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    Paul sets new record for 23 before Tea

    25th October 2021

    WE were delighted when ultra-runner and holder of records Paul Wilson announced he was going to tackle the 23 before Tea challenge on the fells around Elterwater. Here’s his account of how he broke the record on Thursday October 14:

    “I first heard about this challenge last year when Dave Cumins ran the route to celebrate his 50th birthday. Dave has done a lot of fell running in the Lake District and if he thought that this route was worth running then it must be good.

    On the summit of Pike o Blisco

    Dave had come up with a 12-hour schedule which had been posted on the hostel’s website so I used that as a guide. I’d decided to run the route solo and unsupported, so that I didn’t need to organise any support and could enjoy a day out on the fells running alone.

    To make sure I got back at a decent time I set off at 5am. Even so, due to limited daylight at this time of year, it meant running the first two fells in the dark, and it only got light as I started ascending Wetherlam.

    The first half of the route is fairly tough going then, once you get up onto the Langdale Pikes, it’s fast running down to Grasmere. Then comes a big ascent up Seat Sandal then Fairfield before descending again to Rydal. After which there’s only one fell left, Loughrigg, which makes for quite interesting route finding as you get near the top as there’s paths going in all directions.

    I made it back to the hostel in 12 hrs 41 mins. I had an ace day out on the fells and really enjoyed the route.

    My summit times were

    Black Fell  42m

    Holme Fell 1hr 33m

    Wetherlam 2hrs 44m

    Swirl How 3hrs 08m

    Great Carrs 3hrs 13m

    Cold Pike 4hrs 00m

    Pike o Blisco 4hrs 23m

    Lingmoor 5hrs 18m

    Loft Crag 6hrs 35m

    Pike o Stickle 6hrs 43m

    Harrison Stickle 6hrs 57m

    Pavey Ark 7hrs 08m

    Thunacar Knott 7hrs 13m

    Sergeant Man 7hrs 29m

    Blea Rigg 7hrs 55m

    Silver How 8hrs 21m

    Seat Sandal 9hrs 47m

    Fairfield 10hrs 18m

    Great Rigg 10hrs 30m

    Stone Arthur 10hrs 42m

    Heron Pike 11hrs 09m

    Nab Scar 11hrs 20m

    Loughrigg 12 hrs 21m

    Elterwater hostel 12 hrs 41m ”

    Back in time for tea!

    Congratulations to Paul, and we look forward to many others now having a go at the route. We also think it’s possible to break into two or three sections, for walkers or less speedy runners, who want to come back and stay at the hostel overnight in between. Let us know if you’re coming to have a go; there will be a brew and some home-made flapjack at the finish.



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