On Saturday 7th May, Knaresborough Striders became the second running club known to have completed the Wainwrights in a single day, after members of the club between them summited all 214 Lake District fells within 24 hours.
The list of fells, originally compiled by Alfred Wainwright, has become a popular bagging objective for walkers, and a target for some of the world's best hill runners. On the day of the club's collective feat, American runner John Kelly coincidentally set a blistering new record for a continuous round:
A group one-day Wainwright 'round' was (so far as we know) first achieved in 2021 by Cumbria-based Keswick Athletic Club, which includes many fell runners who are familiar with the terrain. But, say the Striders, it represented more of a challenge to the Knaresborough runners, who tend to train and race on the low-level roads and trails of their Yorkshire home turf.
Inspired by the story of a team round of the Munros, Striders member Daniel Molesworth hit on the idea of the Lake District fells.
"The Wainwrights have always occupied a special place in my heart" he said, "and in the lethargic week in between Christmas and New Year I was looking for a challenge to drive me in . I read about [Carnethy Hill Running Club] bagging all the Munros in a single day, and [had] the idea to emulate this epic achievement with Striders."
Helped by fair weather, a total of 33 people from 7 months to 70 years old took part in the club's event, walking or running routes ranging from one mile to over 30 miles, and ticking off up to 20 peaks apiece. The challenge of putting someone on every summit inside a single day was as much a logistical exercise as a physical undertaking. Nevertheless for a club of mixed abilities, on hills far from their usual haunts, the effort was no walk in the park.
"As an inclusive club which offers training and support for a range of abilities this is an exceptional achievement for our members, many of whom pushed themselves well outside their comfort zone, and for the club as a whole" said committee member Craig Mitchell.
"This event has demonstrated how the club brings local people together to achieve their goals from running or walking short distances to taking on ultra distances... The club continues to grow and we encourage anyone keen to improve their fitness or connect with a friendly and supportive group to get in touch."
- It's all happening on the Wainwrights at the moment, with Carol Morgan part-way through her own continuous round attempt - dot watchers can follow her progress here.