British ultrarunner Dan Lawson, 44, set out this morning at 6 a.m. local time in an attempt to set a new fastest known time from John o’ Groats at the northern tip of Scotland to Land’s End, at the western tip of Cornwall, a distance of 1,407 kilometres.
The existing FKT, set by Andrew Rivett in 2002, is 9:2:26 (though some cast doubt on the veracity of this record).
“From Land’s End to John o’ Groats” is the traditional way of describing the complete length of Britain. It has been traversed on foot, by car, bicycle, wheelchair, skateboard, unicycle, and possibly other means, and in both directions (and shortened to LEJOG or JOGLE as appropriate).
Dawson’s list of accomplishments include winning the 400K Ultra Gobi race in China last October, a fifth-place finish at this year’s European 24-Hour Championships in Romania in May, and another fifth-place finish at Gaoligong by UTMB, also in May of this year. He also holds the record for Britain’s Grand Union Canal Race. He describes himself as “practically” vegan, “give or take the odd lassi and butter on toast.” (Lassi is a dairy-based drink popular in India. Dawson lives in Goa part-time.)
This isn’t the first time someone has attempted to beat Rivett’s record. In 2016 Mark Vaz tried, and actually claimed he had knocked 31 hours off the record, but was exposed as a cheater.
The current women’s LEJOG record, according to the Guinness World Records organization, was set by Marina Anderson in 2008. Her time was 12:15:46.
You can track Dawson’s journey live via this link.
UPDATE October 31, 2018: We have learned that Lawson ended his attempt after 880.25 kilometres.–eds.