Friday July 1 could be remembered as the day Croagh Patrick broke all records. A group of hardy souls have been in training for the past four months and are now ready to set a few records straight. The group aim to climb up and down the mountain 12 times with three objectives in mind. The first is a Guinness World record attempt for the highest metres ascended and descended in a 24 hour period. The second is to break the national record of nine climbs on the holy mountain in one day, and thirdly to climb more metres than Everest, and go beyond the endurance required climbing the highest mountain in the world, and to achieve it without leaving the country.
The current World record stands at 17,011.5 vertical ascent/descent metres (55,812.01 feet ) the aim of the group is to climb the mountain 12 times. Each lap of the climb up is 764m and down, 1,530m total metres climbed and descended. After 12 climbs this will amount to 18,360m (60,240ft ).
Croagh Patrick is 764 metres, while Mount Everest is 8,848 metres. Twelve ascents of the famous Mayo Mountain would result in more than 9,000 metres of climbing, therefore climbing more than Everest.
There were a number of trials to see who would actually be able to endure the record bid, the first trial run was for three ascents in five hours, the second trial was six climbs inside 11 hours, and the third test is eight climbs inside 15 hours. These trials are about building mental and physical strength. At the end of 12 climbs the group will have covered 88 kilometres, more than the equivalent of two marathons. To date those taking part in the climb are PJ Hall, John Gilleran, Tony Walsh, Kieran Hasting, Noel Brady, Robert Coyne, Morgan Mc Hugh, Brendan Butler, Padraic Hughes, Ann Ronayne, Pat Staunton, Padraig Marrey, and Mary Mulchrone.
This group all have a varied background, from postmen to plumbers to office staff, and are looking at the challenge of sore feet, sore limbs, and a whole lot of physical and mental torture to attempt the record. The physical challenge will surely be the biggest task to face everyone.