On July24, ultra-runner, Doctor and free spirit Beth Pascall set a new women’s fastest known (FKT) time of 14 hours, 34 minutes, and 26 seconds on the Bob Graham Round in England’s Lake District, beating the previous best of 15:24 set by Jasmin Paris in 2016.
All photos @sambenard
“I had planned a full summer of races abroad and was actually taking some time off work. I’d had six months off work and was going to the U.S., to train for a few months and run the Western States 100. When I realized there were no races for the foreseeable future, the Bob Graham Round was the obvious thing to do. I’ve been training hard for it since March, really. But it wasn’t until the end of May when the U.K. came out of proper lockdown and we could actually run in the mountains that I knew it could happen.
So the Bob Graham Round is a loop joining 42 peaks. The only criteria is that you have to go to each one of the peaks. You then take the fastest route between each one, which usually does not involve following a path. There are some paths, but a lot of the time you’re running over heather, really rocky terrain, some grass, lots of bog. There’s a rock climb in there as well. There’s a big navigation component to it, and also about getting to know the route really well. You can’t just rock up with a .gpx file on your watch and do it. You need to know the route super well and you need to be efficient on really technical terrain.
To be honest, it was one of the best days of my life. When I realized that the record was in sight, and if there were no disasters that I was going to make it, I just relaxed and enjoyed it even more. That leg five, yeah. It was just amazing. Amazing.” – Beth Pascall
You can read this full post Bob graham Round interview between Beth and Meghan Hicks on the I-Run-Far website.
Guidebook to walking or running Britain’s three most challenging long-distance mountain rounds: the Bob Graham Round (Lake District), the Paddy Buckley Round (Wales) and the Charlie Ramsay Round (Scotland). Includes practical information and advice, notes on access and environmental impact, plus insights and strategies from the likes of Jasmin Paris, Nicky Spinks, Charlie Ramsay, Jim Mann and Paddy Buckley.
Beth Pascall broke the female record for the Bob Graham Round on the same day that Damian Hall ‘ completed the 268-mile Pennine Way in a new record time of 61 hours and 34 minutes (ratified as 61:35:15) (watch the finish video here). He beat the previous record, set just last week by his friend John Kelly, by over 3 hours. Prior to that the record had been held for 31 years by Mike Hartley.‘ Go to the Inov-8 website for the the full details on Damian’s amazing feat.
Beth and Damian did actually team up in 2018 to make a FKT attempt on the Cape Wrath Trail, a 230 mile course that runs from Fort William to Cape Wrath in Scotland. You can watch how they got on below:
For a previous Vagrant Times post on Nicky Spinks and her amazing double Bob Graham Round go to Run Forever: The film of Nicky Spinks & The Double Bob Graham
Also a previous post may be of interest to you and how you can walk, bike and ride the Pennine Way and Pennine Bridleway. The Pennine Way, UK’s Most Famous Trail – Hike. Pennine Bridleway – Ride & Bike