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Ilkley doctor completes 4-day non-stop vertical marathon run

An anaesthetist at Airedale Hospital has raised more than £2,000 for Covid Aid after completing a 195-mile run up and down Pendle Hill.

Tom Hollins, who lives in Ilkley and runs with the Wharfedale Harriers, started the gruelling vertical run on 8th October at 8am, and completed it more than four days later after running up Pendle 223 times - equivalent to climbing Everest from sea level 4.75 times back to back!

Each of the 223 times was an elevation gain of 622ft, so the total 'height' run was 26.2 miles - the same as a marathon - even though the total distance run was 195 miles.

In the first 24 hours, Tom set a new UK and Ireland 24hr vertical record for the most ascent in 24 hours. He then set several 'Everesting' records with the fastest time to do the same ascent as Everest.

Tom says: “To complete the run took me 112hrs 5 minutes, so more than 4 days! I started on Saturday at 8am and other than for toilet and meal breaks I didn't stop at all until the second night and then had 2 hours sleep each night.

"Like all of these really long events it was beautiful and awful in equal measure. I did think that this one would be particularly awful given the repetitive nature but a lot of friends came out to keep me company on the hill at all hours of the day and night. That shared experience made it something really quite special. And I am super proud of the profile and money raised for Covid Aid.

“This vertical marathon project started with this thought - to many who have long Covid climbing a flight of stairs is like doing a marathon. I knew it would be hard but after a few days rest I will be back to normal. Those with long Covid will still need support every day.

"I’m aware that I had a very fortunate passage through the Covid pandemic. As an NHS worker I was given a purpose and able to work where so many others were having to stay at home because they were vulnerable, or needed to protect the vulnerable. I know I would have found staying at home very difficult.

"I didn't catch Covid for 2 years and when I did, I got a mild cold and was back out running 2 weeks later. Similarly, I had no one close to me who got severe disease. So many others died, or developed long covid, or had family and friends who were affected.

"Now we are moving out of the pandemic I feel privileged again to be enjoying my re-found freedoms and the ability to get out and explore the hills. I am aware of many who struggle to climb a flight of stairs, and the need for NHS support.”

To donate, visit to Tom’s Just Giving page.

Records achieved:

  • Double everesting 36:46:45h beating Rik Goris of Belgium's previous record of 51hr47min

  • Triple everesting 62hours 24 minutes beating Rik Goris Of Belgium’s previous record of 82hr16mins

  • Quad everesting 91 hours 46minutes. New record as this ascent has not been done before.

  • Vertical marathon 112 hours 5minutes. New record as this ascent has not been done before.


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