A CUMBRIAN fell runner is set to become the first female record-breaker of the Wainwright challenge.

Accomplished Ambleside based runner, Sabrina Verjee, 39, is on course to cover the 214 fells in just six days.

Not only that, she will also become the first woman to complete to challenge.

The Wainwright challenge is a 525km route with 36,000ft of ascension.

Sabrina began the route on Monday at 3am in Keswick, where she will also be finishing on Saturday.

To beat the record, she must complete the trail by Saturday.

Supporting Sabrina in her run is the 2014 record holder Steve Birkinshaw and 2019 holder Paul Tierney.

Speaking on her fifth day, Sabrina Verjee said: “Overall, I’m feeling strong and am pleased with progress.

“My right knee isn’t very happy at the moment, so I’ll have to try and do something about that, but otherwise I’m in good shape.

“It’s been lovely to run with Paul and Steve today and I’m grateful for their generous support, and to everyone who has been following my progress online and sending socially distanced encouragement.”

However due to concerns around social distancing, Sabrina is running the route with minimal support and has asked supporters not to join her straight away when she finally finishes.

In 2019, Sabrina became the first woman athlete to win the 268-mile Montane Spine Race.

She also took part in the Cumbria Way Ultra 30 on Lonscale Fell in the same year, completing the course in four hours and 46 minutes.

Furthermore, she completed the five-day Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race in Wales on three occasions, finishing in second place in the women’s race in 2017 and 2019.

Outside her extensive running career, Sabrina works as a veterinary surgeon in Ambleside and she has had her eye on this challenge since before the coronavirus outbreak.

The Wainwright challenge has attracted athletes since 1985, when it was first completed by Alan Heaton in nine days and 16 hours.

Considered to be one of the hardest peak challenges in the UK, the route follows around the fells favoured by iconic fell walker and author Alfred Wainwright.

The record Sabrina will need to beat was set by Paul last year at six days and six hours.

Paul is also an Irish international trail runner who overtook the record set by Steve at six days and 13 hours five years previous. Supporters are encouraged to monitor the run via the online tracker and to not join the group at the finishing line.