On 1st April, James Gibson set off from the Moot Hall in Keswick (clarifying that it wasn't, as some thought, an April Fool). The aim was to both to complete the Wainwrights Round, and potentially even break Sabrina Verjee's summer record of 5 days, 23 hours, 49 minutes and 12 seconds.
Last December James completed the first-ever winter Wainwrights Round in a mind-boggling time of 8 Days, 6 Hours and 44 minutes. Battling through arctic conditions, and in the face of Storm Barra, it looked truly horrendous, but not horrendous enough for him to not want to do it again, apparently...
On his Instagram account, James said:
"I've been asked by a fair few folks why I am doing it again, and so soon. A 'Summer' round was never on my radar, but when things went so well in December a seed was planted in my mind. As I recovered from that epic, I've found myself fitter than ever and with a window of opportunity before my work season really ramps up. Some of my times on legs in December were also a testament to how well I was moving, and so I knew that with some additional training I would have the potential of putting in a time similar to that of the quickest attempts made to date. There's only one way to find out".
For those that have spent the last few days dot-watching, it's been a thrilling game of cat and mouse, with James and Sabrina's dots on the Open Tracking website frequently switching places. Darren Parker, who's been monitoring James' progress throughout, put together the following graph, demonstrating his progress, and just how close it was.
Despite this being classed as a 'summer attempt' conditions have been far from kind, with distinctly wintery conditions throughout. While it's difficult to find a clear, dry and bright five-day weather window at any time of year in the Lakes, there's no denying that James has had a pretty rough ride these last few days! The fact that it's still only April, hence there's comparatively limited daylight compared to later in the year, made conditions even more challenging.
This afternoon, James finished not too far behind the record, in a provisional time of 6 days, 5 hours, 8 minutes and 3 seconds.