An ultra-runner has set a benchmark for traversing the 101-mile-long Dorset coast in under 24 hours.

Dan Williams ran and speed-hiked the incredible distance - which included a total of 13,000ft climbing and a loop of Portland - in 23 hours, 57 minutes and 30 seconds.

The epic feat of endurance was all in aid of the Jurassic Coast Trust and it is the fastest known time anyone has traversed the Dorset coast.

Starting at 10pm on Friday, April 12 from Ware, Lyme Regis, Dan reached Chewton Bunny, Highcliffe on Sea just before 10pm the following evening. The Dorset Coast Running Challenge was the idea of Andy Palmer, Director of White Star Running. Andy said of Dan’s accomplishment.

He said: “As we are working with the Jurassic Coast Trust to create Run Jurassic, we thought it would be jolly day out to set the record for the fastest border to border run along the Jurassic Coast.”

Dan already holds the Fastest Known Time for around the Isle of Wight. With its rugged terrain and steep climbs, the Dorset coast presented extra challenges.

“In the months prior I increased my training (with a few minor blips), ran lots of hills and steps, and learned most of the route on numerous trips and recces,” said Dan of his preparation.

Dan was supported by the team at White Star Running who crewed the event, staying up all night to follow Dan and organising support runners and food and drink along the way. Further support was provided by Freshwater Beach Holiday Park and the Jurassic Coast Trust.

Dan was joined on the first leg of the run by the Jurassic Coast Trust’s Chief Exec Dr Sam Rose and Bridport runner Adam Slater. Together they ran 12.5 miles from the Devon border to Freshwater Beach Holiday Park. The Jurassic Coast Trust’s Senior Programme Manager Lucy Culkin met Dan off the ferry at Sandbanks on Saturday evening, and accompanied him at the start of his final stretch.

Whilst Dan was joined by support runners for certain sections of the run, he faced his greatest challenges alone and at night where he faced cold wind and navigation issues due to the muddy fields that hampered movement. Physically he battled knee pain, hypoglycemia and recurring stomach issues. After a short rest just after Dancing Ledge, Dan made it on schedule to the Sandbanks ferry at Studland at 6.30pm. “I was determined I was not going to miss that ferry,” said Dan.

Lucy, from the Jurassic Coast Trust, said: “The Jurassic Coast Trust team are so grateful that Dan chose to raise money for us as part of this incredible challenge. Thank you also to White Star Running for organising the event. Please support Dan by visiting his JustGiving page.

“If you are feeling inspired by Dan’s epic achievement, join us on the weekend of 27th-29th September 2019 for Run Jurassic - the official Jurassic Coast Running Festival that will showcase the amazing Dorset coastline – part of England’s only natural World Heritage Site.”