Evans topples Charles II
Even floods and bad weather can’t slow him
Lee-Stuart Evans is claiming a Fastest Known Time of 16 days and nine hours for the 675-mile Monarch’s Way. No one is known to have travelled the route in full since Charles II fled the Battle of Worcester in 1651 and journeyed through the Cotswolds, Mendips, and South Downs to reach the West Sussex coastline, which took the king 42 days.
How hard was it? “Very,” Evans told TR. “This was without a doubt the toughest thing I’ve ever done. The weather was unusually awful and most of the Midlands flooded. My pack weighed about 8kg. As the route is not used frequently, in places there aren’t clear paths, so navigation is tricky.”
Evans spent up to 20 hours a day moving. “I had a huge level of support from friends. By the last 48 hours I had a small entourage who made a weekend party of it. It made the finish very special.”
Evans says the route has given his running new focus. “I’ll always be immensely proud of being the first to do it. By setting your own goals outside an organised trail run you find yourself interacting more with the local community, spending money on a local level and meeting more people. It’s changed my outlook on outdoor adventure.”
Tackling a truly historic route, Lee-Stuart crowned it with a record