Tom Hollins in action during the Spine Race. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Tom Hollins in action during the Spine Race. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Athlete Tom Hollins has completed his continuous round of the Wainwright fells.

The West Yorkshire runner arrived at the Moot Hall in Keswick just before 7.15am on Sunday, after summiting all 214 peaks.

His time of 6 days 21hrs 33mins 8secs is the fourth-fastest time for completing the circuit of the mountains described by the late author Alfred Wainwright in his series of Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells.

Hospital anaesthetist Hollins faced brutal conditions during his challenge, with heavy rain, low temperatures and winds so strong he struggled not to be blown over at times.

He had hoped to beat the existing record of 6 days 6hrs 5mins set by Paul Tierney in 2019 and remained on schedule or ahead of his planned times during the first day, but his pace began to slip on Monday. Deteriorating conditions throughout the week pushed his times further behind the targets needed to break Tierney’s record.

A short video posted by support runner Paul Wilson on Facebook showed Hollins having to crawl to touch a summit cairn on the northern fells as severe winds blasted the mountain.

Endurance runner Sabrina Verjee had to abandon her Wainwrights challenge earlier this month when unseasonably low temperatures exacerbated her asthma, affecting her breathing.

Hollins’s time is the fourth fastest recorded for the 318-mile (512km) run, which involves 36,000m of ascent.

Steve Birkinshaw holds the record for second-fastest at 6 days 12hrs 58mins, with Sabrina Verjee’s time of 6 days 17hrs 51mins the third-fastest, and the quickest recorded by a woman. However, after setting the time in July 2020 she told the running community she didn’t consider it a record as support runners had helped her descend certain sections after she suffered knee problems.

Hollins, who is sponsored by outdoors brand Montane, has previously won the Spine Race, which involves a winter traverse of the full 260-mile length of the Pennine Way.

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