17th June a run with Steve Birkinshaw on his Wainwright's record run

13 miles
3,700 feet

I decided to travel up with Mark to meet Steve on his amazing record attempt on the Wainwrights round. This is a consecutive traverse of all 214 tops as listed in Alfred Wainwrights lakes guide books. Joss Naylor's 1987 record of 7 days 1 hour was the the target. He aimed to beat it by resting less than Joss (3 or 4 hours sleep a day!), and using a more optimum line. Joss set his record by resting at pubs with a pint were possible. However admirable this meant a less than optimum line to do so.

On our arrival at Kirkstone pass I made my way to a likely looking camper van to ask where Steve was, it turned out he had already gone. Knowing there was 2 long out and backs just up from the pass, I set off with Mark to catch up. Mark stayed at the top of the first climb taking photos, whilst I set about catching Steve up. I caught him up just after the first out and back of Hartsop Dodd. I introduced myself and we had a good chat about his run and how he was feeling. He said he was ok apart from the obvious deep fatigue, and blistered sore feet. He was certainly keeping a nice steady pace.

We continued with another guy out to Gray cragg, then started to collect support runners all the time before 5 of us were running with him to Thornthwaite Beacon. The weather was favourable and not as warm as it was when Steve set off 3 days earlier. It was a great day for running in the hills, I was really enjoying chatting to Steve right in the middle of his epic challenge. He also enjoyed my fresh admiration and enthusiasm for what he was undertaking. A lot of his support were familiar to him and had helped a lot since the start. So a random guy turning up gave him a bit of a boost. Even if I didn't help in most other ways.

Froswick and Ill Bell were soon behind us then on the final part of Yoke, Steve felt a pain in the top of his foot. He stopped at the top to take his shoe off and rub it. But not for long. Steve hobbling a bit we soon Started the tough descent off Yoke towards The Tongue. A place I have never been it was certainly interesting, but rough terrain. We then climbed the tongue spotting a couple of deer as we climbed. Then it was a fairly long run out to Baystones on the side of Wansfell. This is were I wished Steve all the best of luck and started descending towards the Kirkstone pass road. A quick drink with Mark outside the Kirkstone inn and we were off home. My toal run time was 3h 20m.

Steve continued on in fine style and finished on Sunday evening to set a new record of 6 days and 13 hours, he also raised a large amount of money for MS. A truly remarkable achievement.