Dave Stevens abandoned his challenge on safety grounds. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Ultrarunner Dave Stevens has abandoned his attempt to break the record for running the Pennine Way.

The Sutton Coldfield athlete pulled out of his challenge on safety grounds as he and his support runner began to feel hypothermic on one of the highest sections of the route.

The former Parachute Regiment member vowed to make another attempt next year. He covered more than half of the national trail before ending his run in the north Pennines.

He said: “Last night approaching High Cup Nick, the weather was so bad as I was running across that it became too dangerous to continue as both myself and my pacer were feeling early stages of hypothermia.

“I was becoming increasingly concerned that I wasn’t able to make a logical or safe decision so had to abandon the attempt on the grounds of safety.

“Although initially gutted, I take great comfort in knowing that I can go the distance and on this occasion it was circumstances beyond my control that ended this attempt.

“But this record ain’t going anywhere and I’ll be back next year to do it all again with my epic crew and sponsors.

“I raced to 160 miles and have to say a huge thank you to everyone supported me.”

Mike Hartley’s record of 65hrs 20mins 15secs, set in July 1989 remains the fastest known time for the 431km (268-mile) route. Stevens aimed to complete the Pennine Way in 58 hours and was ahead of his schedule as far as the Tan Hill Inn but then started to fall behind his target times as bad weather swept the fells.

Czech runner Pavel Paloncý also abandoned his attempt on the Pennine Way record in 2017 when he fell behind the schedule needed to beat Hartley’s time.

The three-times Montane Spine Race winner pulled out of his challenge at the Hadrian’s Wall section of the Pennine Way.

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