This past weekend saw Mountain Fuel - the brand behind nutrition supplements for endurance athletes - assemble teams and race the Billy Bland Challenge. It was the first competitive head-to-head race involving that route, which is a 66 mile, 42 peak challenge with 27,000ft of ascent - we know, it's mental.
Two mixed teams of men, women including vets and open runners raced against each other in an attempt to beat the mixed team record of 16hrs 49 minutes with aspirations of also being one of the fastest times and getting close to legendary fell runner Billy Bland’s time of 13hrs 53 minutes on the Bob Graham Round. Both teams consisted of 10 runners, with two runners each running one of the five legs together.
The team was made up of a collective mix of ultra, trail and fell runners, including local Keswick AC runners (some of whom hold individual leg records and were part of the Keswick AC record breaking time of 12hrs 25 minutes) along with other Team Mountain Fuel runners from around the country, including some Team GB Mountain Running representatives.
Despite being a mixed team which also included vets they managed to record the second and third fastest times in the history of the Billy Bland Challenge being 12 hours and 51 minutes, and 13 hours and 1 minute.
This looks set to become an annual event, as already Mountain Fuel and Keswick AC have challenged local rivals Helm Hill veterans team to a race next year.
Check out the video below for highlights: