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Sabrina Verjee breaks women’s FKT on 431K Pennine Way

Verjee added to the busy summer of Pennine Way runs, lowering her own route record by almost eight hours

Photo by: Harshan Gill

British fell runner Sabrina Verjee completed a three-day journey along the Pennine Way in the U.K. on Tuesday morning. She finished the route β€” which stretches 431K from the English town of Edale to Kirk Yetholm, a small village in Scotland β€” in 74 hours, 28 minutes and 46 seconds, beating her own fastest known time (FKT) for the run by close to eight full hours. This is the third big run on the Pennine Way of the summer, with Verjee’s record following those of American John Kelly and Brit Damian Hall

 

The Pennine Way

A 431K route would be hard enough to run, but the Pennine Way adds to its difficulty with a little under 12,000m of elevation gain (about one and a half ascents of Mount Everest). Verjee’s previous record on the Pennine Way was 82 hours and 19 minutes, but going into this attempt, she had her eyes set on a much faster result of 72 hours. After the first 24 hours, she was ahead of schedule, but brutal winds slowed her down later on in the run. Because of the poor weather, she ultimately fell just short of that three-day goal, but she still shaved a massive chunk of time off her FKT

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Another big run

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Verjee has had plenty of success in fell and trail running. In 2019, she was the top finisher β€” male or female β€” at the Montane Spine Race, which is run on the Pennine Way. She has recorded a top-30 finish at the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc, where she finished as the 21st woman in 2017, and earlier in the year, right around the time Kelly was running his Pennine Way FKT, she became the first woman to run the 214 Wainwright Peaks in Britain’s Lake District. She completed her 525K Wainwrights run in six days, 17 hours and 51 minutes, which is the third-fastest result in the challenge’s history.