A SKIPTON woman who confessed to hating sport at school has completed all 214 Wainwrights consecutively in less than a fortnight.

Mel Steventon, of running events company Due North Events, has now ticked off a gruelling section of her overall challenge to run and hike the length of Nepal, a total of 546 miles, to support two worthwhile causes.

On September 10, Mel set off to conquer a consecutive traverse of the Wainwrights, a challenge that only six other people have ever completed to date. It Included all 214 of the original English Lake District fells listed in Wainwright’s classic ‘Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells’ and covers 330 miles with 36,000 meters of ascent.

In spite of experiencing intense pain from Shin Splints which she developed on day two and also suffering badly swollen ankles she completed this section of her challenge in 13 days 12 hours.

While out on the fells and suffering painful injuries, she said: “My head is in a good place, I’m managing the pain and I have great support. There is nowhere else I would rather be than out on the Lake District’s tops, so as hard as it feels at times, I feel lucky to be able to do this.”

Mel, 38, said she was supporting Community Action Nepal and Women’s Aid.

She added: “Both charities mean a lot to me, having visited Nepal in November 2019 I got to see the great work that Community Action Nepal has done in the remote mountain villages. These villages are now struggling to survive without tourism, loss of income and facing famine due to lack of seed production as the country experiences a knock on effect caused by Covid-19. I chose Women’s Aid charity because I can relate to how difficult it can be for some women who don’t have the freedom to do as they please, women who don’t feel safe at home and who long for a better life. I’m doing it for every woman who can’t at the moment and hope that I can inspire other women to get out and push for what they want and deserve.”

Mel had a very rough schedule of 10 days but thought that she might go over by a day or two. She soon realised that she had massively underestimated the challenge. On day 10 she was looking at another 5 days of running yet to complete. She picked up an injury on night 2 but kept going. This obviously slowed her down and caused a lot of pain and discomfort but then she started with new problems in her knees and other areas. Her aim was always to finish the Wainwright’s in one consecutive round so she felt that she had to continue.

She added: “I am not an athlete. I started running six years ago at the age of 32, I avoided sports at school as I hated it and didn’t have confidence with sport. So the running and hiking that I do now is for my own enjoyment and is a real achievement every time I enter a race or take on a challenge.”

Mel stated that this was the toughest thing that she had ever done and that she was probably out of her depth but she was still going to commit to it and give it a try and with sheer dogged determination and in spite of her painful injuries she managed to finish in a time that she can be very proud of.

The first part of her challenge was on August 15 when she took part in the Lakes Mountain 42 mile Ultra Marathon. The second stage was the Wainwrights and once recovered from this and caught up on running her business, Due North Events, Mel plans to run/hike The Dales Way to complete her 546 miles.

Anyone wishing to donate to the charities can do so at: https://gf.me/u/ynxtys To date she has raised almost £2,800.