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Sabrina Verjee and Kim Collison make ultra running history in the Lake District

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Published in Athletics
Monday, 13 July 2020 04:13

Verjee becomes the first woman to complete the legendary Wainwright Round non-stop, while Collison breaks the Lakeland 24-hour record

British ultra runners Sabrina Verjee and Kim Collison both completed record-breaking feats in the English Lake District over the weekend, with Verjee becoming the first woman to complete the 525km Wainwright Round in one go and Collison improving the Lakeland 24-hour record by scaling 78 peaks.

Kim Collison during his Lakeland 24-hour record. Photo by Steve Ashworth

Verjee visited all 214 Wainwright summits, which included a total of 36,000m (118,000ft) of ascent, in just 6 days, 17 hours and 51 minutes.

The legendary round includes the 214 mountains and hills that are featured in Alfred Wainwright’s seven-volume book set ‘A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells’.

The 39-year-old veterinary surgeon, who is based in Ambleside, now has the third fastest known time (FKT) for the course behind Paul Tierney’s 2019 record of 6 days, 6 hours and 5 minutes and Verjee was met at the finish by former Wainwrights record-holders Steve Birkinshaw and Joss Naylor.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, she managed it with minimal support.

Among those with Verjee for part of the challenge was her fellow La Sportiva athlete Collison who took this article’s lead image – Verjee on Castle Crag towards the end of leg one – and then a few days later completed his own ultra feat.

GB international Collison climbed a total of 78 Lakeland peaks within 24 hours to break a 23-year-old record which had been held by Mark Hartell.

The challenge requires each peak to be more than 2000ft and in total Collison covered 153km with more than 12,000m (39,000ft) of ascent in 23 hours and 45 minutes, adding one more peak to Hartell’s record.

A map of Collison’s journey can be found here, while Verjee’s is here.

Both routes started and finished in Keswick, with Collison having headed out at 3am on Saturday July 11, while Verjee’s journey started at 3am on Monday July 6.

Look out for an interview with Collison on our website soon.

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