The 2017 Montane® Spine RaceEvents
Photography ©Racing Snakes
One of the toughest ultra races in Europe is set to take place along the entirety of the Pennine Way 14th – 22nd January 2017. The non-stop, 268 mile Montane® Spine Race, will see competitors race in unrelenting winter conditions whilst overcoming challenges from severe fatigue and all the physical demands that accompany a race in these conditions.
This year will see 260 heroic competitors line up at the start for one of the three ultra races. The inaugural Spine Race first took place in 2012 with only 11 entrants, of which 3 ultimately crossed the finish line. Since then, the race’s notorious brutality attracts competitors from around the world and has propelled further and further into the spotlight, attracting new racers each year who seek the next scalp on their endurance race hitlist.
“The Montane® Spine Race was born out of a desire to test not just ultra racing skills, but expedition skills. We watched as the ultra-distance race trend grew and grew and wanted to take that challenge to a whole different level, so we took an iconic trail route, added the usual demands of non-stop ultra distance racing and set it in winter to give it real ferocity and bite. We knew that it would attract a much more hardcore type of athlete – those who are tough, self-sufficient, mentally resilient and able to function on limited sleep, who are physically at the top of their game and able to grapple with the full intensity of British winter. All the usual rules go out of the window and it comes down to survival. The Montane® Spine Race is unique.” – race directors Scott Gilmour and Phil Hayday-Brown
It is referred to as Britain’s most brutal race as competitors are allowed just seven days to travel the 268-mile Pennine Way from Edale to Kirk Yetholm (averaging over 38 miles per day). The Pennine Way is one of the most demanding National Trails in Britain, crossing some of the most beautiful – and at times very difficult – terrain found in England, including; the Peak District, Yorkshire Dales, Northumberland National Park, Hadrian’s Wall and the Cheviots; finishing at the Scottish Borders.
The route re are five checkpoints, providing hot meals, medical support and a place to sleep, but athletes are still required to carry a lengthy list of compulsory items such as a tent or bivi bag, a stove, and two days of rations, all of which tends to weigh 5-10kg.
The first race starts on the 14th January. Good luck to all involved!