Sabrena Verjee is making another attempt on the Wainwrights record. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Sabrena Verjee is making another attempt on the Wainwrights record. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Endurance athlete Sabrina Verjee has hit the Lake District fells in a renewed effort to set a fastest time for completing the Wainwrights.

The Cumbria-based veterinary surgeon began her quest shortly after 7am on Friday.

The attempt comes little more than a month after she was forced to abandon a similar challenge because of conditions on the mountains. Exceptionally cold and wet weather exacerbated her asthma, causing her breathing difficulties.

Verjee has completed the Wainwrights round previously, in 2020, in the third-fastest time, but publicly stated she did not want her 6 days 17hrs 51mins to be considered for the records as she had needed substantial support from fellow runners after suffering a knee injury.

In May this year, during her run, she faced blizzard conditions on the felltops, torrential rain at lower altitudes and persistent high winds, with frequent sub-zero temperatures.

After pulling out of the challenge last month, she said: “This story isn’t over. I love running and I love exploring the Wainwrights. We have unfinished business.”

The runner set off from Great Langdale on Friday morning, with a target of summiting all 214 Wainwright fells and arriving back at the start point by midday on Thursday.

Last year, Verjee ran the full length of the Pennine Way in 3 days 2hrs 28mins, the fastest known time for a woman athlete.

In May this year, runner Tom Hollins set a time of 6 days 21hrs 33mins 8secs to complete the Wainwrights round in brutal weather conditions, fourth-fastest overall, but considered by many to be the third-fastest because of Verjee’s statement following her 2020 challenge.

Completing all the peaks described by Alfred Wainwright in his Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells involves a distance of 318 miles (512km) run, with 36,000m (118,110ft) of ascent.

Paul Tierney set the fastest time for running the round in 2019, completing the route in 6 days 6hrs 5mins, beating Steve Birkinshaw’s previous record of 6 days 12hrs 58mins.

Before that, Joss Naylor held the fastest time, 7 days 1hr 25mins, beating Alan Heaton’s time of 9 days 16hrs 42mins. Mel Steventon completed a round of the Wainwrights in September last year in a time of 13 days 12hrs 16mins 21secs, while raising money for Women’s Aid and Community Action Nepal. If Verjee’s time is discounted, this is the fastest known woman’s time.

By late afternoon on Friday, Sabrina Verjee had summited 28 fells and was running about two hours ahead of her planned schedule.

Her progress can be followed on the Live Tracking website.

Some articles the site thinks might be related:

  1. Runner Sabrina Verjee sets out with record six-day target for Wainwrights round
  2. Runner Sabrina Verjee continues good pace in quest for Wainwrights record
  3. Runner Sabrina Verjee: I don’t consider my Wainwrights round a record
  4. Runner Sabrina Verjeee hits the Lakeland fells in Wainwrights record attempt
  5. Sabrina Verjee runs Wainwrights round in less than six days to set new record