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Friday, 29 August 2014

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Cumbrian runner shatters long-standing fells record

Cumbrian athlete Steve Birkinshaw has broken a long-standing record to climb 214 fells in six days and 13 hours.

 Steve Birkinshaw photo
Steve Birkinshaw

The Lake District runner climbed 36,000m and ran 512km, beating the previous record set in 1987 by fell runner Joss Naylor MBE by nearly 12 hours.

Steve, 45, completed the marathon late on Friday night, covering each of the 214 hills or mountains featured in Alfred Wainwright’s famous seven volume guide to the Lakeland fells.

He started from Keswick on June 14 and ran around 78km a day, reaching the top of more than 30 peaks.

He raised more than £12,000 for the national Multiple Sclerosis Society and a local charity, the Samson Centre.

“It’s all a bit overwhelming to be honest,” he said. “Joss Naylor is an incredible athlete, so to have beaten his record is an amazing feeling. I couldn’t have done it without my amazing support team.

“There were some really tough times out there, but I was spurred on every time I reached a Wainwright top and met someone else who had made the effort to come out and support me.

“I’m also over the moon with the amount of money that people have donated to the multiple sclerosis charities.”

Steve said his final day was “incredible”, and he was joined by “so many other runners”.

“Then [to be] welcomed home by my family and such a big crowd put the seal on everything,” he added.

“It’s fair to say that my legs are a bit stiff now and I may take a few days off before my next run.”

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