John Kelly on the flanks of Dodd Fell during a cloudburst. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

John Kelly on the flanks of Dodd Fell during a cloudburst. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Athlete John Kelly is on track to set a new fastest time for running the full length of the Pennine Way if he can maintain his current pace.

At the time of writing, he was about three hours ahead of the schedule he set himself for completing the 260-mile course by 10.30pm on Monday.

As night fell, he had summited Pen-y-ghent and was en route for Malham, passing over Fountains Fell. The UK-based American athlete faced worsening weather as he left Wensleydale in the Yorkshire Dales, with a prolonged torrential shower as he skirted Dodd Fell.

He had covered about 16km (10 miles) more than current record-holder Damian Hall at the equivalent time on his 2020 run.

Kelly set off from Kirk Yetholm at 9am on Saturday, running north to south, in an attempt to regain the record, which he held for eight days in 2020 before Hall set a new fastest time of 2 days 13hrs 35mins. This year, Kelly has opted to reverse the direction he ran the national trail in 2020.

He is being supported by fellow runners who are accompanying him on different legs of his challenge.

John Kelly’s progress can be followed on the Open Tracking website.

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