Our site works best with JavaScript enabled.

Daring Deeds - real stories, expeditions, road trips and adventure

Running the Wainwrights

By Ian Palmer
24, Apr, 2019

Alpkiteer Ian Palmer sets another great goal - running the Wainwrights

When I was a kid, the Wainwrights were something that my parents and their  middle-aged friends talked about whilst huddled around a map. Growing up on the fringes of the Lake District in the 80’s, I was more interested in my BMX or when Miami Vice was on TV.

My parents were big on their walking, climbing and running and I even vaguely remember being introduced to the mighty Alfred Wainwright in our suburban front room at some point.  None of this impressed me in the slightest at the time as IT WAS BORING!

However, roll on 40 years (the majority of those being infatuated with bikes) and despite living so close to them, I’d never really set foot in the Lakeland hills; all my riding and racing was on roads/bridleways or in far flung flat places to ‘mountain’ bike race. Since my situation has changed and I cannot drive for  12 months (read 24 Hours of Awful) I decided to concentrate my efforts on completing the Bob Graham round this year. But knowing absolutely zero about the lakeland fells and knowing I was about to spend a huge amount of time training in them, I needed some guidance of where to go and what to do.

A shameful conversation with my parents followed (in the same front room in which I had met Mr Wainright) where I confessed that although I’d never previously had any interest  in the hills,  I now needed advice about where to go. They brought up the topic of the Wainwrights and here we are. So 2019 is the year that Katie (my wife) and I are going to try to run all the 214 hills of Alfred. Not all in one go I hasten to add - I’m no Steve Birkenshaw (who managed to complete them all in just 6 days and 13 hours).

We started on New Years Day and ticked off 10. This first foray went up Striding Edge in rare sunny Lakeland weather ticking off Helvelyn, Dollywagon Pike etc. This day was amazing and we hoped they would all be this sunny and quiet. I thought at this rate we’ll have them knocked off by Easter, however with jobs, training for the BG and the more usual Lake District weather, we didn't quite make the full list by the time Easter came around. We're still making good progress though, and at over half way with 108 ticked off, we're looking forward to some big Wainwright bagging days as the summer roles in.

What am I learning about the Lake District? Alfred had an odd choice in hills – I’m unsure why he picked certain ones and left others out. For instance,  the ones around Longsleddle are hardly big hitters and seem to be surrounded in bog. But some of the routes and fells we have gone up have given me a huge appreciation of why my parents moved me here in the first place.  I don’t hold it against them anymore, even if it isn’t the sunny skies of Miami.

  • Google+

In pictures

No Comments

Share your thoughts about this article.

Daring Deeds

Adventure Training at Alpkit
Proper training in the outdoors
The year of the Bob
the film of a year looking for Bob
Race Report: 2019 Dragon’s Back Race
Lisa Watson's 2019 Dragons Back Race Report
Fuelled by the Honey Sandwich
Ian Palmer prepares for the big day
Forecast is Misti - part 2
Taking on the El Misti Sky Race
Forecast is Misti - part 1
heading to the El Misti Sky Race
Chasing The Frog
Dan Duxbury attempts the Frog Graham
24 Hours of Awful
Swapping the MTB for a pair of running shoes

More from Deeds

News

Words with Nicky Spinks
Advice and insights from fell runner Nicky Spinks
Asparagus Run 2019: Raising Funds for the Alpkit Foundation
Running to raise funds for the Alpkit Foundation
May Day Madness!
Join us for an action packed weekend
Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon
Alpkit support the 40th SLMM
Hurly Burly 10k: The Pioneer Year
North Wales swimming race launch
Alpkit Ambleside Opening Event
new store opening event
Gravitas faces the Lake District winter
Rupert Bonnington braves the wintry Lakeland for some product testing
Gravitas and Laika at the Ultra Tour du Mont Blanc
Nick Spinks' kit report from one of trail runnings biggest events

More from News

Develop

The Squalline Story
Developing our new run/ride showerproof shell
Illuminating our Head Torch Development
Developing a new range of head torches
Gripping Developments In Gloves
A whole new glove range: the inside story
The low-down on Polygiene™
Wear more, wash less: you can't get simpler than that!
Gravitas Lightweight Activity Waterproof
New activity shell coming soon

More from Develop

Spotlight

How to Survive the Winter Running Season
Top tips to keep you running this winter
How to choose a head torch
Buyer's guide: which is the best head torch for you?
Mountain Marathon Tips and Advice
Mountain Marathon tips and kit from the AK team
Dragon’s Back Race Kit List
Detailed kit guide for running the Dragon's Back Mountain Race
Know your Navigation
Take the right path
Taking on the Dragons Back 2019
5 days of mountainous running in Wales
Apogee Jacket: Worry-Free Warmth
Reviewing the Apogee Synthetic Jacket

Be the first to hear about our newest products and promotions

Join AlpCol's Espresso newsletter for that hit of Go Nice Places, Do Good Things Greatness

CLOSE

By adding your email you consent to our terms and conditions