Endurance athletes and outdoor adventurers continue to find new ways to push their boundaries amidst the pandemic, while still staying socially distant. That latest example of this comes our way courtesy of ultrarunner Dan Lawson, who has just set out on an attempt at an epic speed record. Lawson is looking to set a new FKT (fastest known time) for running from the southernmost point in England, to the northernmost location in Scotland, which keeps him safely in his home country, while still providing a nice change of scenery along the way.
Today, Lawson set out from Land’s End, which is located at the southerly end of the country. From there, he began making his way north, with an eye on reaching John O’Groats, the name given to the top end of Scotland. Roughly 1400 km (869 miles) separates those two point and in order to achieve a new speed record, he’ll have to travel between them in about 10 days. That is the current officially-recognized record, set by Richard Brown, although there is a controversial 9 day, 2 hour mark set by Andi Rivett back in 2002. That record is called into question because Rivett offered little in the way of proof for his accomplishment and his ultrarunning performance before and after never demonstrated his ability to hit that mark.
This isn’t the first time that Lawson has attempted this record, which is a hallowed one amongst Brits. In 2018, Dan went after Rivett’s time but ended up bogging down over the course of the long days on the trail. By setting his sights on Brown’s record instead, he buys himself a bit of extra time. But the experience from his first go at the record will hopefully serve him well on this second go-around. By chasing Brown rather than Rivett, he’ll also be running 9-10 miles (14-16 km) less each day, allowing for more time resting and recovering over the course of the 9+ days on the trail.
If you’re looking to follow along, Dan’s support team has set up a tracking site to watch his progress. The website Fast Running is also posting regular updates too, so it should be fairly easy to see how Dan does this time out.
Good luck Dan!