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Photo credit: Racing Snakes

It sends shivers down my Spine

12-Jan-19

Last updated: 17-Jan-19

By Dan Stinton

With Christmas and New Year all done and dusted and several resolutions no doubt already broken, it’s time to put all that behind you and eagerly start dot-watching as two of the most anticipated and toughest races in the UK kick-off this weekend.

Whilst many of us were still tucked up in bed, at 8am this morning competitors set out on the 108 mile Montane Spine Challenger.  After trekking through the Peak District this morning/today they’ll be prepping up for what could be a very tough January night.

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Photo credit: Racing Snakes

If 108 miles just isn’t enough, tomorrow sees the start of the non-stop 268 mile Montane Spine Race encompassing the entire length of the Pennine Way.  Let’s not forget it’s winter.  Oh, and entrants will be tackling a total ascent of 13,135m – This isn’t one for the faint hearted.

The Spine route “starts from Edale in Derbyshire to Kirk Yetholm, Scotland, tracing the backbone of England. It crosses some of the finest upland landscapes in the country, from the Peak District, through the Yorkshire Dales, across the North Pennines and over World Heritage-listed Hadrians Wall, before finishing North of the Scottish border in Kirk Yetholm.”

Current course records stand at 95 hours 17 mins for men (Eoin Keith, 2016) and 109 hours 54 mins for women (Carol Morgan 2017).

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Photo credit: Racing Snakes

Residing in Glossop, I’ll be out for a run tomorrow around Kinder/Bleaklow armed with several warm layers and some sandwiches to try and spot some of the fresh competitors in their first few hours of this epic race.  When, several days/meals/sleeps later, we’re still looking at those dots on the screen you really start to understand the true scale of the challenge.  Good luck everyone - we’ll be watching you!

RunUltra will be extensively covering the race action on Twitter, so follow us at @RunUltra_UK and we’ll do a round-up of the results after the finish of the Spine!

Dan Stinton, Interim Editor

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