A 39-YEAR-OLD fell runner has died after he became separated from his partner while attempting to run part of the Bob Graham Round. 

Mountain rescue teams were called on Tuesday (May 1) evening to search for the man. 

The runners had been descending from Red Pike heading for Little Scoat Fell at a height of around 750-850m when they became separated.

When the bad weather arrived, the running partner backtracked to a point where he believed he would meet up with his partner but was unable to find him in the thick cloud.

After searching for a considerable time in worsening weather, he eventually gave up and made his way over to Black Sail Pass.

From here he was able to see Black Sail Youth Hostel and he made his way down to the hut and raised the alarm.

More than 60 team members from Wasdale, Cockermouth and Keswick mountain rescue teams along with search dogs carried out a thorough search of all major footpaths and all obvious escape routes along the planned route in strong wind, heavy rain and thick cloud until approximately 2am the next morning.

With no further information on the location of the fell runner and the difficult search conditions which prohibited the use of a helicopter, the decision was taken to call the search off until first light.

The search was resumed again at 5am on May 2 with additional team members from Penrith, Kirkby Stephen, Coniston, Kendal  and Northumberland mountain rescue teams.

The coastguard search and rescue helicopter also joined the search.

At approximately 7.30am, the missing fell runner was found and was flown by coastguard helicopter to the Royal Victoria Infirmary hospital in Newcastle. Sadly, they were unable to resuscitate him.

A spokesperson for Keswick Mountain Rescue Team: "This was a major search involving over 100 rescuers, nine dogs, a coastguard helicopter and much assistance from the NWAS Air Desk and Cumbria Police.

"It's always very difficult mounting a search like this covering such a large area, with a potentially moving casualty at night and in challenging weather conditions and low visibility so there was always a low probability of a find at night which unfortunately proved to be the case. This was an experienced fell runner doing something that many of our team members enjoy so it was a particularly poignant call out for many."