Elsey Davis Sets Winter Record on the Bob Graham Round

This article originally appeared on Trail Runner

On January 6th, British fell runner Eleanor (Elsey) Davis broke the women's record on the Bob Graham Round, a gnarly test piece that's a staple of the UK trail scene. Davis lowered the record by 21 minutes to 20 hours and 21 minutes (ultra legend and Western States Endurance Run champion Beth Pascall currently holds the summer record). Davis, 33, from Cornwall, works as a doctor, though she is on a brief pause in her career to focus on running and racing.

Davis is an accomplished runner, with top finishes at the Eiger Ultra Trail in Switzerland, the Scafell Marathon, a third-place finish in the Golden Trail World Series final, and competing for Britain at the World Mountain and Trail Running Champs. The history and community surrounding this route drew Davis back, with its forty-plus fells, to recon the route. Davis says she was inspired by Pascall's stout summer record (Pascall's husband paced Davis for a leg of the round) and wanted to feel connected to the history of strong women completing the route. Davis was also crewed by her wife, who handled everything from logistics to walking Davis through checkpoints, encouraging her with words and mashed potatoes in hand.

"Every time I got to the checkpoints, I couldn't stop crying," says Davis. "I had never done an ultra, and it just felt so emotional. I think when you're married to someone who does stuff like this, it's quite full-on as well."

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