Pavel Paloncý was attempting a new fastest known time to run the Pennine Way. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Pavel Paloncý was attempting a new fastest known time to run the Pennine Way. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Ultrarunner Pavel Paloncý has hit the wall in his attempt to break the record for the fastest completion of the Pennine Way.

The Czech athlete arrived at Greenhead on Hadrian’s Wall shortly after 11am on Monday but is reported to have abandoned his challenge as his pace had slowed.

The runner, who has twice won the brutal Montane Spine Race, which involves completing the full length of the national trail in the height of winter, was about 95km (59 miles) short of the finish at Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders.

He would have had to reach the end of the 268-mile-long Pennine Way shortly after 10pm on Monday to beat the existing record of 2 days 17hrs 20mins 15secs set by Mike Hartley in July 1989.

Paloncý left the start of the route at Edale at 5.05am on Saturday and, although he spent much of the early stages ahead of schedule, his later pace dropped to a speed that he judged to put the record beyond his reach.

The Czech runner received support from the fell- and ultrarunning community which helped pace him along the route, including a brief stint from existing record holder Mike Hartley who ran with Paloncý along part of the route.

But about midday on Monday, Gary Chapman, who has been supporting the attempt, said on Facebook: “Sadly, Pavel has fallen so much behind schedule that he has retired in last few minutes.

“Thanks to fell running community as there has been some outstanding help generated via social media as people dropped everything to look after him.”

Meanwhile, south of Paloncý on the Pennine Way, Richard Lendon is leading the Montane Spine Fusion rave, the inaugural summer run up the national trail. Lendon is heading for Dufton at the head of the field after more than two days on the route.

The race runners set off from Edale about three hours after Paloncý.

Stephanie Le Men is the only woman left in the full Fusion race, and is currently in 13th place, on Great Shunner Fell at the head of Swaledale.

The shorter Montane Spine Flare race, from Edale to Hardraw, was won by British runner Mark Denby, who arrived at the finish in a time of 23hrs 53mins 36secs. Lisa Wallis, the fastest woman, was second overall with a time of 31hrs 33mins 56secs.

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