Sabrina Verjee is the first woman to summit all 214 Wainwrights back-to-back

Sabring Verjee completed the challenge in 6 days, 17 hours and 51 minutes. Credit: Chris Lines / ITV News

A vet from Cumbria has became the first woman to summit all 214 Wainwright back-to-back.

Sabrina Verjee, from Ambleside, completed the challenge in six days, 17 hours and 51 minutes.

The leading UK ultra-runner ran a 525km route, with 36,000m of ascent.

The 39-year-old set off to beat Paul Tierney's 2019 record of six days, six hours, five minutes. She was on schedule until Wednesday when she lost time during the night.

She faced classic Cumbrian weather throughout the challenge before finishing at Keswick Moot Hall just before 9pm on Sunday evening.

Due to coronavirus, Sabrina ran with minimal support and asked people to avoid joining her on the fells, road crossings, or at the finish in Keswick town centre.

What is the Wainwright challenge?

The Wainwrights are the 214 hills and mountains that feature in Alfred Wainwright’s famous seven volume Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells.

It has become a popular tick list for walkers, but the first recorded continuous run was completed by Alan Heaton in 1985, in nine days and 16 hours.

Two years later, fell running legend Joss Naylor set a new record of seven days, one hour and 25 minutes.

That stood for 27 years, until Berghaus athlete Steve Birkinshaw knocked almost 12 hours off the time in 2014, when he completed his run in six days and 13 hours. Last summer, Paul Tierney, from Windermere, lowered the record by another seven hours.

Sabrina finished the challenge at Moot Hall in Keswick. Credit: Chris Lines

Speaking after her round, Sabrina Verjee comments: “I’m so happy to have completed my round and more than a little relieved. My right knee hasn’t been happy for a couple of days, so the final sections were very tough, especially as the fatigue really started to kick in.

“I’d have loved to have invited more people to be part of the adventure, but in the current climate that wouldn’t have been responsible. However, my small team shared loads of messages of encouragement with me, which were a big boost.

“I’m so grateful to everyone who supported me during the round and it was very special to be joined by Steve and Paul, and then to see Joss at the finish. That says everything you need to know about the incredible camaraderie that there is in the endurance running community.

"I look forward to repaying that support during future attempts on the Wainwrights, but for now, I think that I’ll rest up for a while!”