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SarahCrunning - 10/01/2018 15:42:16
   
The Spine Race and Spine Challenger
The Montane Spine Race and Spine Challenger are probably two of the toughest British ultras both physically and mentally. The Spine Race starts on Sunday 14th January, and runners will cover the full 268 miles of the Pennine Way from Edale to Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish borders over 7 days. The Spine Challenger starts on Saturday 13th January and covers the 108 miles from Edale to Hardraw with a 60 hour time limit. This is a particularly technical and challenging section of the Pennine Way and no mean feat.

The Pennine Way is iconic and also one of the toughest National Trails in Britain. It runs through the Peak District, Yorkshire Dales, Northumberland National Park and the Cheviots. Not only is the terrain challenging, the time of year means competitors are likely to face any combination of gales, snow, ice, fog, bogs, hail and rain. They will need all their concentration to navigate and be aware of the ground beneath them. Add in sleep-deprivation, fatigue, long hours of darkness and a heavy kit list, and you can see why these races are a huge test of mental strength and physical stamina. The DNF rate is around 2/3 of entrants.

These races are non-stop rather than staged, and there are many hours and miles between checkpoints, so entrants must be able to be self-sufficient in extreme conditions and make tough decisions about when to rest. Our four runner reviews (two for the Spine Race and two for the Challenger) all gave the events 5 stars, despite not all of them reaching the finish.

We wish all this year's runners the very best of luck. I am looking forward to some exciting dot watching this weekend!
Sarah Cooke

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SarahCrunning - 13/01/2018 19:28:49
   
RE:The Spine Race and Spine Challenger
After just over 11 hours, Simon Bourne is leading the Spine Challenger and is about 5km ahead of second placed Wouter Huitzing. In the women's race, Emma Hopkinson has been running brilliantly and is around 10km ahead of second lady Annabelle Stearns. Jen Scotney is currently third lady.
Sarah Cooke

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SarahCrunning - 13/01/2018 22:14:49
   
RE:The Spine Race and Spine Challenger
Simon Bourne was first through the Oakworth checkpoint, but Wouter Huitzing is now hot on his heels in second. Ian Magee is in third. Emma Hopkinson is now over 8 miles ahead of the other women.
Sarah Cooke

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SarahCrunning - 13/01/2018 22:23:25
   
RE:The Spine Race and Spine Challenger
Wouter Huitzing has just overtaken Simon Bourne after over 14 hours and is now leading the Challenger!
Sarah Cooke

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SarahCrunning - 13/01/2018 22:37:16
   
RE:The Spine Race and Spine Challenger
It's looking like leapfrog - Simon Bourne is back in the lead.
Sarah Cooke

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SarahCrunning - 14/01/2018 01:34:57
   
RE:The Spine Race and Spine Challenger
After 17.5 hours, Simon Bourne and Wouter Huitzing are neck and neck on 76 miles. Ian Magee is in third at around 73 miles. Emma Hopkinson is over 9 miles ahead in the women's race on 69 miles. Annabelle Stearns is in second, but Jen Scotney is only around a mile behind in third.
Sarah Cooke

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SarahCrunning - 14/01/2018 10:21:12
   
RE:The Spine Race and Spine Challenger
Wouter Huitzing has just won the Challenger in 25:44:21. Simon Bourne looks set to take second, and Ian Magee is in third.

In the women's race, Emma Hopkinson has a 14 mile lead. However, in the early hours, Cass Chisholm progressed to second lady. Jen Scotney has just overtaken her, but the two are virtually neck and neck.

The Spine Race kicked off this morning at 8am - watch this space.
Sarah Cooke

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SarahCrunning - 14/01/2018 10:25:00
   
RE:The Spine Race and Spine Challenger
After just over 2 hours, Jim Mann and Daphne Derouch are leading The Spine Race.
Sarah Cooke

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SarahCrunning - 14/01/2018 11:17:14
   
RE:The Spine Race and Spine Challenger
Wouter Huitzing's time is a new course record. Simon Bourne has just finished in second place (26:55:07).
Sarah Cooke

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SarahCrunning - 14/01/2018 11:20:33
   
RE:The Spine Race and Spine Challenger
Cass Chisholm and Jen Scotney are showing as neck and neck for 2nd and 3rd lady at 83 miles.
Sarah Cooke

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