Ultra runner Sabrina Verjee is attempting to set a new fastest known time (FKT) for completing a non-stop ‘round’ of the 214 Wainwrights. She set off from outside her home in Langdale early on Friday morning and her aim is to finish the round in under six days. This is Sabrina’s second attempt on the record. In 2020, she completed her run in under seven days (see here), but a knee injury slowed her down and forced her to accept physical assistance during some technical descents. This time, she hopes to beat the current FKT of six days and six hours, which was set by Paul Tierney in 2019.
- The first recorded continuous round of the Wainwrights was completed by Alan Heaton in 1985, in 9 days and 16 hours, which stood for stood for 27 years.
- Steve Birkinshaw knocked almost 12 hours off Alans time in 2014, when he completed his run in 6 days and 13 hours.
- In the summer of 2019, Paul Tierney, from Windermere, lowered the record by another seven hours, completing in 6 days and 6 hours.
In 2020, lockdown restrictions forced changes to Sabrina’s schedule, and she ended up running in far from ideal conditions, which were then compounded by her knee injury. Planning for the 2021 round has also taken very careful account of the COVID-related restrictions that are currently in place. Sabrina’s support team is led by her husband Ben Turner and all will be following clear guidance during the time that they are running.
Like last year, Sabrina is asking members of the public to not join her at any time on the fells or at the finish. Her progress can be followed live at https://live.opentracking.co.uk/sow2021, and the round is being filmed and photographed, thanks to support from La Sportiva, Berghaus and Right Lines Communications. All three companies will share updates on social media throughout the run, including the latest footage and photography as Sabrina makes progress around her route.
Sabrina Verjee is one of the UK’s leading ultra-runners, having completed the five-day Dragon’s Back Race in Wales on three occasions, finishing second place in the women’s race in 2017 and 2019. In 2019, she won the women’s category in the Spine Race along the Pennine Way, finishing fifth overall, and last year she set a fastest known time for a female athlete completing the entire length of the Pennine Way from north to south. During her Wainwrights run, Sabrina is being supported by a number of sponsors to whom she is very grateful: Berghaus, La Sportiva, Petzl, Dexshell, Supernatural Fuel, Gingerbakers and Mountain Fuel.