Pete gets close to the fell-running record

We’re delighted to see another fabulous fast completion of our 23 before Tea fell-running challenge. And Pete Faulkner came very close to the record, running round the 23 summits around our hostel in a time of 12 hours 33 minutes.

The record was set earlier this summer by Richard Bolton who covered the 39 miles (with around 16,000 feet of ascent ) in 12 hours and 18 minutes, beating Paul Wilson’s October 2021 effort by 23 minutes.

The circuit, taking in 23 Wainwright peaks in a continuous loop from Elterwater, was originally conceived by us here at Elterwater Hostel as a shorter, possibly more achievable, homage to Paul Tierney’s record-breaking Wainwright round in 2019. We used the map of Paul’s Wainwrights’ route (devised by Steve Birkinshaw, the previous record holder), placing the hostel at the centre, to find a circular route which could be done in a day, and be back in time for tea.

The first to complete the round was Little Dave Cummins, in a time of 14 hours and 50 minutes, before Paul Wilson (chairman of the Bob Graham Club) took a whopping 2 hours and 9 minutes off the time last year.

Pete said in his report: “Being someone who likes to test the depth of water with both feet, for my first long run after returning from injury I finally took on something I’ve been working towards for some time – the 23beforeTea round. It’s an awesome challenge that I’d hoped to take on earlier in the year, before injury put me out for the summer.

“I had a great, but very tough day in the fells, where sourcing water was my biggest problem after the dry spell, (and unfortunately led to much wasted time and some pretty novel techniques in channelling the smallest of drips off rocks and down blades of grass! )

“While my climbing legs weren’t as fit as I’d hoped, I really let loose on the last few descents to try and claw back the 25min I was down on record pace with 8miles to go, but it wasn’t to be and I made it back to the Hostel after 23Wainwrights, 39miles and around 16,000ft of ascent (and descent) in 12hrs 33minutes: 15min outside the overall record.

“I’m happy with that as a first attempt, especially with the time penalty of running solo, unsupported, and I know exactly what I need to do to beat the record now, so I’ll be back.

“Massive thanks to the kind people at the Hostel for the cup of tea when I finished – I needed that!”

You can read the history of the challenge here:

If you want to have a go, please contact us here at the hostel. You can stay here the night before and after. And if you want to split the route into two or three more manageable days, we think that’s a pretty good effort too!