Kim Collison. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Kim Collison. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Ultrarunner Kim Collison has broken a Lakeland record that has stood for 23 years.

Collison summited 78 Lake District fells in 24 hours, extending by one the number achieved by Mark Hartell in 1997.

Collison added Fleetwith Pike to the tally of felltops, completing his challenge in 23hrs 45mins.

He began and ended the course at the village of Braithwaite near Keswick at 3am on Saturday. Collison’s round involved running 175km (109 miles) with 11,890m (39,000ft) of ascent.

The 24-hour record began as an extension to the Bob Graham Round, the route over 42 peaks that has to be completed within a day.

Collison, a mountain-running development coach, achieved his record-breaking round with support from fellow members of Mountain Run, a group of top fell- and ultrarunners based in the Lake District. He was also supported by Mountain Fuel, La Sportiva and Long Haula.

The rules of the 24-hour challenge state that, to break the record, a runner has to either add an extra fell to the round or run the route faster. Collison achieved both when he arrived at the finish in the early hours of Sunday.

Bob Graham is considered the first 24-hour Lakeland record holder for his 1932 run, which established the round that now bears his name. The record was extended by Alan and Ken Heaton, Eric Beard, Joss Naylor, Mark McDermott and Mark Hartell, who pushed the fell tally to 77.

Mark Hartell held the record for 23 years. Photo: Bob Smith/grou

Mark Hartell held the record for 23 years. Photo: Bob Smith/grou

Nicky Spinks holds the women’s record, running 64 peaks in 23hrs 15mins in a round in 2011.

New record holder Collison competed for Great Britain in the 2016 Trail World Championships, and has numerous ultrarunning victories to his tally. He also holds the record for the fastest winter round of the Bob Graham route. Coincidentally, the women’s winter Bob Graham Round record holder, Sabrina Verjee is, at the time of writing undertaking an attempt on a continuous run of all 214 Wainwright fells.

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