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.
The Montane® Spine Race is a collection of three savage ultra races:
- The Montane® Spine Race – the original 268 mile race from Edale to Kirk Yetholm
- The Montane® Spine Challenger – shorter and faster than the Spine Race at 108 miles, but no less brutal.
- The Montane® Spine MRT Challenge – the same as the Spine Challenger but specifically for Mountain Rescue personnel from England, Wales and the Scottish Borders, who will be raising funds for their respective teams
This year will see 260 heroic competitors line up at the start of the three 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 is referred to as Britain’s most brutal race as competitors are allowed seven days to travel the 268-mile Pennine Way from Edale to Kirk Yetholm (that’s just over 38 miles per day). The Pennine Way is one of the most demanding National Trails in Britain, and certainly the most iconic. The trail crosses some of the most beautiful and at times 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.