Body in bog ID'd as famous fell runner

LIVERPOOL, England, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- A body found in a peat bog in a remote valley in northern England was identified Thursday as that of record-breaking fell runner Bill Smith.

Smith, 75, may have been dead for three weeks when a hill walker found his body Saturday in a Lancashire valley, the Trough of Bowland, The Independent reported. He lived alone in Liverpool. His sister identified the body.


After taking up fell running in 1971, Smith quickly became one of the best-known practitioners of the sport, also known as hill running or mountain running. He climbed 55 peaks in 24 hours in 1975, and then climbed 63 peaks in 23 hours, 55 minutes the following year.

Smith was the author of "Stud Marks on the Summits," a history of the sport, which inspired a song with the same title by the anarcho-punk band Chumbawamba.

"Fell runners come and go, champions come and go, but no one will ever be as important to the development and history of fell running as the man who died in September on the Bowland fells," said Graham Breeze, chairman of the Fell Running Association.


Friends described Smith as a modest man who generally traveled to the peaks by public transportation. As he got older, he turned to organizing events and photographing runners.

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