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Sabrina Verjee still on course to set Wainwrights record

Written by Fiona

July 10 2020

Accomplished ultra runner Sabrina Verjee is on course to set a new record for a Wainwrights Round as she progresses through day five of the epic challenge.

She hopes to beat the current record of six days and six hours set by Paul Tierney last year.

Sabrina, 39, of Ambelside, continues to make good progress as she ticks off the 214 Lake District mountains on a course of 525km and 36,000m of ascent.

Earlier, Facebook Open Tracking revealed: “Sabs is around 2.5 hours down on her six-day schedule but but still four hours ahead of a pace to beat the record.”

Sabrina during the early stages of her Wainwrights round.

Starting at 3am on Monday in Keswick, Sabrina hopes to complete her run, also in Keswick, early on Sunday.

As well as aiming to beat the record, if she finishes her run, Sabrina will become the first female athlete who is known to have completed a continuous round.

Today, Sabrina said: “Overall, I’m feeling strong and am pleased with progress. My right knee isn’t very happy at the moment, so I’ll have to try and do something about that, but otherwise I’m in good shape.

“It’s been lovely to run with two previous record setters Paul Tierney and Steve Birkinshaw today and I’m grateful for their generous support.

“Thanks to everyone who has been following my progress online and sending socially distanced encouragement.”

Sabrina’s progress is being tracked live at Both Birkinshaw and Tierney have been part of Sabrina’s support team today, running with her for sections of the route.

Sabrina heads down from Clough Head on day five of her Wainwrights round, with Paul Tierney supporting her
Steve Birkinshaw waits below Clough Head to run with Sabrina.

History of the Wainwrights Round records

The first recorded continuous round of the Wainwrights was completed by Alan Heaton in 1985, in nine days and 16 hours. Two years later, fell running legend Joss Naylor set a new record of seven days, one hour and 25 minutes.

That stood for 27 years, until Berghaus athlete Steve Birkinshaw knocked almost 12 hours off the time in 2014, when he completed his run in six days and 13 hours.

Last summer, Paul Tierney, from Windermere, lowered the record by another seven hours.

Who is Sabrina Verjee?

Sabrina is one of the UK’s leading ultra-runners, having completed the five-day Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race in Wales on three occasions, finishing second place in the women’s race in 2017 and 2019.

Last year, she won the women’s category in the Montane Spine Race along the Pennine Way, finishing fifth overall.

Sabrina began planning for her attempt on the Wainwrights record many months ago, before the COVID-19 outbreak. Due to continued social distancing guidelines, she is running with minimal support and has asked the public to not join her at any time on the fells or at the finish.

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