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John Kelly running ahead of Pennine Way record schedule

John Kelly on grand round
John Kelly last year on his self-named Grand Round last year (Image credit: William Laye)


Ultra runner John Kelly is hours ahead of his schedule to set a  new record time for the 260-mile Pennine Way.

The UK-based American runner is bidding to reclaim his record title from last July, just eight days before Damian Hall then set a new fastest time. 

Damian’s time of two days, 13 hours  and 35 minutes was three hours quicker.

John set off from Kirk Yetholm in Scotland on Saturday at 9am and he is running south to Edale in England. 

The previous record time has been set by fell running legend Mike Hartley’ 31 years before.

John Kelly on grand round

John Kelly ran consecutive rounds of the Bob Graham, Paddy Buckley and Ramsay (Image credit: Damian Hall)

Record bid: North to south on Pennine Way

Last time, John ran the route south to north but this time he is travelling in the same direction as Damian for his record run,

Sabrina Verjee , another successful ultra runner, also ran north to south last year when she set the quickest female time and the their fastest time to date. 

John needs to arrive at Edale by 10.30pm today to break the record although he is currently well ahead of schedule. As this was published he was almost three hours ahead of the record time as he passed through Charlestown.

John posted on Facebook before he set off: “I’ll be having a crack at reclaiming the record for the 260-mile Pennine Way from @ultra_damo’s [Daman Halls] incredible performance last year of 61h 35m.”

See Open Tracking to stay updated.

Fiona Russell is a widely published adventure journalist and blogger, who is better known as Fiona Outdoors. She is based in Scotland and is an all-round outdoors enthusiast with favourite activities including trail running, mountain walking, mountain biking, road cycling, triathlon and skiing, both downhill and back country. Her target for 2021 is to finish the final nine summits in her first round of all 282 Munros, the Scottish mountains of more than 3,000ft high. Aside from being outdoors, Fiona's biggest aim is to inspire others to enjoy the great outdoors, especially through her writing. She is also rarely seen without a running skort! Find out more at Fiona Outdoors.