Steve Birkinshaw enjoys a drink at the end of his record-breaking Wainwrights round

Steve Birkinshaw enjoys a drink at the end of his record-breaking Wainwrights round

The man who set the fastest time for summiting all the Lake District Wainwrights will take to the stage with the fellrunner whose record he broke.

Ultrarunner Steve Birkinshaw will appear at this year’s Keswick Mountain Festival with legendary athlete Joss Naylor.

Birkinshaw smashed the 27-year-old record set by the Wasdale shepherd last year, completing the round of 214 fells in six days and 13 hours.

The pair are among a broad bill of outdoor big names at the festival, which will take place in May.

Mountaineering luminaries Leo Houlding, Doug Scott and Andy Kirkpatrick will also speak at the event, which will also feature a programme of walks, including a chance for Wainwright baggers to summit 60 peaks in a series of four guided walks over four days.

And night owls can choose from a midnight walk up Helvellyn to catch sunrise over the fells, or a stargazing trip up Blencathra as darkness falls.

Olympic gold-medal-winning triathlete Alistair Brownlee will take to the stage and survivalist Ray Mears will speak during two sessions during the event. Live music from leading folk music acts Seth Lakeman and the Peat Bog Faeries will also feature in the festival in Crow Park.

Joss Naylor had held the Wainwrights record since 1987

Joss Naylor had held the Wainwrights record since 1987

Lucy Scrase, Keswick Mountain Festival director, said: “We made some bold changes to the festival last year in adding live music and a campsite, and both proved to be a great success.

“In 2015, we are continuing to develop what we offer, while retaining the strong outdoor character and family-friendly atmosphere of the event. Keswick, Derwent Water and the Lake District fells will provide a stunning backdrop as always and we look forward to welcoming thousands of visitors again in May.”

The festival, sponsored by Hi-Tec, takes place from 14 to 17 May. Tickets for all 2015 Keswick Mountain Festival events will be available on the new festival website from today.

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