Damian Hall. Photo: inov-8/James Appleton

Damian Hall. Photo: inov-8/James Appleton

Less than a week after John Kelly set a new record for running the Pennine Way, another athlete is lining up to post a fastest known time for the route.

Damian Hall plans to start his challenge on Wednesday morning.

This time, the inov-8 ambassador is running the route from north to south, starting at Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders. He said he hopes to arrive in Edale in time for last orders on Friday after forsaking alcohol for the past four months.

Kelly ran the route, including the optional up-and-back ascent of The Cheviot, in 2 days 16hrs 46mins, shaving 34 minutes off the record set by Mike Hartley in 1989. Hall said he intends to include the ascent, which is no longer officially part of the Pennine Way.

He said he has been thinking of having a crack at the record for the 268-mile national trail for the past four years.

The Pennine Way was England's first national trail. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The Pennine Way was England's first national trail. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

He said on his blog: “The Pennine Way is special. England’s oldest national trail is directly linked to 1932s mass trespass, a brilliant piece of civil disobedience where brave folk defied the law on Kinder Scout to protest about the lack of access to open country.

“The Pennine Way is our Appalachian Trail; the original, the classic, the daddy.

“It’s special to me too. I first hiked it in 2011, have written a guidebook for it and done the Spine Race twice. I have a weakness for bleakness. And bogs. And bimbles.”

The inov-8 Twitter post wishing their ambassador good luck

The inov-8 Twitter post wishing their ambassador good luck

The inov-8 Twitter post wishing their ambassador good luck

Running the route north-to-south, as Hartley did, means he may potentially have to contend with the weather in his face.

Like his friend Kelly, Hall is also planning to raise cash for charity, this time for Greenpeace, which he says ‘does great things for our planet’. He will attempt to make his challenge carbon negative, avoid eating animal products during his refuelling and, remarkably, collect litter while on the route.

As with recent endurance running challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic, Damian Hall is having to keep his support team to a minimum and is also asking the public to turn out to greet him on the route.

His progress can be followed on the Open Tracking website.

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