Steve Birkinshaw to attempt to beat Joss Naylors Wainwright’s trail run record

Berghaus-sponsored runner to take on the 27 year old record

Steve Birkinshaw on 2012’s Dragon’s Back Race
Photo: Berghaus

Steve Birkinshaw is a formidable endurance running talent. In 2012 he took on and won the second running of The Dragon’s Back race down the length of Wales. He has won the OMM (Original Mountain Marathon) 7 times, the Lakeland 100, the British Adventure Racing Championships (twice) not to mention a whole raft of other Ultra and mountain marathons. Now, however Steve is turning his attentions to a long standing record, an iconic Lake District challenge so tough that the record for which has stood for 27 years.

Steve is aiming to take on the Herculean task of completing a non-stop round of all 214 Lake District fells as described by AR Wainwright in his famous guidebooks. The current record for the round was set back in 1986 by fell running legend, Joss Naylor. Naylor took 7 days, 1 hour and 25 minutes to complete the round. He was also 50 years old at the time.

Steve Birkinshaw on the Dragon’s Back somewhere.
Photo: Berghaus

On the 14th June 2014, Birkinshaw will set out from Keswick in a massive loop that will take in 511km of distance and 36000 metres of ascent. With careful route planning, Steve believes that his route is slightly shorter than Naylors recording breaking attempt and coupled with less time allowed for stoppages, should allow for a quicker time. Of course, when tackling such a massive course, nothing is guaranteed and the Gods will need to be shining on Steve to ensure success. Indeed, it seems that even during Joss Naylors record breaking run, he was hampered by the conditions, with hot weather causing hands and feet to swell that would slow him down over the course of the week of running.



The amount of planning that has gone into the route could prove to be critical.

Steve has pored over maps and put together the route as shown below.

Steve has also worked out how his run will pan out compared to Naylors.


Joss Naylor Wainwright Run

  • Distance = 530km
  • Ascent = 38000m
  • Total Time = 169 hours
  • Resting Time = 44 hours
  • Moving Time = 125 hours

Steve Birkinshaw (predicted) Wainwright Run

  • Distance = 511km
  • Ascent = 36000m
  • Planned Total Time = 158 hours
  • Planned Resting Time = 25 hours
  • Planned Moving Time = 133 hours


Steve’s attempt kicks off on the 14th June 2014 from Keswick. To find out more about the attempt and to read about Steve’s preparation, head to his blog at



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