Kílian Jornet took an hour and one minute off the record. Photo: Gerard Reyes CC-BY-SA-2.0

Kílian Jornet took an hour and one minute off the record. Photo: Gerard Reyes CC-BY-SA-2.0

Catalan ultrarunner Kílian Jornet has smashed a Lakeland challenge record that stood for 36 years.

The 30-year-old completed the Bob Graham Round of 42 Cumbrian peaks in a conditional time of 12hrs 52mins.

The previous record holder Billy Bland was on hand to applaud the challenger en route and also shared his celebrations at the finish at Keswick’s Moot Hall.

Jornet’s time was just over an hour faster than that set by Bland in 1982.

Posting on social media, the Catalan long-distance expert said: “Thanks Billy, I had better conditions than you, the best pacers and your inspiration to give everything. And even like that it was sooo sooo hard.

“Thanks to Carl, Chris, Martin, Josh, Jebby, Steve, Paul, Andrew, Neil, Paul and all the guys who has been helping out, without you guys it wouldn’t been possible.

“Big big thanks to Martin for making it real and such an organisation last minute, thanks Shane; thanks Jordi and thanks all the people cheering on the route.

“This Bob Graham Round was an amazing experience.”

Jornet’s planned attempt on the record had been kept under wraps, but rumours among the fell- and ultrarunning community circulated through the week that the champion skyrunner would be taking to the Lake District hills this weekend.

The challenge is named after Keswick guest-house owner Bob Graham who first completed the circuit in 1932. The traditional challenge starts and ends at the Moot Hall in the centre of Keswick and runners are expected to complete the course in 24 hours.

Jasmin Paris took the women’s record for the Bob Graham Round in 2016 with her time of 15hrs 24mins.

Nicky Spinks completed a double round the same year in a time of 45hrs 30mins.

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