A SOUTH Lakeland fell runner came agonisingly close to breaking an incredible record at the weekend.
Sedbergh’s Adam Perry scaled 77 Lake District peaks in under 24 hours – the equivalent of one and a half times the height of Mount Everest – covering 95 miles.
While equalling the distance set by legendary fell runner Mark Hartell in 1997 – the current record holder – Adam could not beat his time.
Adam's time was 23 hours, 59 minutes and 32 seconds - slightly slower than the record.
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There are two ways to break the record: run one more peak or run the same course quicker.
Adam attempted to run an extra peak but it took him 25 minutes longer than expected and there wasnot enough time for him to beat Mark’s record.
“There’s no bigger challenge than that,” said Adam, who works for the Yorkshire Dales National ParkAuthority, after his run.
“You have to accept in your mind that you’re going to run for 24 hours but you realise how big the challenge is when you do it – I didn’t stop. Even my arms hurt today!”
Adam, 26, had a team of 30 people helping him along the route, but he proved to be too quick for all his pacemakers.
Volunteers were at checkpoints to hand him food when he ran past as he tried to keep his energy levels up.
The Sedbergh-based runner has already won the 61-mile Fellsman Hike twice and competed in the Lakeland 100.
He started his run at Braithwaite and went up Skiddaw and over Blencathra, across the Helvellyn range over to Langdale, then towards Scafell Pike, Honister and then the Newland Fells before returning to Braithwaite.
He said: “Longer distances are where I do better. I don’t have the kind of speed for short races. I’m more like a donkey as opposed to a racehorse!”
Despite not breaking the record, James remains upbeat.
“I got pretty close,” he said. “Maybe I’ll do it next year!”