Steve Birkinshaw attempts the 511km – ‘The Wainwrights’

Steve Birkinshaw

Steve Birkinshaw, winner of The Dragon’s Back and countless other events is currently attempting, ‘The Wainwrights.’ 

*IMPORTANT UPDATE

Friday, 20 June 2014

New Wainwright Record for Steve Birkinshaw

Steve Birkinshaw sets a new record of 6 days and 13 hours (almost exactly) for the 518km Wainwright round of 214 Lake District summits. He runs into Keswick town centre with his posse of about 100 support runners with a jubilant crowd of supporters cheer him on. ©http://stevebirkinshaw-wainwright2014.blogspot.co.uk

Starting on June 14th, Steve will attempt to cover all 214 tops on foot in one complete circuit. The journey is estimated at 511-km’s with a total elevation gain of 36,000m +/-.

The Wainwrights are named after Alfred Wainwright (1907-1991) who became famous for his books known as ‘Wainwright Guides’ that illustrated the Lakeland Fells in 7-volumes. They are the standard reference work for the 214 fells of the English Lake District.

Wainwright was born in Lancashire and started his passion for the Lake District at the age of 23-years. Work on his pictoral guides started in 1952 and the project took 13-years to complete. Apparently, Wainwright would create 1-page per evening.

Between 2005-2009 all the guides were updated to acknowledge changes within the fells. One key change was the inclusion of photography on the covers to replace the original drawings by Wainwright.

The Wainwrights

214 fells which range in height from 985ft to 3120ft.  There are over 500 summits above 1,000ft in the Lake District, 171 of them are above 2,000ft. These higher fells have been categorised as Hewitts and Nuttalls, some of them, together with lower fells, are classed as Marilyns; which list they appear in depends on their prominence, i.e. relative height.  These lists are subject to change as re-surveying takes place.  The list of Wainwrights is a definitive one and can never alter as it not dependent on the above criteria.  It is not clear why Wainwright chose these fells for inclusion in his guides but it is probable that he just liked the appearance of them when viewed from the valleys. ©wainwrightroutes.co.uk

The current record by fell running legend, Joss Naylor stands at 7-days and 1-hour and 25-minutes.

Steve says on his website, ‘Hopefully I can get close to or beat this time, but there are so many things that can go wrong over this sort of distance that I have no idea what will happen and how fast I can go. All I can do is have a go and see how long it takes.’

This run will also be for charity. Steve’s says, ‘this is because my younger sister, Hilary, was diagnosed with MS about 10 years ago. It is hard seeing someone who has always been physically active having to be pushed round in a wheelchair, but Hilary is always positive when you see her and currently the condition seems to be fairly stable.’

Donate HERE

The Attempt

Steve provides a a great overview and talk through in this You Tube clip:

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Follow Steve LIVE HERE

  • Route Map available HERE
  • Timing chart for all 214-tops HERE
  • Timings for CP’s HERE

 

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Who is Steve Birkinshaw?

Steve Birkinshaw – Veteran Mountain Runner

Steve is a veteran mountain runner who has been participating in outdoor events since a very young age and is entering the Dragon’s Back race as a Berghaus sponsored athlete.

Steve balances a work and family life with competing at an elite level in some of the toughest races in the running calendar.

Here are just some of Steve’s successes:

• 7 times winner of KIMM/OMM elite

• Winner of elite at the following mountain marathons: Saunders, Mourne, Lowe Alpine, Rab and Arctic

• Winner Lakeland 100 (UTLD) – 105 mile trail race

• 2 times winner British Adventure Racing Champs

• 7th World Adventure Racing Champs

• Winner Hebridean Challenge

• British 35+ Orienteering Champion

• British Night Orienteering Champion

• Bob Graham Round (17:09) 6th fastest

• Charlie Ramsay round (21:02) 6th fastest -fastest solo round

• Paddy Buckley round (20:27) 5th fastest

• Adidas Terrex Adventure Race winner

Content ©Berghaus

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3 thoughts on “Steve Birkinshaw attempts the 511km – ‘The Wainwrights’

  1. Its really difficult to comprehend just how much this record entails. The sleep deprivation is enough to finish off most, the distance and height gain is ridiculous, those with any understanding of open fell land in the UK will know the sort of terrain and how technical it can be, combine all these factors and to see steve running into the finish, taking 4 minute naps on tops like he did on Thursday just to keep going (he was meant to have 10 mins I found myself over half a km behind trying to catch up) totally stretched my admiration not just for steve but for what the human body can achieve. Next time you complete your hundred think about going to sleep for 2 hours and getting up and doing it again, and again, and again, oh and add the climb in, and the rough terrain please, only then can you claim to understand or be able to comprehend this one. Superhuman without a doubt just in completing it, but to add taking a record from Joss Naylor!!! Legend.

    • Chris, well said! I think for any of us, even those amongst us who know the fells and the Lakes can’t quite understand what this epic adventure is like. So long, so brutal and what Steve has achieved is beyond awesome.

  2. Pingback: Episode 64 – Smith Batchen, Perkins, Almeida, Rasmussen | Ian Corless host of Talk Ultra podcast

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