Pavel Paloncý makes the ascent towards Withins Height from Walshaw Dean, in the company of local runner Gary Chapman. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Pavel Paloncý makes the ascent towards Withins Height from Walshaw Dean, in the company of local runner Gary Chapman. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Ultrarunner Pavel Paloncý is attempting to break a 29-year-old record for the fastest completion of the Pennine Way.

The Czech long-distance expert is taking his second shot at bettering Mike Hartley’s time, having pulled out during a similar effort last year.

Paloncý is the three-times winner of the Montane Spine Race, which entails running the complete 268 miles (431km) during January, so knows the route, along Britain’s first national trail, well.

His attempt in June 2017 ended at Hadrian’s Wall with the realisation that he was not on track to beat the fastest known time of 2 days 17hrs 20mins 15secs after his pace slowed.

Paloncý set off from Edale in Derbyshire at 5am on Friday, with a goal of reaching the finish point in Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders before 10.20pm on Sunday.

The Czech runner is attempting the challenge with minimum support. Runners are being encouraged to accompany Paloncý to help keep up his morale.

When grough caught up with the runner on the South Pennine moors in West Yorkshire, he was with local athlete Gary Chapman who is himself a Spine Race finisher.

Dave Stevens abandoned his challenge in May this year. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Dave Stevens abandoned his challenge in May this year. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

An attempt on the Pennine Way fastest time earlier this year by Dave Stevens ended when the Sutton Coldfield runner pulled out on the Cumbrian section of the Pennine Way when he and his support runner began to suffer from hypothermia.

He vowed to return to attempt to break the record next year.

Pavel Paloncý’s progress can be followed on the Open Tracking website.

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