British ultrarunner Dan Lawson recently completed the 1,407K run between Land’s End and John o’ Groats, setting a new fastest known time (FKT) in nine days, 21 hours and 14 minutes. Lawson became the first person to cover the route, which is commonly referred to as LEJOG, in under 10 days, beating the previous FKT of 10 days and two hours. This was Lawson’s second shot at the route after an unsuccessful attempt in 2018, and his run came just a matter of weeks after his fellow Brit Carla Molinaro set the LEJOG women’s FKT in late July in 12 days, 30 minutes and 14 seconds.
When Lawson ran his first attempt at the LEJOG FKT, he had his eyes on a much faster result than he did this time around. At the time, the route record was owned by Andrew Rivett who claimed to have covered the 1,400K in a little over nine days back in 2002. Many people doubted Rivett’s result, but the lack of GPS technology back in the early 2000s made it difficult to verify. This time around, Lawson announced that he would be running to break the previous record, set by Richard Brown, and he had much more success with this attempt.
Adding to the trophy case
Lawson has has had a lot of success in ultramarathons, so his big result with the LEJOG FKT is no surprise. In 2016, he ran 261K to win the European 24-hour championships, and he has registered top-50 results at the 24-hour world championships. He has a win at the 400K Ultra Gobi race in China in 2017, plus a fifth-place finish at a Ultra-Trail event in Gaoligong, also in China. Back in 2015, he finished in second at the 246K Spartathlon in Greece.
Dan Lawson – Land’s End to John O’Groats on foot.
9 Days 21 hours 14 minutes 2 seconds
@ReRunClothing @therunningdan @ John o' Groats https://t.co/7aT0EvV83g
— Dave MacFarlane (@davemacfarlane) August 16, 2020
Lawson’s FKT is one of many run by elite athletes this summer. With the lack of set races around the world, runners everywhere are looking for challenges where they can put their fitness to good use. It’s likely that Lawson will take some time to rest after his gruelling nine-day run, but he certainly won’t be the last FKT attempt of the year.