ONE of the longest-standing records in fell running was beaten at the weekend when a sky runner knocked an hour off the previous best time.

Catalan athlete Kilian Jornet, 30, completed the Bob Graham Round in 12h52, convincingly beating Billy Bland’s time, the runner who has held the record of 13h53 since 1982.

Jornet said: “It has been hard, but very exciting. I’ve had the Bob Graham Round in mind for a while and finally I had the chance give it a try and I’ve realised how amazing the time was that Billy did thirty years ago.”

The Bob Graham Round takes in 42 peaks in the Lake District in England, covering over 106km and with 8,200m of overall ascent.

The round was established in 1932 when the runner Bob Graham ran the 42 fells in less than 24 hours.

The challenge became a part of the local culture with the founding of the Bob Graham Round Club, whose membership is made up of those who have matched the founder’s achievement.

It wasn’t until 1960 that anyone dared to try it again and since then many have sought to join the legendary club.

Jornet was accompanied by a team of 10 pacemakers who also helped him comply with the club’s rules.

Numerous other runners encouraged him along the way, among them Billy Bland himself, who said he was inspired by Kilian’s achievement..

Kilian Jornet covered the 42 peaks at a fast and constant speed. At the half way point he was 30 minutes ahead of record time.

The third leg of the courseis the most difficult, with rocky ground and steep ascents and descents.

The remainder includes peaks that are not very high but with lots of loose rock which tests the runners’ stamina.

Arriving back iin Keswick in record time, Jornet said: “It was a beautiful day out in the mountains together with all the runners who came and helped pace me.

“I would also like to thank Billy who came to cheer me on, and everyone in Keswick. You can really feel the love for fell running, and I couldn’t be happier to have completed this round!”