A FEARLESS Kendal fell runner pursued an alleged assailant through the streets of a Lake District town - in her pyjamas and trainers.

Natalie White, 28, a former British hill running champion, sprinted after a man she believed had butted her friend in the face leaving him poleaxed on the ground with severe injuries.

The diminutive 5ft 4ins athlete followed the fleeing man around Keswick town centre following the attack in the early hours of Sunday morning.

“I did try to tell him I would get him, but he just laughed at me and ran off,” said Miss White, Kendal.

“He said that he would get away from me because I was a girl.

“He clearly didn’t think someone as small as me was a match for him but I chased him and wore him down.”

The chase lasted for around four minutes until the man collapsed to the ground breathless outside the town’s WH Smith store.

“He just gave up and lay on the ground,” said Miss White. “I told him: ‘I did tell you I would catch you.’”

Miss White, who works for The Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere, said she had been chatting with her friend Tim Austin in her camper van in the Skiddaw Hotel car park, Keswick, at around midnight on Saturday.

While talking they noticed two men had climbed inside Mr Austin’s open van which was parked alongside Miss White’s camper.

Miss White said that Mr Austin went out to confront the two men in the van, who she claimed had poured beer all over the seats.

She said Mr Austin was talking to the men requesting that they clear up his van when one of them butted him in the face breaking his nose and shattering three of his teeth.

“I was lying on the floor in pain and suddenly saw Natalie bolt out of her van,” said Mr Austin, who is also well-known in the fell running fraternity.

“I saw a man running from the scene and I heard her say: ‘I will catch you’.

“He just laughed at her but she did get him in the end.

"It was brave and there’s not many friends, irrespective of gender, that would do that for you,” said Mr Austin.

Miss White is also a world champion altitude runner and recently completed the gruelling 65-mile Bob Graham Round, taking in 42 Lake District peaks in just over 21 hours.

She said her instincts just kicked in and putting on her running shoes and track training top to chase the suspect seemed like the natural thing to do.

“My mum and dad said it was stupid, but I just couldn’t let anyone get away with it,” she said.

“I’ve never ever done anything like that before, I must have just got a lot harder as I’ve got older!”

Police have arrested a 24-year-old man from Bolton on suspicion of ‘assault: grievous bodily harm' and released him on bail until June 12.