/ Spine race 2020
I am all set for a strenuous week's dot-watching.
Ha ha. I warned my boss not to expect nothing out of me this week as I'm busy dot watching.
He just shook his head at me not knowing what I am on about and thinking I was joking 😁
I’m heading to the start to see off a friend tomorrow, very exciting indeed.
Alan, if you’re reading this - don’t expect too much work from me next week ;-)
Looks like weather started off ok for the Challengers but it's got a fair bit windier here in the last hour or so (and I'm only at 400m so well below the moor top)
Shout out for 501 (Chris Bagworth) and 521 (Robin Smith), and of course all the runners in the MRT Challenger. But Chris and Rob are friends :-D
I think climbing instructor Isi Oakley (isi_o on this site) is number 518, running the MRT challenge, so good luck to her too. And to them all really, tough cookies the lot of them.
There is a lady from my club doing it. I've trained with her and run in a few of the same ultras as her. I keen to see how she gets on. I mentioned that I'll be watching the dots and eating cake, drinking tea. Its going to be a long week, I feel...
Your mate Rob is storming along. Laddow already and he's overtaken a fair proportion of the Challengers despite starting an hour later. Respect.
He's an impressive athlete - which is why the poor guy is always likely to be called on to expedite equipment to a casualty site on callouts!!
> Looks like weather started off ok for the Challengers but it's got a fair bit windier here in the last hour or so (and I'm only at 400m so well below the moor top)
The wind id going to be a major factor when they get to the dales / northumberland. ATM, the met office are forecasting 65 - 75mph gusts on cross fell, with wind chill of -9 / -10 for monday (ambient at or around freezing). At least its a south westerley......wouldn't fancy it if it was a headwind.......
Are paragliders cheating?
New course record; 1hr 45.......
Might well take the mutt up teesdale for a wander tomorrow to see what its like out of the valleys; but we got battered last night in Bishop Auckland, and its not really dropped much today.
Aiming to go along tonorrow morning and give the main lot a clap either at the Snake if I'm being lazy or Torside Clough if a scramble seems appealing.
It's gonna be an interesting one for sure, all the usual suspects (although no Pavel unless I'm mistaken?). Be interesting to see how John Kelly gets on! 👍
Just been watching the little videos on Facebook - SO wet this evening, and windy.
Monday looks like being pretty epic too, once Storm Brendan starts doing its stuff. 60-70mph winds.
> It's gonna be an interesting one for sure, all the usual suspects (although no Pavel unless I'm mistaken?). Be interesting to see how John Kelly gets on! 👍
Likewise. He's tough (Barkley), has encountered UK conditions (Grand Round attempt) and is clearly a bit daft (Guiness world record for fastest marathon dressed as a videogame character). Also seems to be quite a genuine bloke. He's certainly off to a fast start.
> Just been watching the little videos on Facebook - SO wet this evening, and windy.
I've just got back from Snake Pass and can say with some degree of conviction that it really was awful up there: strong wind, rain/sleet, and the clag was fully in. It's lifting to the east where we are in Bamford, but still looks pretty awful out west. Having had a look at the advance forecast it doesn't exactly look like there's any sign of these conditions mellowing at all either.
Full respect to all the competitors...
Hoping to pop up to Blackstone Edge later to see some of them coming through. 192 (Fiona Lynch) is a friend of ours, so will try and time things to cheer her on.
Congrats to Doug Zinis and David Hanna for coming 1st & 2nd in the Challenger, way ahead of anyone else. 29 hours to Hawes is some going in those winds.
Saw the front runners coming down Torside whilst we were heading up to Higher Shelf Trig on the Trigger race. Personally I found the conditions worse today than last year - less windy but a touch colder and the rain was just grim. Way more standing water and generally it’s a lot muddier and boggier. Anyway, they were shifting and Eugini in particular looked incredibly focussed. I have a new level of respect for anyone who completes the Spine race, it’s just hardcore to move over that uneven ground for such an extended period of time.
Sort of following Rod Holland (166) as he is a LDWA walker, interested to see how he gets on as I don't think he runs at all (well, he never used to). I know he completed the Snowdon ultra 100 this year and a few years back did the S. Wales ldwa 100 - twice back to back! He has the stamina but I believe he is carrying an injury, so not sure.
I'm backing Eoin Keith, just because he's the only one I've heard of, the wife is half Irish, he's just going past CrossHills where the Mrs' comes from, and he's a contender!
The Challengers are about to be caught soon!!!
Rob finished a short while ago, in third place in the MRT Challenger and 12th overall. He had a bit of a navigational wobble on the last stretch, but otherwise seems to have had a really strong run. He won the MRT Challenger in 2018, so clearly likes this particular route!!
Hopefully he'll have recovered in time for MRT training on Thursday night and I'll schedule a night nav exercise over cr@ppy terrain - he'll love it ;-)
Yes I saw he'd made it. Good on him. Don't give him too tough a time ☺
I'm hoping Debbie Martin-Consani and Patricia Patterson do well because they were really cheery when they passed me above Torside this lunchtime. 2nd & 3rd women at the moment so going nicely.
Jasmin Paris said on her blog last year what a likeable guy he is. Hope he does well too.
John Kelly's opened up a huge lead, Andre Hook in 2nd and Eoin in 3rd. Not sure where Eugeni has gone.
Tactics are staring to get interesting, also judging who will finish. Lots of withdrawals through the night. Colin Green is an interesting person to watch, he was the last finisher last year, he has got a lot of people behind him at the moment.
Been watching the ladies race quite closely and saw my friend Fiona last night at the White House. She is in fifth, but it looks like she had a lot more rest last night than those in front of her, maybe she needed it, or maybe be a different tactical approach.
Runner 235 in the women's race in Nicola Sommers, an amazing athlete and also wife of long time UKCer and gear reviewer Tom Ripley. I'm sure Nikki would appreciate some UKC support! She is currently the 6th woman if I'm reading the website correctly.
I walked the Pennine Way from Edale to Hebden Bridge back at the end of August in some nice weather - just to see what it was like and if I should do the whole thing at some point. I'm moderately fit and an experienced hill walker. I left Edale late evening and camped up on Kinder at midnight. Walked over Kinder, Bleaklow and over Laddow the next day, camping a bit short of Black Hill. The next day I went over Black Hill, past Marsden, over the motorway, had some food at the white house pub and camped high above Todmorden. Then the next morning walked a couple of hours down into Hebden and got the train home. So a short evening, a short-ish morning and two full days of about 30 kms each day. The runners got there in 8 hours! It's an amazing effort.
Rod that I was following is out this morning, probably the calf injury he was carrying - realistically it isn't an event to start when injured!
Tactics will be everything! Remember Tom hollins win in 2018? Was sensational and all came down to tactics! 😁
> no Pavel unless I'm mistaken
he's there but not competing - he's part of the filming team
> Rod that I was following is out this morning, probably the calf injury he was carrying - realistically it isn't an event to start when injured!
That's a shame. I did the Valleys 100 the year he did his double and I saw him finish. That was an awesome achievement!
John Kelly into Hawes about half an hour ahead of Jasmin's time last year. Could be interesting, though the incoming weather might prove equally so!
Not sure if you're on Twitter, but there's a hilarious of pic him getting a bit of sleep in Horton. No sleeping bag, no mat, and still wearing the clothes he was running in. That was at 7:32am. There's another tweet at 7:39 saying he's on the move again. Unbelievable...
Here's a link: https://twitter.com/TheSpineRace/status/1216623962924421121
It's the way he hasn't even bothered to get on to the sleeping mat that is right by his head that amused me!
What's Kelly up to?
He's heading back to Edale!
It's almost as though he were somehow sleep-deprived!
Maybe he dropped something?
These people don't require sleep, they are not mere mortals like the likes of us
He's back on track, Tan Hill for afternoon tea.
Looks like he has sorted it out - perhaps he was just warming up for day 2?
Nope, he's just gone off at the wrong angle again - maybe he did need more than those few minutes of power nap?
Looks like he has noticed and is turning back again...
Pretty quick turnaround for Eoin Keith at Hawes...wonder if he can take advantage of Kelly's navigational mishaps?
I've just posted on their Twitter page to see if we can find out. It was agonising watching the dot go backwards, especially considering the effort it's taken to get to this point (and the amount of distance left to go).
It'll also be interesting to see whether or not Eoin's swift turnaround comes back to haunt him, although it's not like John Kelly's power nap did him any favours seemingly?!
John Kelly does seem to be back on course now.
It's hard to tell with Eoin - he might not have planned for a long break there anyway. It's possible he always planned to rest later on. I'll be interested to hear what he says if they catch him for an interview later.
> That's a shame. I did the Valleys 100 the year he did his double and I saw him finish. That was an awesome achievement!
Yes, especially in those conditions and that wasn't an easy route by any means. Would have been interesting just to see how a strong walker like him ended up time wise on the Spine. Sure he will be back.
Yep, whilst it must be immeasurably worse for the poor runner knowing they've lost precious time and energy, it is indeed agonising watching it happening in real time from the comfort of my desk!
I remember a couple of years ago some poor guy getting hopelessly confused trying to get out of Greenhead on Hadrian's Wall and going in every direction trying to find the right way
Looks like former winner Tom Hollins has retired, and Eoin is closing on John Kelly.
I was just wondering whether Tom Hollins had retired or taken a wrong turn. The tracker doesn't say retired yet, but looking at his track, I would say you are right and he is heading to Hawes by car.
> I remember a couple of years ago some poor guy getting hopelessly confused trying to get out of Greenhead on Hadrian's Wall and going in every direction trying to find the right way
I remember that - it was horrendous to watch, although I think I provided my office mates with some entertainment!
> Yep, whilst it must be immeasurably worse for the poor runner knowing they've lost precious time and energy, it is indeed agonising watching it happening in real time from the comfort of my desk!
> I remember a couple of years ago some poor guy getting hopelessly confused trying to get out of Greenhead on Hadrian's Wall and going in every direction trying to find the right way
I was watching a poor women, Jacqui Burke I think, last night/this morning, appeared to have taken a wrong turn at Standedge (I know exactly where she may have gone wrong) and she was wandering around, up and down for over 2 hours and she only covered about 1.5 miles. Thankfully she appeared to have been picked up.
Looks like Eoin has overtaken John now, so the power nap didn't work - maybe he should have used the mat!
John Kelly's not the only one to seemingly double back for a while. About 1am last night Eugenio Sole lost about half an hour (was hot on the heels of John Kelly and then dropped into and out of the back of the chasing group) at Thornton-in-Craven when seemed to take a wrong turning onto the road and then doubled back a good mile past Brown House, before turning round again and getting back on course. It would be fascinating to know what was going on in both cases.
As if the weather wasn't soul destroying enough eh?!
On that note, Storm Brendan has definitely reached Bamford - it's bloody horrendous out there.
Glad I went for a run this morning...and that the run wasn't 268 miles long...
> I was watching a poor women, Jacqui Burke I think, last night/this morning, appeared to have taken a wrong turn at Standedge ...
Yes, saw that. I was amazed when she seemed to realised she'd gong badly wrong and turned round and started to climb back up the hill again. She was already ~10 km behind the next-to-last person. It was a relief to eventually see her reconsider and head back down to retire.
The back-marker in the Challenger (John Roberts) was also having a bit of a nightmare in the dark with several sessions of wandering around back and forth off-route and losing well over an hour. He seemed to have a decent rest a Gargrave, ploughed on but then retired at Malham. Must have been mentally shattering.
It's definitely 'interesting' up on the moors above Chapel at the moment, I dread to think what it's like on Penyghent. Hope the runners are all ok.
Even this morning Windgather was certainly living up to its name.
> Looks like Eoin has overtaken John now, so the power nap didn't work - maybe he should have used the mat!
Looks like that might have been a tracker signal blip: Kelly now shown ahead of Keith and the tracks suggest it been that way for a while.
I was really impressed that John Roberts went on beyond Gargrave. He'd been wandering around that one bit a few miles back for ages, was way behind everyone else and stood no chance of finishing. Poor bugger must have been out on his feet and it must have been really tempting just to stop.
Something definitely went wrong with Eoin's tracker. On my screen it showed him way behind briefly then suddenly up again. They seem to be basically running together now, Kelly a few yards ahead.
Just back, Sabrina Verjee looks to have left Hawes ahead of the group she was with and is now 6th overall.
> Something definitely went wrong with Eoin's tracker.
I think there is a low signal area somewhere south of that spot height at 562 just east of Thwaite. Eugeni, Jayson and Andre are in that area now and all their trackers have low signal icons on them - that's the same place as Eoin was shown to be when it looked like his was wrong.
Yes that's what I thought too. They reappear on the climb out of Thwaite, then it looks like there's another blind spot on the east side of Kisdon (unless John & Eoin have stopped, which seems unlikely!).
Just noticed there's a big group avoiding the top of Penyghent, maybe an official diversion because of the wind? Seems sensible in the conditions.
Yes, I had spotted that too - Jayson Cavill's tracker just jumped straight from the first of those blind spots into the second, and Eoin just jumped several km north - must be poor signal in that whole area.
I see what you mean - an official diversion there seems sensible. Guess we'll see what the next group does.
The dot kangarooing has obscured that somewhere in that blind area John's opened up a 2.5km lead. Maybe he wants a pint at Tan Hill ☺
The next guy has gone left at the bottom of the Penyghent steep bit too, so looks official.
And they're off into the night past some marvelously named features ...
Bill Gill being my renamed favourite
Kettlepot Haggs? Or how about the place just called The Bog? But if they get to your eponymous summit they're well off route.
Luke Viney has just proposed to his girlfriend on the finish line of the Challenger. There's always a good story on the Spine Race!
Has Andre Hook retired? Tracker shows him at Tan Hill, but if you look at his trace, it looks like he went off route, walked to a road and then travelled by car
Looks like it, doesn't it. I noticed he was on the road but hadn't seen the trace. Given he was 4th must be an injury of some sort? Hope it isn't serious.
Edit: He still usn't showing as retired though.
I'm keeping an eye on 116, Matt Brennan. https://www.ukclimbing.com/user/profile.php?id=148828
He finished the 'fun run' last year and seems to be making steady progress and is in good spirits.
Spoke to him earlier and he said they were being diverted around Penyghent.
I Think this happened last year as well.
Sprained ankle apparently ☹️
Bad luck. Hopefully he'll be back
> Edit: He still usn't showing as retired though.
He is now. I don't know exactly how it works, but Tom Hollins didn't show as retired for ages either, although he did show as sleeping. Maybe the athletes need to sign something off to confirm they retire before their status changes or something?
Maybe, or perhaps they don't show as retired until they hand their tracker in. Tough on him anyway.
Trackers aren't working too well this morning, but there has been an update on the Spine Race Twitter account: https://twitter.com/TheSpineRace/status/1217015812583759872
Edit: the leaders' trackers are connected again, it looks like Eoin Keith is possibly just ahead of John Kelly approaching High Cup Nick.
Looks like Eoin and John have emerged from the tracker black spot ahead of everyone else. Eoin is slightly ahead of John but not by much.
John's back in first by some distance, and Eugeni's closing the gap, hope Eoin's OK
I think John went very fast downhill to Dufton. It'll be interesting to see if the three of them leave together.
> I think John went very fast downhill to Dufton. It'll be interesting to see if the three of them leave together.
Injuries aside, it looks like it might turn into a fascinatingly tactical race in the latter stages. At least from an armchair perspective. Sleep or run?
Trackers are certainly iffy in that area. I thought John Kelly had major problems (well back in 3rd place) this morning, then noticed his position hadn't updated for more than an hour.
I was wondering how much rest they had last night.
looks like JK has had an extra hour over Eoin: https://twitter.com/TheSpineRace/status/1217015812583759872
The weather sounds really grim.
Big climb coming up, who's up to it?!
That's a well known black spot for mobile phone coverage, between Langdon Beck and High Cup. All trackers will go dark for a couple of hours there.
They'll have the wind behind them for the ascent at least, but will be pretty grim when they reach the ridge! Currently 0C and 48mph winds, has been gusting to over 60 and forecast to get worse.
Eugeni has overtaken Eoin on the ascent of Knock Fell. Eoin's hanging in there though. Their trackers are updating at slightly different times, so sometimes it looks like Eugeni is about half a km ahead and other times it looks like they are together.
Looks like EK lost about 24 mins on the climb up to Knock Old Man (relative to leader JK) and another 14 mins to Cross Fell. Struggling or saving himself?
Maybe a bit of both? Glad I'm not up there! This on Twitter from Pavel Paloncy: https://twitter.com/TheSpineRace/status/1217098569766854656?s=20
I'm thinking of Jayson Cavill (4th place), way out on his own at the top of Cross Fell, it's just got dark, presumably the weather is foul and it's a loooong way to Alston. I suppose it is mostly downhill though.
That descent of the Corpse Road, from Cross Fell, seems to go on forever. Even at the best of times.
... John Kelly has just arrived at Alston.
> ... John Kelly has just arrived at Alston.
...and left again!
He certainly isn't hanging about...
> ...and left again!
I’m speechless 😳
Has me man, Eoin, thrown in the towel?
Still asleep with JK with a rapidly increasing 7 mile lead.
Looks as though Jayson is about to get hot on John's heels... Following a similar strategy to John?
Anyone know what has happened to Sabrina? she has really caught my imagination battling it out on Cross Fell in this weather - but have lost her on the tracker. Awesome effort for all the competitors. P.s I am a novice race follower!
> Anyone know what has happened to Sabrina?...
Looks as though she's catching some very well earned Zzzzzzs at Greg's Hut; the bothy just beyond Cross Fell.
Her dot is currently buried beneath dot 151... So to speak.
I suspect they just had different strategies planned. I would be surprised if JK doesn't stop later on and Eoin should regain some ground at that point. From the brief chat with Eoin on Facebook when he arrived at Alston, he seemed pleased with his progress and it sounded like a stop was planned.
Looks like Sabrina is on the move again now
Thanks for that - I did wonder if she was there, but couldn't see the dot! I live nearby Cross Fell and am so aware of the foul weather, they are awesome. Greg's hut must be such a haven in the storm and no doubt she will be powering along soon - better forecast tomorrow.
Just checked in and it looks like Eugeni has retired.
I’ve just seen the update, alongside a pic of his feet, on Twitter - he has indeed retired, despite attempting to continue on beyond the checkpoint.
Just goes to show how hard it is out there. Be interesting to see if John Kelly’s tactic of never sleeping pays dividends in the long run, especially as the next two in line have both had some (albeit not much!) rest and there’s still some way to go.
Jayson is really moving, now only about 3 miles behind John. It's a really interesting race.
In the short videos of people arriving at Alston last night, Jayson actually looked quite fresh so I'm not surprised he's making up time on John.
Although John is looking in pretty good shape on the video that's just gone up on FB of him arriving in Bellingham!
Aye he's just ran into the checkpoint after 224 miles. Some effort!
Gutted for Eugeni. After having to retire so close to the finish I'm sure loads of people wanted him to make it this time.
Looks like Jayson Cavill has caught up with John Kelly at Bellingham. Could his tactics be paying off? A 50 mile sprint for the line?
Jayson's last 3 splits are all between 10 and 30 minutes faster than John's...
But where is she going at the moment?
Where is Sabrina going? She seems to be about half a km off the route to the west. Hope she's ok.
I guess this is potentially proof that John Kelly is indeed human and that sleep is indeed both necessary and beneficial (who'd have thought it?!).
Looks like he is on the move again now!
Yep, and Jayson just set off too, about a mile behind John.
Back on route now. Apparently it's quite easy to go wrong at that farm.
Looks like we're heading for a great finish!
Anyone else find themselves thinking 'it's only 40 miles day, seems achievable...'
Edited as I posted drivel that only showed me to be an idiot. If you saw it, shh!
Anyone know what the visibility is like? Can they see each other?
I doubt that Cavill has had sight of Kelly. The contours have been separating them.
Kelly is entering the forest now, and ought to be on for a quickish run in to Byrness, down the forestry roads. Cavill still has to contend with some remaining boggy ground.
You can 'walk' the Pennine Way route virtually on Google Maps. The following street view shows a short, sharp ascent, just beyond Padon Hill, that Cavill will soon face as he enters the forest:
Looks like JC is slowly falling behind JK. He was about half an hour behind leaving Bellingham, but now the gap is over an hour (entering the forest).
JK was making pretty fast time through the forest though - if it is easier going JC might be able to catch back up again there.
Looks like JK has just arrived at Byrness and EK has just arrived at Bellingham.
Edited to add that JK appears to have blasted straight through Byrness. Insane!
> JK was making pretty fast time through the forest though...
I timed them at the point when they both entered the forest just north of Gibshiel (JK=12:50, JC=14:00), so the time gap is real.
Has JC just bailed?! His tracker's jumped all the way down to the road.
Hmm, I think JC's tracker has just thrown a wobbler...
> Hmm, I think JC's tracker has just thrown a wobbler...
I was just posting to say the same thing... Does look like he could have bailed. I hope not!
Now showing at the CP. That's one hell of a glitch if he's not just been driven down there...
I see that JC took a different (quicker ?) route into the last check point than JK....I guess local knowledge can really help on some parts of the route.
just seen the comments above. So they all have to follow the same route?
Yeah, that's what I was thinking
> Anyone else find themselves thinking 'it's only 40 miles day, seems achievable...'
Its achievable for a non trivial number I would think, the real question is why would you if you'd be at the back/near the cut offs? Go back in summer and do it in ~25 mile segments with B&B's, proper sleep, daylight, food and actual time to enjoy.
Anyway back to the actual race and the finish
According to the splits, Cavill was an hour quicker from Bellingham to Byrness, and has been consistently quicker over each leg since Dufton. Fascinating stuff!
> just seen the comments above. So they all have to follow the same route?
Yes they have a gpx track to follow - mostly the official pennine way with a few tweaks to it. Any deviations can be penalised if they gain time.
Jayson's tracker is now showing "retired"
JC now showing retired!
Aww, what a shame
I can't believe it, thought we were on for a head-to-head during the final throes of the race.
Really goes to show how far they're pushing themselves.
Gutted for him!
Something must have gone bad around Bellingham - he slowed down a lot from there on.
From the official FB page:
"Devastating scenes in Byrness as Jayson Cavill is forced to retire.
It's a brave decision and the right one as an injury has slowed him to a point where it would have been too risky to head into the Cheviots tonight.
Jayson has shown his world class calibre over the last few days. As well as a friendly, energetic character at each checkpoint he enters, he is an immensely strong runner who we know we'll see on many a podium in the future."
> Something must have gone bad around Bellingham - he slowed down a lot from there on.
Cavill still had a considerably faster split for Bellingham - Byrness. He posted 4:48 to Kelly's 5:49.
... Having said that, he did seem to slow somewhat beyond Padon Hill.
just wondering if Kelly may get the course record. Looking at the montane site however confused me
this page states that the overall course record is held by Jasmin Paris 83..12.23 (which is what all the media reports say)
the 2015 race results however show two people - Pavel Paloncy and Eoin Keith beating that time. was the 2015 race a short course or something?
I don't think the split time for Bellingham to Byrness can be taken into account because on the tracker it looks like he was taken the last few km by car.
> I don't think the split time for Bellingham to Byrness can be taken into account because on the tracker it looks like he was taken the last few km by car.
Indeed; so it does... He must be gutted.
That split could not be real - he was slowing all the time into the forest, then suddenly appears at the control point. Love to know how that happened, could not have been on foot...
Edit: That explains it!
From the timing I suspect he bailed just after entering the forest (>1 hour down) and had transport to Byrness. It's unlikely he'd have run >2x faster than JK through the forest if he was injured.
Academic anyway. Phenomenal effort from JC, JK and the rest, whatever the result. Just gutted for those who get so close...
> just wondering if Kelly may get the course record. Looking at the montane site however confused me
> this page states that the overall course record is held by Jasmin Paris 83..12.23 (which is what all the media reports say)
> the 2015 race results however show two people - Pavel Paloncy and Eoin Keith beating that time. was the 2015 race a short course or something?
According to the website:
"Please note that the 2015 MONTANE® Spine® Race results are not for consideration for the course record/ overall rank, due to the significant changes of the race setup, and a major diversion for some athletes in the latter stages."
I'm afraid I cannot recall just what these changes were.
But I do now wonder what the biggest winning margin has been. Kelly is now a very long way ahead of Eoin Keith.
> I'm afraid I cannot recall just what these changes were.
The weather was so spectacularly bad that year (even by Spine standards) they had to divert round some of the more exposed sections including Pen y Ghent and Cross Fell, and even suspended the race completely for 24 hours at one point.
And if he finishes he should set a new men's record, if not the overall course record! The current being Eoin with 95:17:00
If you click on a checkpoint on the tracking map it will tell you what time the record holder got there, as well as when the checkpoint closes, and what time the last finisher got there last year.
So he was 4 hours outside the record at Byrness, and to break it he's got about 3 1/2 hours to cross the Cheviots...
15 hours 6 minutes margin last year surely likely the largest. 2nd place dropped out and Eoin was safely in third so taking it a little bit easier. Very like this year.
Jasmin was 15 hours ahead of Eoin last year, Eugeni was only a few hours behind Jasmin, but had to be carried off the course with only 4 miles to go.
> Its achievable for a non trivial number I would think, the real question is why would you if you'd be at the back/near the cut offs? Go back in summer and do it in ~25 mile segments with B&B's, proper sleep, daylight, food and actual time to enjoy.
That sounds expensive and tedious to me. Doing it in a week in winter sounds way more fun. Says irk from his warm, dry office with a cup of tea.
> ...... and Eoin was safely in third so taking it a little bit easier. Very like this year.
He's taking it so easy he might be overtaken whilst snoozing.....
He's woken up!
edit: No, back in bed!
He must be off soon. I am pretty sure they are only allowed half an hour at Bellingham.
If his last tracked time, 17:02, is when he arrived, he's well past that.
I wonder if he's waiting for the next three and finish the race with one or more of them, with the understanding he gets 2nd place?
It's what I would do. It must be grim going to the finish on your own tonight!
edit: back in bed
I believe Dufton usually has a 30 min limit as well, but they lifted it this year to allow people to pick a weather window for heading across Cross Fell. It's possible they extended that to all checkpoints, but I don't know for sure...
I suspect he'll leave more or less as Simon Gfeller arrives assuming he is awake. I can't see that sitting around waiting for others to do whatever admin they need when you are fuelled and rested and ready to go would be much fun either.
You can stay at the main checkpoints (Hebden, Hawes, Middleton, Alston, Bellingham) as long as you like. It's only the intermediate checkpoints that have the 30 minute limit
Ok, thanks. I was sure I saw a video of JK arriving at Bellingham on FB this morning where they told him he had 30 mins, but maybe that was Greenhead...
They were telling him he could only stay at CP5.5 Byrness for 30 minutes
Ah ok - thanks.
In other news, it looks like Eoin is on the move again!
Wow, John Kelly is really motoring across the Cheviots!!
> I suspect he'll leave more or less as Simon Gfeller arrives assuming he is awake.
Wow, he's moving! Only a couple of km from Hut2 already!
John Kelly arrive at Hut 2 at 2004. Superb effort
Looks like he's having a rest.
He's off at 2137. Good luck John on the last leg.
Looks like the race for third place could be interesting. Wouter, Simon and Sabrina all at Bellingham!
> Wow, John Kelly is really motoring across the Cheviots!!
Tail wind? Impressive stuff none the less.
Confession time: I like to zoom in to the max on my phone and it makes me happy to see someone's dot on the same screen as the finish
John Kelly is pixels away right now!
He's still motoring now, at this rate he'll finish in half an hour or so. Must be one of the faster Cheviot crossings on the Spine.
Soon going to be a fourth one at Belingham too, Huw Davies is only 1km away.
And he's in! Woohoo!
Yep, and now I can go to bed!!!
Good luck to those at Bellingham whenever they set out.
That's what I have been telling myself but now I'm waiting for Eoin to reach Byrness... Could be a long night!
Well holy shit - did he sleep at all?
And not withstanding all of that - Jasmin was quicker.
And he's finished. Well done John. Faster than anyone except Jasmin.
The bloody livestream went down, just as they were all shouting "Turn right! Turn right!..." at him. Seems that he went astray right at the end?
... Did he even make it to The Border Hotel? Is the poor bugger now backtracking along St Cuthbert's Way, even as I type, only to turn up bewildered in Melrose some time tomorrow!?!
At last I can go to bed. Bloody impressive running!
> At last I can go to bed. Bloody impressive running!
I watched Eoin get safely to Byrness, and was just about to go to bed when I noticed Wouter has made a dash for it from Bellingham ahead of the others...
Just a quick note to say that we've just published a newsflash now that John Kelly has passed the finishing line: https://www.ukhillwalking.com/news/2020/01/john_kelly_wins_the_2020_montane_spine_race-72178
A more thorough report will be coming out early next week, and we're already discussing how we can do more to cover the event for 2021. Thanks to everyone who's contributed to the thread so far, it's been a real rollercoaster!
You can stay in the main check points for a maximum of 12 hours and at on course monitoring points for a maximum of 30 mins. Due to the poor weather the 30 min restriction was lifted at Dufton and Malham for the later runners.
> A more thorough report will be coming out early next week, and we're already discussing how we can do more to cover the event for 2021. Thanks to everyone who's contributed to the thread so far, it's been a real rollercoaster!
Great stuff Rob and as a fellow addicted dot watcher it has been emotional! And it kinda puts my 17 day Pennine Way walk with my better half a few years back into perspective... ;-)
Is it me, but has some of the filming become really intrusive this year? Obviously we all want as much information as possible, but in some cases people have almost impeded the runners as they come up to the CP, then 'interviewed' them when it's clear they just want to eat and sort themselves out.
It's not just you. I remember watching Doug Zinis get ambushed, as he approached Hawes on his way to winning the Spine Challenger, and marvelling at his restraint in not hurling his annoying interviewer over the nearest wall... Also, the music on the videos has drowned out the racers when they've been trying to speak.
> And it kinda puts my 17 day Pennine Way walk with my better half a few years back into perspective... ;-)
I vaguely followed last year but it's definitely been more exciting this year having walked a bit of the PW this summer over the bank holiday weekend. It's a long time since I've really just gone out and walked - normally the walking is to get to a climb or a scramble that is the main thing - if I go out and cover distance, for a long time, it has been cycling or less regularly ski touring rather than just hiking. As a result I was wildly over optimistic in how far I might get in the time I had. I was thinking at first maybe I would be able to get up to the Yorkshire Dales, but actually came home from Hebden Bridge. My two full days were about 30 kms each day. I could have done more but it would have stopped being as enjoyable I reckon.
I think having done that puts into perspective just how amazing all the competitors are running it. Yes, there are no massive climbs, but there is plenty of up and down, and with weather we've had this week - it's just amazing. The other night (just on the edge of the Peak District national park) it sounded like our bedroom window was going to get blown in by the wind and rain - and they were all out up higher running through that!
Eoin has just finished. Another great race; consecutive 2nd places for him...
I enjoyed listening in to him chatting with John Kelly at the finish line. Eoin comes across as a really great bloke.
Great going Eoin - he does seem like a really nice chap, doesn't he?
Wouter and Simon seem to be running together. Wondering if they will settle for joint 3rd, or if one of them will make a sprint for it after Hut2?
Could be an exciting race for 3rd!
> Is it me, but has some of the filming become really intrusive this year? Obviously we all want as much information as possible, but in some cases people have almost impeded the runners as they come up to the CP, then 'interviewed' them when it's clear they just want to eat and sort themselves out.
Yes I agree. It's nice seeing the runners arriving at the CP but I don't see the need to ask them how they're feeling!
If anything, let them get in and do whatever admin they need to do (it's nice to see them arriving, but you don't need to interview them at that point), then grab a couple of words as they are leaving once they have everything sorted out.
You can see some of the runners (and JK is a very good example) obviously have a mental checklist of what they need to do when they get to a checkpoint and trying to deal with the questions is obviously disrupting his focus at a time when he is obviously cognitively compromised anyway.
They've gone straight through Hut 2 so I'm assuming there's no gentlemen's agreement!
> Could be an exciting race for 3rd!
They've gone past Hut2 and they are still together. I am wondering if they have come to a gentleman's agreement to take joint 3rd.
Ha, we obviously jumped to different conclusions from the same information - guess we'll have to wait and see!
Unfortunately I need to go to a meeting shortly so I'm probably going to miss it :/
Hope they have. For me one of the best moments in any of the Spines was the time a few years back when 5 of them finished jogging down the street at silly o'clock holding each others hands in the air after an all night Cheviot crossing. Brill.
> Great going Eoin - he does seem like a really nice chap, doesn't he?
He looks well pleased! https://twitter.com/TheSpineRace/status/1217800167388303361
As for Huw Davies, he looks like he's out on a gentle Sunday morning stroll, nevermind having already done 240 miles in 4 days in the conditions they've had and bugger all sleep. HARD!!!
Wouter and Simon are still together with less than 2 miles to go, surely they're going to finish tied for third place?
It'd be great if they took joint third place in a three-legged manner.
Now where is Sabrina off to? So close to the finish but moving very slowly, and in the wrong direction...
Yeah, just spotted that. Hopefully she's just trying to relocate herself...
Looks like she's got it together
She's yards away from the finish now! Must be amazing. Kelly looked sort of shell shocked when he got in.
And she's in. Must feel great to sit down!
I don't think there'll be any surprises for who comes 2nd within the women's category, but I'm going to throw it out there and say that 3rd place is all to play for.
Patricia Patterson got off to a strong start, but it appears to have taken its toll and she's started to slow within recent splits. On the flip side Nikki, who is currently in fourth, appears to be getting faster. Who knows whether it'll be enough, but I for one will be keeping a close eye on those next couple of splits!!
The excitement continues...
> Patricia Patterson got off to a strong start, but it appears to have taken its toll and she's started to slow within recent splits. On the flip side Nikki, who is currently in fourth, appears to be getting faster. Who knows whether it'll be enough, but I for one will be keeping a close eye on those next couple of splits!!
And from what was on facebook it appears Nikki might be carrying a medium-sized stuffed-dog soft toy and giving out hugs to all the supporters and safety people along the way. If she lets someone else carry the dog and gives a few less hugs, she'll be going even faster!
> It'd be great if they took joint third place in a three-legged manner.
And so they did, very heartwarming.
Patricia's on the move again now after a substantial rest at Bellingham so maybe she'll speed up again. She has a 6 mile lead with 45 to go. She gave me a nice grin when she went past me the other day so I hope she holds on (sorry Tom).
Great finishing line interview from Debbie Martin-Consani, interesting hallucinations!
Yes, that had me laughing out loud on the train this morning
Starting to see a number of navigational errors by spiners along and just north of Hadrian's Wall now - sleep-starved folk no doubt and my heart goes out to them.
It can be quite confusing round there at the best of times, lots of unmarked paths which are more obvious than the correct ones.
One pair took a detour to Houghtongreen bothy, presumably intentionally as they stayed for about 3 hours.
> It can be quite confusing round there at the best of times, lots of unmarked paths which are more obvious than the correct ones.
Indeed... The forest section, just north of the Wall, can be very boggy underfoot and it's easy to miss some of the paths even at the best of times.
The section across farmland, between the forest and Bellingham, has its moments also.
> One pair took a detour to Houghtongreen bothy, presumably intentionally as they stayed for about 3 hours.
You have to be careful with comments like that as that's how rumours can start. I'm disappointed with myself that when I saw their trackers heading off that way, my first thought was "I'm surprised they've got the energy".
Heart warming post of the week!
"Rev Velda Nicholson has popped up from Amble to drop off a little bag of treats for Steve Jones (177) who she met on a walk last January & she has followed his training and progress ever since. Wonderful gesture. Here she is with ace Checkpoint Team member Andy Hastie."
Brought a little tear to my eye!
Yeah, absolutely lovely - I love the way that farmers are leaving buildings open and leaving supplies for spiners as well.
I'll spend about the next week with my sound worm being the Spine daily report music.
Anyone else "suffer" with this?
Fiona and David. That confused me for a while. Fiona is a friend of mine, so been following her closely. I think they will push on through the night, over taking quite a few people who have had less rest than them.
> I'll spend about the next week with my sound worm being the Spine daily report music.
> Anyone else "suffer" with this?
Oh yes, all this week, all next!
Race seems on for the 3 back markers to beat the midday cut off time at Byrness - hope they do, although looks unlikely.
I believe two of them got an extra hour at Bellingham because of time lost earlier rendering assistance to another spiner. I assume that gets carried to Byrness as well.
Did they make it?
Hope so, looks like a beautiful day out there to be going over the Cheviots! (if it's like it here in Manc)
Yep all 3 made it and are starting the slow slog uphill.
Good effort by Matt, 116, over the line and probably enjoying his first pint sometime around now.
Whole thing looks absolutely brutal.
My eyes are now on the backmarkers Paul and Lisa who look like they've paused for some shelter at Hut 1 below Lamb Hill. They've got 12 (or 13 if they still have that extra one) hours to get to the end, so they should be ok.
If they can keep up the pace they've been doing the last 2 hrs they'll finish about 6am. Hope they make it.
> My eyes are now on the backmarkers Paul and Lisa
Same here. Would hate to see any of the final runners get timed out.
> Same here. Would hate to see any of the final runners get timed out.
It's going to be tight I think! Argh! I've got to go to bed and sleep, something they won't be doing.
Come on Paul and Lisa!
136 and 189 seem to be horriby lost, going slowly in almost exactly the wrong direction. Time is getting very tight for them if they don't sort it out soon...
I know, I've been watching them too. 164's getting caught up in it too. I do hope there isn't a pile-up of spiners all going off course following the first two.
It's horrible to watch, let's hope the last pair stay on track - but I think they are going too slowly, they must be struggling with tiredness or injury...
Looks like they are reversing their steps - still got a chance to finish, hopefully, but a couple of km wasted effort...
Not been following this but I'm fascinated from the comfort of my living room. 136 and 189 and now 164 and 101 seem to be 180° off at Windy Gyle. They might be backmarkers but they they would beat me easily.
101 as well, and the first two are still heading SW. Not looking good.
Looks like all are heading back now?
Yes. There's a path diverges up right from the PW where Windy Gyle steepens, and from the top of that the SE shoulder probably looks like the main ridge (in the dark anyway, only ever been up there in daylight).
Mike Churchard 128 seems to have missed the turning north of the Schil and is still heading along the border ridge. At least that one should be obvious quickly and downhill to correct.
It's even marked as the PW on the Landranger map!
Edit 00.26 He's sussed it and is heading down.
I was watching Lisa 101 earlier, she was just slightly over 1 mile per hour.
It's going to be a looooong night! You can do it guys and gals.
And Richard Whittaker seems to be randomly wandering round the south side of West Cairn Hill. They're all having fun up there!
It'll be flippin cold up there too. I'm standing in a car park at 400m because someone has parked their car blocking off my wifi router and it's pretty nippy here. Presumably much worse 200m higher up.
I've noticed in the three years I've been watching these nut cases, non of them ever nip up to the Cheviot.
This is unbearable! COME ON!
About a mile to go, 50 mins
It's tight.. 262 is my only concern, I think the others have it in their sights now, 101 picked up speed again.
So close, come on....
> And Richard Whittaker seems to be randomly wandering round the south side of West Cairn Hill. They're all having fun up there!
The tracker is reporting him as retired, not sure what happened, but if it's correct that is absolutely gutting.
Edit: oh, must have missed this: https://www.facebook.com/139587836128920/posts/2944956565592019/
(He's safe by the way, assisted off if you don't do Facebook)
They've done it! Just watched the live feed on FB, very emotional.
Congratulations to all the Spiners!
Episode 8 is a bit of a tearjerker (for me). The part with Thomas Legrain, wow! All the better for knowing he's completed it now. Amazing stuff.
What a finish. Fantastic stuff.
Yay, good on them. And still 15 mins to go. Well done the lot of them.
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