UTC Sheffield Student Youngest To Complete Mountain Challenge

Banner image: Hannah Saville celebrating at the finish Moot Hall, Keswick

A UTC Sheffield student is believed to be the youngest woman to complete one of the UK’s toughest 24-hour mountain endurance challenges.

Hannah Saville, 17, finished the 66-mile Bob Graham Round with half an hour to spare last weekend June 21st to 22nd.

She climbed 27,000 feet and visited 42 of the Lake District’s highest fells including Helvellyn, Skiddaw, and Scafell Pike, the highest peak in England.

The teenage fell runner from Sheffield is thought to be the first woman under 18 to complete the round, finishing in 23 hours and 28 minutes.

Hannah is studying three A Levels in maths, further maths and physics, and a technical qualification in engineering, at UTC Sheffield, Matilda Street, which opened in 2013 and is the first university technical college in Yorkshire.

Young people develop the skills that employers need as well as academic qualifications. UTC Sheffield’s two specialisms are advanced engineering and manufacturing, and creative and digital.

Hannah, a keen cyclist and fell runner, said: “It was a bit of an off the cuff decision to try the Bob Graham. I decided about a week before. It was tough, particularly the night section, but I was determined to finish it. I just wasn’t sure how fast I’d be. It was a great feeling to complete it within 24 hours.”

Nick Crew, Principal, UTC Sheffield, added: “It’s a remarkable achievement which demonstrates real grit, determination and resilience, and I would like to congratulate Hannah on her success.”

Hannah joins her father Kevin and brother Tom in a unique family treble. Kevin, 50, completed the round with just four minutes to spare in 1999 and Tom, now an England international fell runner, became one of the youngest men to crack the run when he did it aged 16, four years ago.

All three are members of the Sheffield-based Dark Peak Fell Runners club, who organise a group attempt on the round over the longest weekend every June.

“Friends in the club are now joking that there must be something in the Saville family genes,” said Kevin. “I am very, very proud of Hannah. She pushed herself very hard, and there was an amazing number of people to cheer her in when she ran up to the Moot Hall in Keswick at the end of it all.”

Hannah turned to her dad and said: “Beat you” when she touched the Moot Hall to end the run. “It was hard, very hard, especially keeping going during the night when the weather was bad,” she added. “But it felt very good to do it faster than my dad. It wouldn’t have been as sweet a victory if I hadn’t beaten his time!”

On average, only one in three runners who attempt the round manage to complete it inside 24 hours, but the Dark Peak club got eight of its nine contenders round this time. More details of the round can be found at http://www.bobgrahamclub.org.uk.

For more information about UTC Sheffield and a taster event on Wednesday, July 1st for young people interested in a Year 10 place starting this September go to https://www.utcsheffield.org.uk or call 0114 2603970.

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