Sabrina Verjee’s bid to set new Wainwrights record
Top British ultra runner Sabrina Verjee is hoping to see a new record for completing a Wainwright Round. The challenge to run to all 214 Wainwright summits in the Lake District extends to 318m (525km) with 118,110ft (36,000m) of ascent (the same as four times the height of Everest). On day four, a recent report by Live Tracking revealed she was just 45 minutes behind schedule for a sub-six day finish.
Sabrina hopes to beat a 2019 record set by Paul Tierney in six days, six hours and five minutes. in turn, Paul beat Steve Birkinshaw’s five-year-old record by almost seven hours.
Sabrina’s Wainwright Round attempt
Sabrina, 39, of Ambleside, is a veteran of multi-day events and in 2019 she was the first female in the Montane Spine Race, finishing fourth overall.
Due to Covid-19 social distancing guidelines, Sabrina is running the round with minimal support and has asked supporters not to join her on the fells, at road crossings, or at the finish in Keswick.
You can track her on-line.
What are the Wainwrights?
It was Alfred Wainwright who created the list of Lake District hills as he wrote a series of seven books known as “A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells”. The summits include well-known mountains such as Scafell Pike, Helvellyn and Skiddaw.
There are 214 hills in total and the Wainwrights have given walkers and runners a list to “bag”.
Where there are lists, there will always be those that want to go faster than anyone else. In 1985, Alan Heaton completed all 214 peaks by a single route, rather than book by book. He started and finished at the now famous Moot Hall in Keswick.
Alan suffered problems with his feet and ended up in hospital some five days into his Wainwrights challenge. In the end, he finished in nine days, 16 hours and 42 minutes.
Next came fell runner Joss Naylor, from Wasdale. In 1986, he did the Wainwrights in seven days, one hour and 25 minutes.
His record stood 28 years until, in 2014, Steve Birkinshaw, of Threlkeld, near Keswick, set a new record of six days, 12 hours and 58 minutes.
Then came Paul Tierney’s new record last year of completed a six days, six hours and five minutes.
I am keeping my fingers crossed that everything continues as planned for Sabrina.
Also read: Sabrina is first female in Spine Race 2020.