Welsh ultrarunner smashes record for John o’Groats to Land’s End high peaks challenge
Cardiff ultrarunner Rhys Jenkins has broken the world record for running from John o’Groats to Land’s End – the scenic route.
The gruelling physical challenge combined distance running with clambering up the highest peaks in Wales, Scotland and England along the way.
The 1,215-mile journey took him 23 days, 7 hours and 19 minutes, smashing a previous record set in 2018 of 30 days, 8 hours and 18 minutes.
Speaking to ITV Wales, he said: “It was a total physical and emotional rollercoaster from start to finish. The mileage really caught up with me towards the end. My feet and mind were in tatters.
“I certainly had my fair share of dark days on this trip but the team around me and the messages of support from people coming in really had a positive swing on my mood and performance. I could not have done it without them.”
He crossed the finish line at Land’s End in Cornwall flying the Welsh flag and was greeted by his pregnant wife Cerys.
The 33-year-old from Penarth was using the challenge to help raise money for the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, a child abuse charity.
In 2020, he broke the record for running the 870-mile Wales Coast Path and started running as a way to lose weight.
He is the first Welsh athlete to have completed the Badwater 135 event, described as the toughest foot race on the planet with a 135-mile route through the scorching heat of California’s Death Valley.
His latest challenge involved more than 100,000 feet of elevation as he completed climbs up Ben Nevis, Yr Wyddfa and Scafell Pike along the route.
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Phenomenomenomenal I’d say!
A fabulous achievement.
I’m surprised that the total elevation run is said to be about 100, 000 feet. Thousands of people every year drive to the start of each of the national 3 peaks, and claim they ascend 10,000 feet. So that’d be 90,000 feet of elevation not going up mountains!