I spent a good part of last week trying to keep up with Sabrina Verjee, as she successfully set a new fastest known time/record for completing a continuous round of the 214 Wainwright fells in the Lake District – that’s about 525km in distance and 36,000m of ascent. Sabrina finished her round in an incredible five days, 23 hours and 49 minutes, knocking over six hours off the previous best by Paul Tierney (which was itself phenomenal).
Technically, this was Sabrina’s fourth attempt on the Wainwrights and came only six weeks after her third was cut short by bad weather and asthma. Her success felt even sweeter because of the trials and tribulations that came before.
It was a huge privilege to join Sabrina on the final leg of her run and witness her finish in Langdale early on the morning of 17th June. The post-round media work began immediately and is ongoing. It started with an excellent interview by Fiona Marley Paterson of ITV Border, who was there at the finish – you can watch her full interview here.
The story has since featured in the Guardian, Times, Sun, Star, i newspaper, Observer, BBC online, BBC News Channel, ITV Evening News, regional TV, radio and press, and through our many colleagues in specialist outdoor and running media. Sabrina recovered quickly enough to make an appearance on the BBC1 Breakfast sofa at the weekend and there’s plenty more in the pipeline. A lot of the coverage has featured the brilliant images and footage captured by Stephen Ashworth – essential for conveying the story of an amazing achievement. While copyright means that I can’t share images of the newspaper articles themselves, some of Steve’s shots are included with this post.
On the way back over from the Lakes last Thursday, I stopped for a much needed strong coffee and was interviewed by Mike Zeller of BBC Radio Cumbria. You can hear what I had to say (from 3:41:30) here. The following day, Sabrina spoke with Mike herself and you can hear that (from 3:21:49) here.
‘Sabrina and the Wainwrights’ has certainly been a saga (in her own words, an ‘obsession’). Sabs regularly reminds folk that it was a huge team effort and that she couldn’t have achieved what she did without a brilliant support crew, led by husband Ben.
For my part, I thoroughly enjoyed working with Berghaus, La Sportiva, Summit Fever Media and Steve, to share updates about Sabrina’s progress, and of course spread the word about her stunning success. The really hard work was by Sabs, but I think we’ll allow ourselves to bask in the reflected glory for a bit!