Sabrina Verjee found the going tough on her fourth day on the fells. Photo: Steve Ashworth

Sabrina Verjee found the going tough on her fourth day on the fells. Photo: Steve Ashworth

Runner Sabrina Verjee said the weather during her aborted attempt to complete a round of the Wainwrights was probably the worst she has encountered on the hills.

She was speaking in a video released by supporters after she abandoned the record attempt on Tuesday after battling felltop blizzards and torrential rain at lower altitudes.

The unseasonably cold weather limited her ability to ascend the fells because it exacerbated her asthma.

Verjee said: “The legs were fine, but I couldn’t push because I couldn’t breathe.” The video shows her support team helping her use her inhaler.

There was also concern for her own safety and that of the support runners accompanying her on the Lake District mountains.

She said: “We were definitely pushing the boundaries of what would be completely irresponsible. Safety first. What’s the point if you are trying to break this record at all costs and you have a serious accident or one of your support team does. It’s just not worth it.”

The Cumbria-based veterinary surgeon enjoyed the early stages of her latest attempt to complete the round of all 214 peaks described in Alfred Wainwrights series of Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells. Good underfoot conditions and favourable weather enabled her to push the pace to the extent she was 11 hours ahead of her planned schedule at one point.

“I just had three amazing days on the hill; it was so much fun.”

Verjee says she is looking forward to supporting other runners in the coming weeks.

“I’ve got so much to take from that; I’ve learnt so much that I can help other people with the things I struggled with.”

The record for a continuous round of the Wainwrights is held by Paul Tierney who beat Steve Birkinshaw’s previous fastest time for the 525km (326-mile) route, which involves 36,000m (118,110ft) of ascent. Sabrina Verjee set the third fastest time in her 2020 round of the fells.

  • A video produced by Steve Ashworth and Summit Fever Media looks back at Verjee’s 2020 attempt

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