Our small contribution to a very big challenge

Paul Tierney set off this morning (Friday) on a very big challenge to attempt a new record for running ALL the Wainwright fells in the Lakes.

That’s 214 mountain summits, a distance of 320 miles, and around 118,000ft of climbing. And he’s aiming to do it in just over six days.

Lots of our visitors climb a Wainwright – or two, or three – while they are staying here. Many go on to eventually climb all of them, as described by Alfred Wainwright in his seven Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells. Many of them get a blister or two along the way.

On the first climb. Photo: Inov-8

Paul’s a friend of ours, and he’s raising money for the mental health charity MIND, in memory of his friend and fellow athlete Chris Stirling who died recently. So our lovely staff wanted to do something to help. And as our manager Nick is the leader of the local mountain rescue team, experienced in sticking plasters on in high places, they decided to pay for Paul’s first aid kit.

We seriously hope that he doesn’t need all the plasters and painkillers, tape and talc, bandages and bite-relief that’s been supplied by our local chemist. If the weather doesn’t change, we expect the sunscreen bottle won’t get opened.

It’s a massive – and crazy – undertaking. Five years ago Steve Birkinshaw broke the record set by Joss Naylor in 1987, who completed the challenge in seven days, one hour and 25 minutes.

Paul Tierney with Steve Birkinshaw at the Moot Hall, Keswick, this morning

Mr Birkinshaw, 45, ran the whole route…starting and finishing at Kewick’s Moot Hall six days and 13 hours. (Most of our guests are content if it takes them a lifetime!) He suffered, as anyone who’s read his book There is no map in Hell will be aware.

But our staff love the outdoors, love these Lakeland fells, and know how alluring it is to meet and overcome big challenges. We’ll be cheering Paul all the way, following his progress on the live tracker, and encouraging you to help raise money for his chosen charity.