Two Wainwrights completions in a week

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John Kelly’s full Wainwrights Strava upload

New overall record set by John Kelly and Carol Morgan takes second-fastest woman over the gruelling 325-mile Lake District route.

The Wainwrights is one of those running challenges that seems so far away from an achievable goal that most runners never even consider attempting it and instead are happy to marvel at those seemingly superhuman runners who complete it.

But increasingly, more runners are having a crack at the 325-mile route that takes in all 214 of the Lake District’s Wainwright peaks. There is no set route or direction – as long as runners summit each of the peaks Alfred Wainwright set out in his Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, which totals more than 36,000m of elevation gain, they will complete the challenge.

On 7 May, American runner John Kelly broke the overall record held by Sabrina Verjee by an incredible 12 hours, finishing the entire round in five days, 12 hours, 14 minutes.

John Kelly’s full Wainwrights Strava upload
John Kelly’s full Wainwrights Strava upload

The 37-year-old endurance runner, who’s based in Bristol, is famously one of the 15 people to complete the Barkley Marathons as well as winning the 2020 Spine Race. He also holds the FKT for the Pennine Way and has completed the UK’s Grand Round (Bob Graham, Paddy Buckley and Ramsay Round). Post-event, he’s been documenting his Wainwrights experience on Instagram, where you can read quotes such as:

‘The toe blisters continued to grow, and after some steep, grassy, painful descents, they had to be popped and drained. @jenscotney took care of them at Patterdale while I grimaced through it and tried to keep myself distracted by dogs and ice cream.’

Then, on 14 May, Irish fell runner Carol Morgan completed her Wainwrights round in six days, 10 hours, 40 minutes to log the fifth-fastest time ever and second fastest woman.

Morgan, who has won the Lakeland 100, Spine Race and Dragon’s Back race in the past, battled horrendous weather through the middle of her attempt but fought on to reach the finish at the famous door of Moot Hall in Keswick.

Attribution: Howard Calvert,, 16th May 2022

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