Ultra-Marathon Runner John Kelly Sets Pennine Way Endurance Challenge Record


Ultra-distance runner John Kelly broke the record for one of Britain’s hardest running challenges, vanquishing the soul-crushing 260-mile Pennine Way course in less than 60 hours. Kelly put down his success to outrageous preparation and extreme training. Bettors are gearing up for a summer full of running races and Olympic events. Before wagering on upcoming running events, get the latest betting information on bet365 in Canada to set up a betting account.

John Kelly

Unlike many of the famous ultra-running races around the world, there is no prize at the end of the Pennine Way endurance challenge. There is no oversized check or glittery trophy. However, being the fastest person to complete the 260-mile trail was reward enough for Kelly, who reclaimed his status as the king of the Pennine Way.

The Pennine Way trail runs down the length of Great Britain starting at the Scottish Borders’ Kirk Yetholm down to Edale in Derbyshire’s scenic Peak District. It takes a veteran hiker more than two weeks to complete the trail safely – and that is if the weather is kind. Kelly took a mere 58 hours and four minutes to complete the trail.

Kelly began the ultra-distance trail on Saturday May 15th and took just two, 10-minute naps before completing the run on Monday evening. The ultra-runner has held the Pennine Way course record previously. In the summer of 2020, Kelly set the record for the fastest run along the trail. The previous record was set in 1989. Unfortunately for Kelly, his record stood for just seven days. Ultra-running colleague Damian Hall finished the Pennine Way trail quicker, shedding more than three hours off of Kelly’s time.

Despite facing hail, rain and strong winds in Yorkshire, Kelly was able to complete the route in just over two days. Even running through boggy moorland in North Yorkshire only slowed Kelly down momentarily.

Throughout the 58-hour ultra-run, Kelly had to take on food and drink regularly. While he only slept for around 20 minutes over the course of the 260-mile run, he fuelled himself on junk food to keep energy levels up. Food and drink breaks were short, however. When Kelly was able to re-fuel, he consumed Pot Noodles, rice pudding and energy drinks. Kelly claims he ate whatever he could keep down. His food selections were also made knowing his body craved both salt and protein.

Even the best made plans don’t always work out. Kelly’s body began to feel poorly toward the end of the endurance challenge. After a lack of sleep and continually using up energy stores, Kelly claims he went into a “dream state”. Many ultra-runners, experienced and novice alike, can undergo hallucinations due to a lack of sleep, sugar, and/or oxygen during races.

The 260-mile Pennine Way trail is not Kelly’s first long-distance endurance challenge. He is currently the last person to complete the infamous Barkley Marathons ultra-race in Tennessee. Barkley Marathons are well-known amongst ultra-runners for being a 100-mile looped course that must be run in 60 hours or less. Runners complete the equivalent in elevation increases and decreases of climbing Mount Everest twice. Completing the Pennine Way in 58 hours is another feather in Kelly’s running cap.