Joss Naylor, the renowned fell runner and sheep farmer from Cumbria, has passed away at the age of 88. Celebrated as the ‘King of the Fells,’ Naylor’s impressive career in ultramarathon running has cemented his legacy in some of the UK’s most demanding trail landscapes.

Naylor’s extraordinary achievements include shattering the Lake District 24-hour record three times. In 1971, he set a record time of 11 hours and 54 minutes for the Three Peaks Challenge, including driving time between the mountains.

In 1973, Naylor set the fastest time for the Welsh 3000s, which involves climbing all 15 peaks in Wales over 3,000 feet high. His time of 4 hours and 46 minutes remained unbeaten until 1988. The next year, he set the record for the Pennine Way, completing the 268-mile route in 3 days, 4 hours, and 36 minutes, holding this record until 1989.

Starting his running career in 1960 at age 24, Naylor showed that age was no barrier to achievement. At 50, he completed all 214 Wainwrights (English fells) in 7 days, 1 hour, and 25 minutes, a record that held until 2014. For his 60th birthday, he ran 60 Lakeland fell tops in 36 hours, and at 70, he tackled 70 Lakeland fells in under 21 hours, covering over 50 miles and 25,000 feet of ascent.

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Naylor’s contributions extended beyond his running accolades. As a patron of the Brathay Trust, a charity aiding young people in North West England, he used his races to raise around £40,000 for the charity between 2007 and 2019. In recognition of his services to sport and charity, he was awarded an MBE in 2007.

In June 2019, Mr. Naylor showed his support for the Brathay Trust by completing a challenge he had initially attempted back in 1962. /Photo:©Brathay Trust

Joss Naylor’s legacy as a determined and passionate figure in fell running will continue to inspire runners worldwide. His unparalleled achievements and charitable efforts have left an enduring mark on the sport and the community.