and that made the difference.”

As Hall headed into Llanberris and the finish line he realised he had broken the record by just seven minutes, which in ultra terms is the equivalent of a photo finish in the 100metres sprint.

“I think it is fair to say I would have been pretty angry had I just missed the record by a few minutes,” admitted Hall.

“Overall, though, it was very satisfying to break the winter record. Primarily I did it as an adventure and because I love that part of Wales, but I also wanted that record!”