Kilian Jornet has completed the Bob Graham Round with a new record in 12h53, the legendary route by the British fells with about 106km and 8.200 m of positive altitude beating last record owned by Billy Bland in 1982 in about 1h.


Kilian Jornet downhill. Photo: Pete Aylward.





After broken fibula at Perra Menta, Kilian comes back with very good sensations, first with Emilie Forsber as a team in Monterosa Skymarathon taking the bronze together, then beating everybody in Mont Blanc Marathon and finally this weekend trying to beat the record of Bob Graham Round


The challenge started in 1932, when Bob Graham managed to complete a circular round for 42 “fells” of the Lake District National Park in less than 24h. Bob Graham Round Club was founded then, which would welcome all of those who managed to repeat the feat of its founder. No one tried it until 1960, and since then there have been many who have become part of the already legendary club. In 1982, Billy Bland managed to complete the chanllenge in 13h53, and since then it has been 35 years without anyone being able to beat that time. Over the years, the Bob Graham Round has become one of the most popular courses in England.


Despite the challenge, the appeal of the Bob Graham Round resides in the values that surround the challenge: Fellowship, respect for the mountain and tradition meaning that to complete the Bob Graham Round it is necessary to meet some rules. First of all, you have to communicate to the members of the club that you want to make the challenge so it is recorded. During the tour, the runner must be accompanied by someone in each of the 42 summits, in order to verify it. One of the traditions also establishes that members of the club will assist the runner to run with them one of the 5 splits in which the circuit is divided. The runner can be assisted while completing each of these splits. Martin Stone, an enthusiastic club member, has also collaborated on the logistics of the Kilian’s challenge and also helped Billy Bland in the record he established over 30 years ago.


Kilian Jornet left at 6am from Keswick, a small village under 5,000 inhabitants in the center of the Lake District National Park, in northwestern England. Many runners have gone to encourage Kilian along the tour, including the current record holder Billy Bland who has not wanted to miss it, and said to feel enthusiastic and inspired.

Kilian Jornet has gone around the 42 summits at a fast and steady pace. The most complicated part of the route is the split 3, with a stony terrain and with steep rises and downs. The rest, even tops are not very high, the course has lot of ups and downs which challenges the resistance of the runners.

In the first split to Threlkeld, Jornet was 6 minutes ahead the current record. From there, he faced for the second round to Dunmail Raise, where he was expecting Billy Bland to encourage him. The third round was the longest and most technical, where Jornet has run up to fifteen summits, in a terrain with large rocks until reaching Wasdale at 1 noon, 8 hours and 9 minutes after starting. There, he had already completed more than half of the course, and he was beating in more than half an hour the record of Billy Bland.

From Wasdale, Jornet faced the last two rounds. The first, relatively short but with a high level of height included 9 peaks until returning to the crossroads in Honister Pass, where it arrived with 11h05’26. The last round, which would take Jornet back to Keswick, consisted of three peaks and a few final kilometres on asphalt.

He would reach then Kewsick and stop at 12h52’.

Kilian Jornet celebrating Bob Graham Round’s record with Billy Bland, last record holder since 1982. Photo: Tim Harper

“It’s been very hard, but also very exciting. For long time ago I had in mind the Bob Graham Round and finally I could try and realize the tremendous record that Billy had for more than thirty years. It has been a very beautiful day in the mountains, along with all the runners who have come to help me, thanks to Billy, who has come to encourage me, and also to the people of Keswick, who has completely encourage me. You can really see the love here for the fell running, and I couldn’t be more happy to have been able to complete this challenge”, said Kilian Jornet.







Info by Abel de Frutos for Trailrunningspain