Brian Melia in upper Wharfedale in his attempt at a continuous run of A Pennine Journey. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Brian Melia in upper Wharfedale during his attempt at a continuous run of A Pennine Journey. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Ultrarunner Brian Melia’s bid to complete an unbroken run over a 247-mile route is underway.

The 56-year-old optometrist left Settle in North Yorkshire at 6am on Saturday, aiming to become the first known runner to traverse Wainwright’s A Pennine Journey in a single run.

At the time of writing, he was on schedule to achieve the feat in his planned time of 74 hours. He was heading north out of Swaledale, having completed 43 miles.

The route follows the eastern flanks of the Pennines as far as Hadrian’s Wall, then back south to Settle over the western fells.

If he completes the route as planned, it will be the first known time an athlete has achieved the unbroken traverse of the route. A Pennine Journey, which was devised by David and Heather Pitt, is based on Wainwright’s book of the same name, detailing a walk he undertook as the clouds of war gathered over Europe in 1938.

Melia, who works at Hull University Teaching Hospital is an experienced ultra- and endurance runner, having taken part in the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc three times, Dragon’s Back twice, the Bob Graham Round, Fellsman, several Three Peaks Races, the Eiger Trail and several other endurance events.

He plans a three-hour rest in the early hours of Sunday, and a four-hour break on Monday morning, with a hoped-for finish at Settle on Tuesday morning.

His progress can be followed via the Open Tracking website.

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