30 Wainwrights at 30 - Kendal Mint Co®

30 Wainwrights at 30

30@3030 Wainwrights at 30

How did you imagine spending your 30th birthday? Down the pub? 

How about running 30 Wainwrights  in 17 hours... 

Well, that's exactly what our incredible ambassador Richard Anderson did. Read his story of epic proportions below:

At 5am on Saturday 14 December myself and a group of friends set out on a 47 mile fell run over 30 Wainwrights (mountains in the Lake District), taking in 19,000 feet of climbing (that is 2/3rds the height of Everest). 17 hours later, 3 of us finished the run on our final summit, Latrigg. We ran for 10 hours in the dark and were confronted by snow, hail, freezing winds and ice. It was an epic day out on the fells and we only saw 2 other walkers during the entire day. Our route saw us traverse the entirety of the North Western Fells, in perhaps the most challenging conditions of 2019. It is a sporting and mountaineering achievement I am incredibly proud of. What follows is the story of how and why we did it…


In part to celebrate my 30th Birthday! The great fell runner Jos Naylor famously completed 60 Wainwrights at 60 and 70 at 70, so I figured that 30 at 30 should be well within my grasp!

I also thought it would be a good way to mix up my winter training. My focus for 2020 is primarily Ironman and I've found long days on the fells are very effective at building the mental and physical resilience you need to race well over the 140.6 miles of an ironman.

That said, the main reason was to raise money and awareness for the mountain rescue. Back in July I raced the Scafell Pike Marathon. I led the race up to 11 miles and 2,500 feet before falling back a bit on the final climb to the summit. I started to pick back time on the descent when I tripped. I smashed my head open on a rock and badly chipped my front tooth. Blood started gushing out of my head. It was scary.

Thankfully I chose the perfect spot to fall. There was an incredible group of people out for a walk to Styhead Tarn less than 10m away. They rushed to my support, used a coat to stem the bleeding, held my hand, kept me warm and kept my spirits up.

Keswick Mountain rescue were soon on the scene in force. 14 members of the team made their way up the fell to help me. I was given a thorough assessment and bandaged up. There was the offer of the stretcher but I felt ok so I walked off the mountain, surrounded by members of the team, who watched my every step. My dad drove me to A&E to get stitched up and I was back running in 2 weeks. I was truly humbled by the compassion and humanity shown by people out on Scafell Pike and mightily impressed by the professionalism and speed of response from the mountain rescue.

Before this happened I was aware of the Mountain Rescue but never thought I'd have to use them... I did and they got me out of a potentially very dangerous situation. I now know that the Mountain Rescue is a voluntary organisation. They are entirely reliant on donations to provide the valuable service they do to all of us who enjoy the fells.

Photo Credit: Stephen Wilson - Grand Day Out Photography

 So far I've raised over £1,000 for Keswick and Duddon Valley Mountain Rescue. If you'd like to donate, you can do so via these links



Duddon Valley


Planning 30@30 

I first came up with the idea at the start of 2019 but planning didn't start until October 2019. After vaguely discussing the concept for months, Michael 'Foz' Foster gave me the nudge I needed by setting up a WhatsApp group. From then on in things escalated quickly…

So why did I choose the North Western Fells? To be honest, it was a simple choice… my grandad, who sadly passed away in August of this year, owned a holiday cottage in Braithwaite which literally backs out onto Barrow and Outerside. Since I could stand I have been walking and running in the North Western Fells. There really was only one option for my 30@30! Rather inconveniently there are only 29 fells in the North Western area so we had to add an extra, Lattrig!

 I actually plotted the route on a 2 hour flight to Malaga, on my way to an 8 day training camp with fellow 30@30 team members Liam Lloyd, Wilf Goodfellow and Beau Smith. On arrival in Spain I shared the happy news that the route was planned and that they were all invited!

My initial estimate was that the route would be 43 miles with 19,000 feet of climbing. It actually turned out to be 47 miles with just under 19,000 feet of ascent. That is 2/3rd the height of Everest. My approach to route planning was to take the most direct line which meant there was probably more time spent off footpaths than on them, a few good scrambles and many steep slopes!


I'd say a key part of my preparation for the big day was the 8 days I spent cycling in Malaga with Beau, Liam and Wilf. We rode every day and clocked up over 500 miles. When I got back to the UK the plan was to bag some long runs on the fells but this didn't work out. After my first long run post Malaga I developed a pain in my foot which I suspected might be a stress fracture.Thankfully it wasn't, but it was painful enough to prevent me running in November.

November was spent clocking up big miles on the bike and in the pool. In the first week of December I nailed a 5 hour run around the Coledale and Newlands sections of the route and a 3 hour run around leg 1. There was no reaction in my foot… so it was all systems go for 30@30!

The Team 

So who would be mad enough to attempt a 47 mile fell run over 30 Wainwrights in the middle of winter? Well the answer is some of the North West's leading endurance athletes and perhaps Wales's leading triathlete. The team was a follows:

Richard Anderson- former British and European age group Duathlon champion; 2 times winner of Bala Middle Distance Triathlon; winner Helvellyn triathlon 2013; and 2nd at the Lakesman iron-distance triathlon 2018.

Liam Lloyd- former British Elite Triathlon Champion; represented Wales at the Commonwealth games; and 4th at World Elite Duathlon Championships 2019.

Beau Smith- former British Universities sprint triathlon champion; Standard Distance triathlon age group (overall) World Champion 2018; and winner Helvellyn triathlon 2019.

Mark Duggan- past winner of some of the toughest triathlons in the UK including Helvellyn in 2018, the Buttermere Triathlon twice, Lochloman Man triathlon and Wensleydale Triathlon.

Mark Benson- 'the fastest bus driver in Cumbria'; multiple winner of the Bassenthwaite Triathlon; second and third at the Lakesman Middle Distance Triathlon; and this year (according to the results and the man himself) the overall win at Ironman 70.3 Dublin.

Richard Keefe- winner Montane Dalemain 10k 2019; winner Ullswater sprint distance triathlon 2019; 5th Helvellyn triathlon 2019; and 10th Celtman extreme Scottish triathlon 2019.

Wilf Goodfellow- 2nd in age group at the Alpe d'huez Triathlon 2019 and 2nd at the Helvellyn Triathlon 2019.

Ellis Bland- long distance fell runner with a 17-hour 47 Bob Graham Round to his name.

Mary Hodgson-former GB elite youth triathlete.

Keith Alger- marathon runner, fell runner and member of Calder Valley Mountain Rescue.

Michael Foster- soon to be marathon runner and ironman. Completed 106 of the 214 Wainwrights. 

The Run

We woke at 3.30 am to wind and hail slamming against the window of our youth hostel room. This didn't come as much of a surprise as we had been monitoring the weather forecast all week and were prepared for full winter conditions from the get go. The first big decision of the day was what kit to wear and carry. This is what I settled on…


On my top half I wore a technical t-shirt as my first layer, my RedVenom long sleeve compression top, my RedVenom short sleeve compression top, my RedVenom winter cycling top and my Inov8 waterproof jacket. On my bottom I wore both my RedVenom long compression tights and short compression tights and my waterproof trousers. My kit choice was perfect for the conditions. The only kit change I made all day was swapping my socks and shoes after the extremely boggy leg 1, changing from Inov8 mudclaws to Inov8 X-talon ultra 260 trail shoes. I have been supported by Tony Weed at RedVeenom for close to 10 years now and have to say the kit is absolutely first class. I have worn it in boiling hot races in Spain and in freezing conditions on the fells in the Lake District and it has never let me down.

When running on the fells, the emergency kit you carry on your back is perhaps more important than what you actually wear. I carried the following

  • Spare base layer and spare leggings
  • Spare hat, gloves and buff
  • Spare food
  • Map, compass and whistle
  • Spare headtorch and headtorch batteries
  • Bothy (group shelter)
  • Survival bag
  • 1.5L water
  • Snow spikes
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Short wave radio
  • GPS tracker
  • Ski goggles 


Having decided what to wear, the next big decision was what to eat? The short answer was quite a lot! We were running for 17 hours in freezing conditions. I don't know how many calories we burnt but I suspect it was well into the 10,000s. We started the day with porridge and bananas in the youth hostel, not a massive breakfast but enough to get us going!

I am very lucky to be supported by Kendal Mint Co. (otherwise known as KMC) who are a new, young, dynamic Cumbrian business, paradoxically, producing a product that is more than 100 years old, the iconic KENDAL MINT CAKE. KMC also produce top quality, informed sport accredited energy gels, hydration and recovery mixes.

My approach to fuelling 30@30 was to use the KMC sports nutrition range whilst I was running and eat regular foods at the 3 road crossings. Every hour I consumed 2 to 3 KMC energy gels (chocolate, mint and citrus flavours) and through the day I'd say I had at least 5 mint cakes (regular and chocolate coated). At each road crossing I'd take on a 750ml bottle of KMC Citrus & Mint Isotonic energy drink. Whenever I felt my mood or energy levels were dropping I'd take on a Citrus & Mint Caffeine Energy Gel which seemed to improve things fairly rapidly. The KMC range worked perfectly for me and kept me going through a 17 hour day. It tastes great and I experienced no gastric side effects. I have big plans for 2020 which include racing ironman and doing a Bob Graham Round, both of which will be fuelled by the KMC range.

 I built 5 distinct road crossings or support points into the 30@30 route. This is what we ate…

Whinlatter 8 am (3 hours in)- bacon sandwiches, porridge and coffee.

Crummock Water (5 hours 30 in)- bacon sandwiches, brownie and coffee.

Newlands Hause (11 hours in)- warm soup, ham and cheese sandwiches, brownie and tea.

Castle Crag (13 hours in)- brownie, flapjack and coffee

Catbells Bottom (15 hours 45 in)- brownie and coffee

Leg 1 

Start- 5am Sale Fell Gate

Finish- 8am Whinlatter Visitors Centre


27. Sale Fell

26. Ling Fell

25. Graystones

21. Broom Fell

18. Lord Seat

22. Barf

20. Whinlatter

Conditions- dark but dry, very wet under foot 

11 of us set off at 5am from Sale Fell gate. Leg 1 passed without incident. I had been a bit nervous about navigating in the dark but we nailed it. Special mention to Bense, who used his local knowledge to guide us through the maze that is Whinlatter Forest in the dark. The sun rose when we were on Whinlatter summit and revealed snow capped peaks over 650m and a gathering storm on Grisedale Pike... We arrived at Whinlatter Visitors center almost bang on schedule. At this point Foz and Ellis left the group. Ellis was struggling with shin splints and Foz left to head up our incredible support crew. It was great that they could join us on leg 1!

Leg 2 

Start- 8.20 am Whinlatter Visitors Centre

Finnish- 10.40am Crummock Water


3. Grisedale Pike

6. Hopegill head

10. Whiteside

Conditions- gale force winds, hail, snow and ice over 650m, snow spikes required. 

 We set off from Whinlatter in high spirits, having been joined by Wilf and Keith. Our first proper straight line of the day was from Revelin Moss car park to Grisedale Pike ridge. After a steep climb we hit the ridge and were greeted by icy cold gale force winds. About 200 yards from the summit, it started to hail. We had no choice but to lie face down on the ridge and wait for the storm to the pass.Even with two pairs of tights on, the hail felt like needles piercing my legs. After about 5 minutes the storm subsided, and we were able to stand up and put our ski goggles and waterproof trousers on.

 At this point I seriously considered whether it was safe to continue. As we were so close the summit, I calculated that the best course of action would be to continue over the summit and descend to Crummock water as planned and then reassess. The ice made it a slow and technical descent over Hopegill Head and Whiteside. Those who could, put on snow spikes. We made it to Crummock some way behind schedule, ready for a coffee and in agreement that we had experienced something fairly epic on Grisedale Pike. Mary left us at this point, having run for just under 20 miles and over 5 hours in some of the worst conditions of 2019. A great run in itself. She went on to be a key player in the support team for the rest of the day.

Leg 3 

Start- Crummock Water 11am

Finish- Newlands Hause 4pm


28. Rannerdale Knotts

12. Whiteless Pike

4. Wandope

1. Grassmoor

2. Eel Crag

5. Sail

11. Scar Crags

16. Outerside

23. Barrow

14. Causey Pike

17. Ard Craggs

19. Knott Rigg

Conditions- gale force winds, hail, snow and ice over 650m, snow spikes required. 

  This was always going to be the leg that would make or break the day… and so it proved. The ascent of Rannerdale Knotts was our second proper 'straight line' of the day and we were rewarded with one of the finest views in the Lake District.

 From there we set out on the long climb to Grassmoor over Whiteless Pike and Wandope (perhaps the most underwhelming Wainwright on the route). The winds were really starting to pick up at this point, to such an extent that Richard K and Keith were being lifted off their feet. After a long slog we made it to Coledale Hause, where Keith split from the group to rejoin the support team at event HQ in Braithwaite.

The rest of us turned north to climb Grassmoor into the worst headwind I've ever experienced. The summit of Grassmoor was our high point for the day but with driving snow and a windchill well below freezing, it was not the day for hanging around in the shelter. We doubled back and made our way to Eel Cragg, now with a tail wind. On the climb to Eel Cragg, the aforementioned wind blew Richard K's hat off. Being young, enthusiastic and fresh, Wilf set off on an impressive 200m uphill pursuit. Sadly the hat was never retrieved but it kept the group entertained!

We dropped off Eel Cragg over Sail, to the summit of Sail pass and the most excruciating point of our route. 4 of our next 6 summits were within a 15 minute run but we would not be visiting them for at least another hour. We dropped from the pass to climb Outerside and Barrow, where we said goodbye to a still fresh-looking Wilf, who was leaving us to ensure he had 'good legs' for a cyclo cross race the next day. Wilf made a great contribution on the toughest section of the route, taking some great photos, keeping us fueled with flapjack and doing his best to retrieve kit stolen by the wind.

 We descended off Barrow to cross Sail Pass and start the most imposing straight-line assent of the day… the face of Causey Pike. It is fair to say the climb took its toll on us all and we took a well-deserved sit down on the summit, buffeted by the irrepressible winds. The conditions meant we were now well behind schedule, so the rest was short lived and we were soon traversing the ridge to Scar Craggs to the top of the pass. We then dropped 150m before climbing to Ard Craggs and traversing to Knott Rigg. We were now a group of 6 but it was clear that Richard K, Bense and Liam were approaching the end of their day. We had a group discussion and agreed that we would split.

Before 30@30 Liam's longest run ever had been 1 hour 45 minutes on the road, he had never heard of a Wainwright and didn't know what a fell was. In view of this, to run 30 miles over 22 summits for 11 hours in the worst conditions Lakeland can muster, represents a fairly incredible performance. Of course, I expected nothing less from Wales's finest athlete!

Similarly, despite living locally, Bense had done very little fell running before 30@30 and did not own a pair of fell running shoes until November of this year. The week before 30@30 Bense had to cut a bike ride short with borderline hypothermia. Again, to complete as much as he did in those conditions was a special performance which the man himself has confirmed won't be repeated…don't expect to see him out on the fells again anytime soon!

Richard K is no stranger to the fells and long-distance races. He went into 30@30 feeling a little under the weather and, as the smallest member of the group, he struggled most in the strong winds. After 30 miles he took the selfless decision to drop out and leave completing the route for another day… which he did on 19th December, 2 days after running the 20 mile long Ullswater Way! Unbelievable stuff!

Leg 4 

Start- Newlands Hause 4.20pm

Finish- Castle Crag 7.00pm


8. Robinson

9. Hindscarth

7. Dalehead

29. Castle Crag

Conditions- dark, gale force winds, hail, snow and ice over 650m, snow spikes required.

And then there were 3… myself, Beau Smith and Mark Duggan. 3 past winners of the Helvellyn triathlon brought together by a shared goal! We met the support team at Newlands Hause in appalling conditions.It was getting dark, blowing a gale and starting to snow. Just about everyone tried to convince us that it was time to stop! But we were having none of it, the conditions were no worse than we'd experienced already, I knew the route and we were all hungry for another 8 Wainwrights and 20 miles on the fells. So we refueled and made our way straight up the side of Moss Force waterfall and onto Robinson. It was soon dark, but the lying snow meant headtorches were not really necessary. The time flew by and before we knew it we were on top of Robinson and straight lining it to Hindscarth and onto Dalehead. The wind was relentless, and the ice made the rocky sections treacherous… but we continued on our merry way to meet our support team at Castle Crag!

Leg 5

Start- Castle Crag 7.15pm

Finish- Catbells bottom 8.40pm


13. High Spy

15. Maiden Moor

24. Catbells

Conditions- dark cold, snow and ice over 650m, clear.

We met our growing support crew at the bottom of Castle Crag to quickly refuel. We were now massively behind schedule and any chance of us being in Keswick for our 8.45 restaurant booking were now gone. It's fair to say we were starting to get a bit tired but there was absolutely no way we weren't finishing it. Shambolically, our first and only navigational error happened on Castle Crag, the smallest Wainwright of the day. We ended up climbing over about 6 walls before we finally made it on the slate path to the war memorial on the summit.

Next up was High Spy. We reverted to the strategy that had served us well all day…straight lining it to the summit. It was a long climb over boulders, heather and many other natural obstacles but we made it thanks to some careful navigation from Mark. On top of High Spy, we could just about make out the snow capped silhouettes of the North Western Fells that we had traversed over the last 15 hours. There was a real feeling that the hard work was done! 

In reality this was a little misplaced as the ridge from High Spy to Catbells, over Maiden Moor, is a lot longer than we remembered and included a number of undulations. After being particularly underwhelmed by Maiden Moor, we crested Catbells and stopped to shake hands… we'd completed the North Western Fells!  

Leg 6

Start- Catbells Bottom 21.00

Finish- Latrigg Summit 22.30



Conditions- dark, snow.

We met our support team for the final time at the bottom of Cat Bells. We had a few more brownies, took off our waterproof trousers and ski googles and headed for Keswick and our final summit. This was our first bit of road running and despite having 40+ miles in the legs we manged to clip along at what felt like a decent pace. We now had a support car, driven by Hannah with 'DJ Foz' in the passenger seat blasting out James Blunt's 'Your Beautiful', 'Eye of the Tiger' and the national anthem. As if it wasn't dramatic enough, it started to properly snow as we entered Keswick.

We started our final ascent to Lattrig at 10pm, 17 hours after we started running. True to form, rather than take the tourist path, we opted for a direct route straight up the face. Eventually we were greeted by 2 head torches… Hannah and Foz… who joined us for the final 200ft to the summit. We finished 30@30, just over 17 hours and 30 minutes after we started! How did we celebrate? We smashed Wainwright number 31… a Wainwright Golden Beer! 

It was an amazing day, one I'm sure that everyone involved will never forget. It was made possible by our incredible support team led by my Mum and Dad (David and Tricia) and Hannah and Foz. There were also big contributions from Nikki, Samantha, Tommy and Jack. They were on hand at road crossings, making sure we were fed, watered, kept warm and had all the kit we needed. I am so grateful to them all!

What next? 

 Well personally I want to nail a sub 9 hour ironman, race elite level triathlon again and of course do a Bob Graham Round! How and when are yet to be determined but I know that…. surrounded by the amazing group of people who made up team 30@30, anything is possible!

Take care folks and see you out on the fells soon.






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30 Wainwrights at 30