Cumbria

Ultrarunner Beth Pascall sets fastest women's Bob Graham Round time

Beth Pascall running across one of the fells as part of the Bob Graham Round Image copyright Sam Benard
Image caption The Bob Graham Round is named after a former fell runner from Keswick

An ultrarunner has completed one of the most gruelling Lake District fell challenges by setting the fastest-known time (FKT) for a woman.

Beth Pascall finished the Bob Graham Round in 14 hours 34 minutes - taking 50 minutes off the previous best.

In a loop starting and finishing in Keswick, the 65-mile challenge (106km) saw her take on 42 fells and ascend about 27,000ft (8,200m).

The previous woman's FKT was set in 2016 by Jasmin Paris.

Pascall, who works as a paediatrician, turned her attention to training for Friday's effort when the coronavirus outbreak caused the cancellation of her long-distance running schedule in California this summer.

Image copyright Sam Benard
Image caption Beth Pascall said she never felt like she was struggling at any point during the challenge

"I've always wanted to do a Bob Graham, but I've always put racing first," said the 32-year-old, who lives in Belper, Derbyshire.

"As soon as I realised there would be no racing for the foreseeable future it was in my mind, so probably from the end of May and beginning of June I was fully committed to it.

"I was training by going up and down the same little hills near where I live. It's not flat, but it's not the same as being in the Lake District."

A fan of several sports, Pascall said she began to "take running seriously about six years ago" and joked: "I grew up on my parents' farm chasing animals so I guess I always had good endurance."

Image copyright Sam Benard
Image caption The completion of the loop saw her back in Keswick

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