/ The Spine Race 2018
Awesome, I never knew about this race. I now want sum. Is it hard to get entry?
Good luck, Sharon! Will be there to watch the start on Sunday.
Think entry for 2019 opens next month, gazonk. It doesn't fill up quickly!
Thank you! Number 219 is aiming to entertain all the way to KY!
You'll be in my favourites list
Weather-wise it looks like you're getting a couple of decent days to start then monday night to tuesday night gets snowy.
Good luck, I'm impressed with anyone who enters this.
Goth the snowshoes packed!
Will be watching and if I'm around as you pass though Gargrave I'll be there to cheer you on again - though VERY glad to not be supporting Iain this year as a) no support allowed, and b) I'm making him go to Tenerife next week instead
Best of luck! I'm excited with the prospect of watching the dots moving slowly up my screen, can't imagine how exciting it must be to be actually competing! Fingers crossed for you!
Fair play, the ultimate adventure. If anyone has any strava links could you update the thread please?
Did I read this correctly? The Pennine away in 60 hours???
edit - or is it 7*24 = 168 hours?
It's 60 hrs for the Challenger Race, which started at 8 this morning and finishes at Hardraw in Wensleydale. Leaders are just coming up to the M62, which is nipping on a bit.
The main Spine racers start tomorrow and have a week to get to Kirk Yetholm.
Leaders are almost at Tod now, they're motoring!
They are going very quick. Challenger record could go this year; forecast is fine all the way until the leaders will finish mid morning to lunchtime tomorrow. I was only just crossing the Isle of Skye road this time last year!! We did have snow though
Current record for whole route is 65 hours. Done in 1989 but not in Winter!
Very disappointed, I live on the pennine way and this year they are not coming along it, instead using the road in the village......
> They are going very quick. Challenger record could go this year
I think you have just been proved right! Unless my maths is wrong, Wouter Huitzing has come first well under the 28 hour record! Amazing!
Pretty sure Simon Bourne in second place was also quicker than the previous record!
Great stuff... more to come I'm sure
Yeah, awesomely impressive just going through so quickly in that challenger race. Interesting start to the main race now too with that group heading out in front and Carol Morgan taking no prisoners so far...
Umm, so that I can follow the appropriate dot, what's Wonrek's name or number?
It's all very impressive, I'm sure plenty of psychologists would have a field day studying the participant's masochistic streaks
In her blog on her profile, Wonrek says "Shazza's adventures in the ultra running world.."
I think that narrows it down to one.
(and Wonrek gave her number earlier in the thread: 219)
That's quite some going, 108 hill miles in not that much over a day. Cracking stuff.
My club had a go at the relay record in our centenary year (1994), they did 34 hours and 15 minutes.
If that's the bit I think you mean, a few runners have taken the hypoteneuse of the Pennine Way section rather than the two sides of the road section. One of my MRT team-mates has done that, hope they don't get too badly penalised for it!
Ta, hadn't noticed her telling us her number
Woo, Wonrek, I can see your red dot! Go girl!!
My Central Beacons MRT team-mate Rob Smith has just won the MRT Challenger - massive congratulations to him!
Heavy rain in places tonight - I think the Challengers have been lucky with the conditions this year, think the full Spine racers will have classic Pennine winter weather now.
Sharon's just heading back out of Hebden Bridge CP. Go Wonrek!
I think Jim Mann got to the Challenger finish (Hawes) in just under 25 hours???
Unless I'm missing something, he appears to have run that faster than the winner of the Challenger (who was 25 hours 44 minutes)! Wow.
Great going that, isn't it. Just heard that Eugeni della Sole has dropped out, by the way, so only 2 of the Three Amigos left now.
Looks like they've dropped the climb up Pen y Ghent because of weather conditions.
I gather Eugeni dropped out because both his GPSs failed. A Pennine Way map (the Footprint one?) should have solved that (or pair up with someone?)
Bet it's pretty windy going up the front of it so maybe a good plan.
The pace this year is incredible. Jim Mann has really pushed it so far, hope he hasn't gone too hard too early.
Jim does seem to like going out hard, saw it on the Dragons Back the first day or two - but then he made navigational errors!
His thinking may be to go hard and get miles behind him before the weather turns really rough? All sorts can happen over these miles, terrain and weather, but hope he does it.
Yes, my thought was he's trying to get as many miles in before the weather turns.
He made a navigational error last night (but so did Eoin), there may be more to come!
It's amazing that the same people are up at the front year after year - you'd think once would be enough for anyone !
I remember last year Tom Hollins was quite a way back half-way through the race, but made it up at the end by the simple expedient of not sleeping until approx 56 seconds after reaching the finish.
Once again I'm just in awe of anyone doing this sort of challenge at any time of year, let alone mid winter
People on Penyghent now.
Nav has always been Eugeni's achilles heel; last couple of years he has basically shadowed Pavel for as long as possible so he didn't need to do any nav.
I took some photos on Laddow Rocks yesterday, here are the first four at that point:
Yes, one of the doctors told me more or less the same thing - and he made a foul up pretty soon after they split up too. Seems a strange thing for an Ultra runner to be poor at.
Nice pics, with the best bivvy spot in the Peak as a backdrop.
Looks like Jim's really blasting it out again, If the dots are right he's at Tan Hill and Eoin is still at Keld. Quite a big gap to open in a short time (they were nearly together at Thwaite)
I'm astounded by Jim Mann's pace. I thought he'd maybe pushed it too hard as he rested at Hawes and Eoin carried on through, but he sprinted away from CP2 and is back in the lead.
On the facebook live video Jim Mann looked fantastic running out of Hardraw, amazing.
I don't suppose he'll be able to maintain it but he must still be a good bet for breaking the race record.
He currently has a lead of around 4 miles, but the expression "It's a marathon not a sprint" has never been more apt.
Tom Hollins has only just left Hawes - 30 miles behind, but well rested perhaps
The obvious variety of different strategies makes for a fascinating race. That current lead pace is unbelievable and surely unsustainable but the way he's going at the moment Jim could have a really decent sleep around Dufton or Alston and still be in the lead!
That strategy paid off for Tom last year, so maybe again? The weather has to be the joker in the pack though, and I guess the further Jim's got before the snow hits tomorrow the more value his lead has.
Yes. Middleton is a little over halfway and he got there in just under 36 hours.
Jim Mann still looks fantastically fresh considering, and if there is proper winter weather you'd have to think with his multiple winter BG/PB/RR runs he has more winter experience than the other front runners.
Have just seen the weather forecast - not exactly pleasant tomorrow but Weds looks appalling.
Almost through 100 miles. Great stuff...keep going!!
Looks like some navigational errors up on top but I think the weather might be a bit appalling, probably white outs during any actual snow "showers".
Wonrek also seemed to be on a bit of a walkabout coming down into Horton.
From the comfort of our homes we can wonder how such easy mistakes are made but it's so easy to forget just how differently our brains (don't) work under extreme tiredness and appalling weather conditions. I take my hat off to all of them, nutters
I think Kate's earlier comment is right and the organisers were diverting people round Penyghent (although at least one person still went over it if the dots are right). It's pretty unpleasant when the showers hit the tops in the Peak at the moment and it seems to be worse further north, loads of credit to all those still running, good on them.
I'm just awe-struck by this ... never followed it before.
I was messaging yesterday with one of our guys who was on the MRT Challenger; he had to drop out at Hebden Bridge because of injury, but he said the pain from that distracted him from the nav. and he had a bit of a mare, getting lost. The combination of sleep deprivation, pain and weather conditions must be very debilitating. I think it was last year someone's tracker showed they got hopelessly confused trying to get out of Greenhead and tried every direction, losing a huge amount of time. It's vicariously painful also watching the struggle the competitors are fighting. I'm constantly in awe of them.
My husband did the Challenger last year in much more benign conditions and even then said that he was hallucinating on the final stretch along the Cam Road into Hawes. They're all utterly crackers - and the weather's much worse this year.
Looks like Jim Mann has retired whilst in second place, had been slowing down noticeably on the way into Alston and had been overtaken by Eoin Keith.
IIRC Keith was the guy who broke/sprained his ankle on Kinder last year, but still continued for some distance
Absolutely. Navigating in the dark in rubbish weather on bugger all sleep when totally knackered, it's a wonder any of them get there at all.
Jim Mann has just retired with an injury, incidentally. He's at Alston, "OK but unable to continue" according to FB. Real shame after such a great first half.
Looks like Eoin's race to lose now (or is it?)
PS Well done to Wonrek for making it to Hawes, well within a time that would have counted for the Challenger.
A real shame as Jim had really made the race upto this point.
Eoin broke a rib last year by falling and landing on his GPS which was hanging round his neck.
Now you know about it, you'll be following it every year unless you end up taking part.
It's very compelling.
I've got no work done all day as a result of watching this!!
I have discovered the Spine Race thanks to this thread and I hooked! Incredible effort by everyone involved especially with the current weather. Great Dun Fell, Cross Fell etc are in clear view from where I live and I keep nipping outside to see if the weather has cleared so I might see a torch up on the fells - very exciting.
That is the problem
A ridiculous event.
Go on then... Why?
Looks like Sharon's tucked up at Tan Hill according to the tracker. At least the next bits downhill...
Looks like she’s left the pub now - bet that took some effort !
She posted a video from the TH Inn on Facebook - she was looking pretty cheerful, the massive weirdo. Said conditions were 'hard'.
Tough cookie. Go Wonrek!
Lots of kudos to the bunch who crossed over High Cup Nick or Cross Fell last night too, must have been pretty nasty going.
Wonrek mentioned waist deep snow on Great Shunner Fell - any high ground must have been horrendous. Still, as the competitors keep saying in the Spine videos on FB, that's what they signed up for. I did wince at the thought of the chap who had to be chipped out of his iced-up shoes.
Waist deep snow is tough at any time, never mind in big winds in the middle of the night!
Bet John Knapp's hot aches must have been quite something - I once spent an hour walking round and round a friend's flat wincing with hot aches thawing out after an epically snowy trip out from Glen Affric (lost several toe nails in the end).
> Looks like Eoin's race to lose now (or is it?)
I think his lead is dwindling - down to c90 mins coming into Bellingham. Both he and PP are on the move now - the gap is just over 3 miles
Exit pursued by a bear?
Eoin seems to have turned around and is heading back towards Bellingham!
Trailbreaking must be hard. Is he waiting for Pavel?
I thought maybe that was what he was doing but they seem to have crossed paths without much of a pause. He should be back at the CP soon, I guess we'll find out then
This was just posted on Pavel's FB page: " Pavel Paloncý made 18 minutes long stop at CP5 Bellingham. At the moment he met Eoin Keith - Athlete heading back to CP5 he said "for safety reasons" without any detailed information (maybe he forgot some gear???). For Pavel it means he is the firtst runner in the race since now on! He is feeling well, had a couple of problems during the night - by accident he reseted his GPS, then his map was blown away so he was just using his cell phone to navigate through the plains and swamps covered with snow. But now he is feeling well and want to push hard all the way to the finish line. If everything goes well, he could be there around midnight (GMT)."
He nipped back for his snowshoes (apparently a necessity for this bit) and is back out again.
Glad it wasn't an injury. Wonder if this tactical decision will pay off?
> Glad it wasn't an injury. Wonder if this tactical decision will pay off?
What's an extra 7 miles in a race of 270 !
Poor bloke must be kicking himself
> Wonrek mentioned waist deep snow on Great Shunner Fell - any high ground must have been horrendous. Still, as the competitors keep saying in the Spine videos on FB, that's what they signed up for. I did wince at the thought of the chap who had to be chipped out of his iced-up shoes.
On the plus side Tom Hollins found a Greggs open en route for sustenance.
I have the Pie eating side of training covered, so it's only zero fitness and lack of mental and physical toughness that's holding me back from entering next year...
> Wonrek mentioned waist deep snow on Great Shunner Fell - any high ground must have been horrendous. Still, as the competitors keep saying in the Spine videos on FB, that's what they signed up for. I did wince at the thought of the chap who had to be chipped out of his iced-up shoes.
And they are certainly not going to be disappointed in Northumberland over the next 24 hours. Conditions are currently "difficult" at the moment up these parts, and judging from the forecasts, are going to become "very difficult" overnight. Driving around Alston Fell is currently "interesting and entertaining", and will be very "interesting and entertaining" in the forecast heavy snows and high winds.
Pavel's girlfriend has just posted that he is in waist deep snow on the approach to Padon Hill. Given how tall he is, that is going to be chest deep for some of the competitors!
Sounds like Eoin's snowshoes could pay off.
indeed! It seems Pavel has also continued over Padon Hill instead of following the diversion at this point which is going to cost him some serious time!
So now it's Eoin chasing the Bear, is Eoin Greg Boswell in disguise?
Is that a GPS error or is Eoin heading back down again?
looks like Eoin has been picked up in a vehicle and returned to the Bellingham checkpoint
I've just seen an FB post saying kit check fail disqualification for two people - not sure if he's one of them.
I think (though not 100%) that this will be two competitors who have been stopped from leaving Dufton because they don't have goggles.
That would make sense. Another FB post says Eoin's out - from a friend working on the event. It would seem surprising for someone of his previous experience to fail a kit check.
yes, I would be very surprised that he would risk that.
I've been working on the safety team too, but have had to return to work for some meetings. I'm here in body, but concentration levels are pretty low right now!
Here's the video of Eoin in the car - exhaustion: https://www.facebook.com/TheSpineRace/videos/1796684193752601/
Eoin has been quoted as saying "I didn't want to cause a safety problem".
Conditions are obviously atrocious.
On the plus side, looks like Wonrek's reached Middleton in plenty of time for the 8pm cut off.
Sensible man. They're all mad for doing it, but I hope they all remain safe.
Absolutely. I'm hugely impressed with the lot of them.
Why not have rule that you have to wear shorts, or do it on a pogo stick. Such events are less about athletic ability and more about wanting to do 'harder' or 'harder' events. When does that end ? This notion of being 'hard' seems ever pervasive and all about 'bragging rights' - as an athletic event it seems pointless.
There's also an undeniable aspect about the expense of such events, both in the entry fees (which cover the safety teams etc) and the amount of kit required.
> There's also an undeniable aspect about the expense of such events, both in the entry fees (which cover the safety teams etc) and the amount of kit required.
Eoin comments on his blog that he is glad that the Spine race is unsupported this year - I guess this does even the field a little from a cost perspective:
"From an overall race perspective there are few notable differences this year. The first is that the race is now entirely unsupported, with no-body allowed their own support crew. I’m all in favour of that, as there was a danger of a support crew arms race breaking out, which would have made the race a very expensive proposition indeed."
Strikes that it's not an "athletic event" but an "endurance event" in which mental toughness (aka sheer stubbornness) counts more than athletic ability. I don't see any of these amazing endurance feats we see now as being about bragging rights - it's more a question of people starting to realise that whilst they can't necessarily go much faster, they can can go much much further. It's a classic human trait taken in a different direction
I hope Pavel manages to see it through (and win), he's one big, tough guy, must have one hell of an engine to drive that body of his. Possibly an advantage in these conditions, strength not speed will be needed to reach the finish.
I'd seen other discussions along those lines. There's still the matter of £750 entry fee and probably £1000+ on kit (if one is a first timer at this distance/scale) - as a friend pointed out today, competitors might spend £100 on lithium batteries alone. Small fry compared to e.g. cycling, but a limited playing field nonetheless.
I rather suspect that having to retrace his steps broke him mentally - or rather was the final straw. Very hard to take something like that in your stride (no pun intended)
I could see at as a reasonable summer event - but holding it winter just seems to add nothing - other than a perceived 'hardness' factor. Would the result be much different if the same field raced in the summer ?
A summer event would have a broader appeal, both to participants, the media and an audience.
Re mental toughness - any sporting event requires mental toughness / stubbornness. I'd suggest it's probably harder to train and complete a sub 2'30 marathon than this daft event !!!!
If the competitors in this event want to decide who is the toughest why not just sit and poke pins in each others eyes !
That said each their own :/
If you accept the notion that people might like to attempt things which they find so difficult that they might not succeed; and if you accept that some people will have developed a very high level of fitness and endurance, such that it takes an event like the Spine Race to challenge them, then it's actually not ridiculous at all.
Just because you are incapable of something, that doesn't mean to say that the other people who are capable of it are ridiculous.
I'm not sure what gives you the impression I'd be incapable of such an event, which isn't relevant to the discussion anyway .
Equally there's no reason why someone couldn't attempt a Pennine Way winter record as an individual - just as happens with the Bob Graham / Paddy Buckley etc. That's an entirely different thing than an organised event / race.
> A summer event would have a broader appeal, both to participants, the media and an audience.
There is a summer event - the Spine Fusion: https://thespinerace.com/events/2018/1/14/montane-spine-race-5gsj5-86ezg-cwbl4
> I'd seen other discussions along those lines. There's still the matter of £750 entry fee and probably £1000+ on kit (if one is a first timer at this distance/scale) - as a friend pointed out today, competitors might spend £100 on lithium batteries alone. Small fry compared to e.g. cycling, but a limited playing field nonetheless.
Yes, racing on this scale is a little different in terms of cost from the 10 km and half marathons that I do.
Actually it is a little different in terms of, well, everything!
You don't need to spend anything like that amount on kit. Well, maybe if you've never stepped outside a city before but for most outdoorsy people they will already have most of what is needed. Think I spent £7 on lithium batteries for the challenger last year!
Interestingly they put on the same event in summer for the first time last year and it got far fewer entrants than the winter event. The photos and videos of Spiners coming through the snow in winter has captured the imagination of many. Obviously not you though!
My husband did the Challenger last year too - already had a lot of kit but did need more. Didn't spend that much but not far off (v. fancy lightweight winter sleeping bag mostly to blame, also used on bikepacking trips...). He's a gear freak though.
It is an aside, as he says, but Henry's the wrong man to level accusations of inadequacy at. He's done more than most on this site...
> I could see at as a reasonable summer event - but holding it winter just seems to add nothing - other than a perceived 'hardness' factor. Would the result be much different if the same field raced in the summer ?
> A summer event would have a broader appeal, both to participants, the media and an audience.
> Re mental toughness - any sporting event requires mental toughness / stubbornness. I'd suggest it's probably harder to train and complete a sub 2'30 marathon than this daft event !!!!
> If the competitors in this event want to decide who is the toughest why not just sit and poke pins in each others eyes !
> That said each their own :/
Do you think Usain Bolt slags off 2:30 marathoners for just jogging round a pointlessly long and hard course...?
I'm not 'slagging any one off' and I've no issue with ultra distance events - UTMB, Lakes Ultra, etc etc - but there comes a point when event organisers are after the 'world's toughest tag' that things become so contrived and niche as to be irrelevant.
As I said previously each to their own.
I get what you’re saying, it’s just that contrived and niche is all relative. Is climbing an E8 to get to the top of the crag contrived, if you could go up a VDiff instead? Or is climbing contrived full stop, if you could walk around the back of the crag to get to the top? Trying to run the Spine in the winter is just one variation on the challenge of trying to run it in the summer.
As for the race progress, just saw it was suspended, presumably due to weather. Which seems quite a shame given that bad weather is pretty much an essential part of the race! I remember a few years ago there was an issue where they were making people stop and wait in a van midrace due to weather. I’m always tempted by this race but really wish they’d sort out these sorts of issues and most likely won’t enter until they do. There are races that go through far worse weather, so it’s not as if stopping the race is required.
> I’m always tempted by this race but really wish they’d sort out these sorts of issues and most likely won’t enter until they do. There are races that go through far worse weather, so it’s not as if stopping the race is required.
That's interesting - what do you reckon their reasoning is, given that, as you say, other races carry on?
I don’t really know; could be any combination of having bought a bit too much into their own hype and convinced themselves that the weather is at the edge of extreme, poor communication among the organizers leading them to err on the side of safety, a strong fear of having an “incident “ that requires mountain rescue, a lack of confidence in the sufficiency of their required kit list, and/or...??
Looks great fun if/when the race actually goes off without a hitch though!
The race organisation need to consider the safety of both the racers and also all the support staff and safety teams. It won't be a decision that was made lightly. Either myself or friends have been involved in every running of the Spine and I think this is only the second time it has been paused, the other being in 2015.
They do need to consider everyone’s safety, but the time for considering that is before the event begins. If they can’t have a proper plan in place for bad weather, which is all but guaranteed, then they shouldn’t be offering places in the race. I thought the decision to have racers stop and wait in a van (not sure if that was 2015 or a different year) was especially poor. The fastest way to give a cold wet runner hypothermia is to have them stop motionless in a van for a few hours and then get going again!
That’s not to say that I think putting on a race like this is easy; I know it’s not. But for the stakes involved, it needs to be done right.
The event has kept me entertained whilst I've been in bed with the flu.
Addictive dot following in the gaps at work in my case. Get well soon. Give me a buzz if you fancy a hill night once you're recovered.
What evidence do you have that it isn't being done right? As a past competitor, and with one of my best friends currently at the top of Cross Fell, I have every confidence in the decisions that the organisers are making.
You need to look at the race from the perspective of the organiser, who has a duty of care to every participant and helper and in the event of a tragedy, their every decision will be questioned and require explaining.
I don't know the area of the race nor current conditions (I'm in Wales with not a hint of snow) but gather they are grim and forecast bad. Whatever equipment contestants are carrying for conditions there is a limit to how long it would protect them in event of an accident when immensely tired and drained.
If they have an accident (or simply bonk and go hypothermic) they have to be extracted. The organiser has to know this is possible within a reasonable time, can the MRT reach them, are roads going to be closed to snow, will it endanger MRT volunteers?
All this has to be considered. I've done some marshalling, including 3 Dragons Backs and race organisers have my utmost respect, it's a tough job always under scrutiny.
I’m guessing you are too young to remember the fastnet disaster.
Given the reported conditions on the ground, the terrain and the weather forecast for the next few hours, sounds to me like a very sensible decision to pause the race for a few hours.
> I’m guessing you are too young to remember the fastnet disaster.
The one where Ted Heath ran aground at the Tan Hill Inn?
Rob and Moley, all of what you bring up are important considerations, and all of those considerations can and should be addressed *before* putting on an event of this type.
Absolutely agree that it’s a tough job.
The weather is bloody awful up here at the moment, and im not even up in the hills (lower weardale). Hill forecast overnight is for heavy snow, winds of 45 - 60mph, wind chill -20 to -25. I wouldn't fancy it much...........
> Rob and Moley, all of what you bring up are important considerations, and all of those considerations can and should be addressed *before* putting on an event of this type.
> Absolutely agree that it’s a tough job.
Don't think anyone is disagreeing with you in principal. Hindsight of every conceivable outcome is always easier afterwards though
> the reported conditions on the ground, the terrain and the weather forecast for the next few hours,
It’s January in the Pennines. If you’re stopping your race because of this, it means you didn’t prepare properly. I know that sounds harsh but being a race director is a particularly hard job.
I think you'll find these issues were addressed before the event was put on. The organisers would have risk assessed for just this eventuality and have put their plan for it into action now. Not quite sure what you're getting at. If you read the race rules you'll see this is exactly what they said would happen if the weather was as extreme as this.
The cynic in me will tell you that nobody makes any money out of the Bob Graham or Paddy Buckley. On the other hand, despite dabbling in ultras, I’ve no real interest in this event, but plenty people are interested, otherwise it wouldn’t happen.
So .. what happens now? The race clock is still running, everyone catches up with each other at the check points... then they all set off again when it re-starts?
Just seen on Facebook that Wonrek is running this to raise funds for Cornwall Search and Rescue. If you fancy supporting her, here's the linky!
In terms of the race being suspended - there's a good number of them sheltering in Greg's Hut, should imagine it's quite snug in there!
> I'm not 'slagging any one off' and I've no issue with ultra distance events - UTMB, Lakes Ultra, etc etc - but there comes a point when event organisers are after the 'world's toughest tag' that things become so contrived and niche as to be irrelevant.
Kind of agree about the whole 'world's toughest' thing, but I really don't think that's what attracts most of the competitors or, indeed, most of us admiring armchair spectators. To me it isn't at all a contrived challenge; it's actually very pure. Start at one of the Pennine Way (a splendidly pure route in itself) and get to the other as quickly as you can; not having support adds to the purity of it. There are plenty of ultras that seem much more contrived not least because you could absolutely do them individually with a minimum of support, if you so wished. But this would actually take plenty of support to set up individually given the end-to-end logistics of it.
I'm not aware of any other event in Britain (not that I'm an expert mind) that gets the same level of interest even though they may well have been going longer and I don't think that's just because of the endurance difficulty. Doing it in winter just makes it more compelling because it adds the uncertainty of completion and tests the competitors' mountaincraft all the more. Sorry, long reply.
Race starts again at 0600
more dot watching
I'd say the weather is a tad worse than normal. The road closures over the previous 48hrs don't happen every week in January, every year.
They will have been in touch and taken advice from all the mrts en route, just to eliminate any false call outs from the public reporting lights on the hills etc..
Unless you change the route, your road crossings and CPs are set in stone. I'd say they've done a reasonable job in what is an 'adventure' race. I'd reserve judgement and speak to some people next week who are currently racing it.
Tom Hollins has a 3 hour penalty for a 'kit discrepancy'.
Here's a shocker - one of my husband's friends, who's competing, posted that someone turned up at (I think) Greg's Hut last night and, yes, asked to borrow a sleeping bag. Because obviously someone else might have been carrying a spare, just in case...! I think they might have been disqualified...
Nearly, he was able to stand to, but only by tossing a couple of big buoys off the leeward side.
Details? I thought missing essential gear usually means disqualification. Time penalties are usually to redress where there's been an unfair advantage.
And does that get added on at the end or does he have to stand around for 3 hours?
Looks like Pavel is still at the checkpoint- anyone got a clue as to why ?
> I'd say the weather is a tad worse than normal. The road closures over the previous 48hrs don't happen every week in January, every year.
Fair understatement, there, Summo.
Seems a fair judgement call halting proceedings overnight, as the weather up these parts last night was really, really bad. Drifting snow, 45 - 60mph winds, wind chill below -20, terrible underfoot. Much calmer this morning, more snow looking VERY likely, but very light winds only and temps back up at about +2 (in towns lower down at least).
Dunno. He's set off with the other two, so must have to make it up and arrive over 3 hours before everyone else to win.
No details about the missing kit on the Montane feeds. Spare undies?
> Looks like Pavel is still at the checkpoint- anyone got a clue as to why ?
Just lazy ;-)
The others will take a while to reach byreness through fresh snow, so maybe getting the zzz's in and scoffing everything in sight. He's away now though.
Pavel's going to be trailbreaking over the tops and with the next 2 only 9 miles behind (with one+3hrs), working together, there's still a race on.
Held for a "kit discrepancy" for 3 hours apparently.
You can take the penalty when you like - he's had an extra 2 and three quarters hours in bed, and apparently will take the final 15 mins at the end added on to his time.
Tom Hollins got a 3 hour time penalty as well. I'm assuming that these elite runners are doing it deliberately and gambling on getting that extra distance between themselves and other competitors?
Wow, that's crazy. My mate was in the gang in Greg's Hut last night too, I'll have to ask him about it.
Shocking that someone would show complete disregard for the race rules over such a critical and potentially life-saving piece of equipment
> Fair understatement, there, Summo.> Seems a fair judgement call halting proceedings overnight, as the weather up these parts last night was really, really bad. Drifting snow, 45 - 60mph winds, wind chill below -20, terrible underfoot. Much calmer this morning, more snow looking VERY likely, but very light winds only and temps back up at about +2 (in towns lower down at least).
I think if they'd had the weather of the previous 364 days, they wouldn't have to pause the event. Pause, not cancel or abandon, which says something about the competitors, Marshalls and general event planning. At a time when at sea level the police are telling folk not to go outside and teachers across the NE are trapped in their houses (but that's another thread).
> Dunno. He's set off with the other two, so must have to make it up and arrive over 3 hours before everyone else to win.
Looks like he has dropped out now anyway - full of twists and turns this year!
Wasn't sure if his tactic would be to wait for others, let them share the work, and then hope to be freshest when it came to the final few miles.
Yup - I know for the Challenger last year, my husband was having this argument with a friend who also did it about the level of kit required, and husband's thought was that if (even on the much shorter course) one was to get caught out at night on the tops, you'd want to know you could survive it. Hence the fancy sleeping bag I mentioned further up. His friend, who was a bit more devil may care last year, is fully kitted up this year, and is one of the people who carried on from Greg's hut. He's a bit of a machine but apparently he's 'suffering a bit' today.
Another 2 folk have been given the 3 hour penalty. Do you know what bit of kit they are all missing ?
I think that there's been some debate about what constitutes 'goggles' and that Bolle safety specs, whilst fast n'light, aren't quite going to cut it for blizzard conditions. That's speculation (spec-ulation! see what I did there? <ahem>) though.
Indeed. Even 10 days ago it was fairly benign up here, very little snow, no ice, but it changes a bit quickly, and the weather that went across last night was particularly nasty, but over a defined and well predicted time window. For trail running/ winter walking, its actually not bad today; the ski tows in teesdale will be good to go, so for me, the organisers have made a pretty obvious and sensible call to pause the race. Since the weather was always predicted to be ok today, it would have been over the top to call it off completely.
Will be good to see the reaction of the competitors, but I cant see many of them being too upset. The organisers do appear to know what they are doing.
They've detailed the revised cutoffs, I think Wonrek is going to find it tough to make them all.
Hopefully the enforced stop has given everyone a big rest and the ability to go far with little sleep.
Good luck, keep on plugging away.
> I think that there's been some debate about what constitutes 'goggles' and that Bolle safety specs, whilst fast n'light, aren't quite going to cut it for blizzard conditions. That's speculation (spec-ulation! see what I did there? ) though.
Apparently there's a lot of bad feeling at the moment, particularly with some of the French entrants. Some have passed 2 mandatory inspections only to be threatened with disqualification or penalised at this point.
I expect it's a tough call for the inspectors/organisers. Given someones come a long way and paid a fortune one inspector might be persuaded that the very light eyeshield on a bit of elastic is a pair of goggles at the start when conditions are good, but down the line another one has to stop them going out with inadequate kit if the weather turns really bad.
Yeah, it's going to be really tough for that group at the back, but you could be right about the rest. Pavel's going up the Cheviots really quickly - wonder if he'll be able to sustain that pace at the top!
New cut off times
CP4 (Alston)- 0400 Friday 19th Jan CP5 (Bellingham) - 0400 Saturday 20th Jan CP5.5 (Bryness) - 1200 Saturday 20th Jan - No Change Finish - 0800 Sunday 21st Jan - No Change
I guess it all depends on how deep the snow is - Pavel seems to have been really slowed down - 2 miles in about 90 minutes.
Aye, have done. Used to climb down in Cornwall a lot in the 90s, but it's a long way from my present hangouts. Never actually needed them but came across them training a few times.
I've got addicted now! it's quite a big ask for the group at the back (including Wonrek) to get over Cross fell and down to Alston by four o'clock tomorrow morning especially if it's waist deep in snow.
It looks like they're grouping up for mutual support.
> It looks like they're grouping up for mutual support.
Taking turns breaking trail?
Would make sense, plus the psychological plus of "all being in it together". As said above though, still a tough ask to make Alston for 4am in the drifts.
Pavel seems to have speeded up recently, maybe the Cheviot skyline is wind scoured and a bit easier going than lower down?
> Taking turns breaking trail?
Or moving around like penguins, each taking a turn on the outside of the huddle, exposed to the wind.
It must be a daunting prospect but it looks like Wonrek is giving it a go!
Looks like she's set off up Cross Fell in a group of 4. It's only 20 miles to Alston, how hard can it be.....
I think wonrek has a fair chance of making the cp4 cut off, her group has 12 hours to do Dufton to Alston and the last person across took 10. Hopefully there is a good trail in the snow now! Won't leave much time for sleep at cp4 though
Mass exit from Dufton. Good luck to them.
Pavel is really scooting along the Cheviot ridge now.
Sccoting ? By my reckoning 9 miles has taken him 6 hours - must be pretty tough up there
> I think wonrek has a fair chance of making the cp4 cut off, her group has 12 hours to do Dufton to Alston and the last person across took 10. Hopefully there is a good trail in the snow now! Won't leave much time for sleep at cp4 though
Don't you have to leave the CP by the cut off time rather than just reaching it?
I'm watching someone else and thinking that it is going to be tough to get out of Alston by 4am tomorrow.
Yes, I bet it's still tough going out there, but he has definitely speeded up after Windy Gyle (3hrs for the last 10k I reckon). My guess is that he's got onto more wind scoured ground on the open ridge. Either that or he can already taste the beer in KY?
I've never been so invested in markers on a map before! Right now there's a huddle of six on top of Great Dun Fell, which I can well imagine will be a pretty hellish place to be right now, and Cross Fell to do.
Good luck to them all.
Pavel about 1k from the finish, and moving quite slowly - I hope he has a warm welcome and a nice cup of tea when he finishes.
Just watching Wonrek's dot ... go Wonrek, we are so proud of you!! Blimey that's a long way to Alston through the dark in the snow...
Pav is there! What a guy and huge congrats to him and respect to the rest of the guys and gals still on the move!
Well done to Pavel, quite some effort over the last few days. Has to have been one of the tougher finishes of the race.
Bet Wonrek and Carlos and the others will be glad of Greg's hut. Nearly there but judging by their speed it must be horrendous going up there. Good on them, hope they're all ok.
Trouble is they aren't going to be able to hang out there because of the 4am cutoff in Alston. I have so much admiration for the superhuman efforts of the winner and leaders. But no less for these athletes 'at the back' who are keeping on keeping on.
How far is it from Greg's Hut to Alston?
Its 7 miles from Gregs Hut to Alston.
Thanks. I've just plotted it though, on the OS maps thing, and it is 10 miles, albeit all flattish or downhill. Five hours to do 10 miles, in the dark, cold and knackered. I wonder what the going is like.
> Either that or he can already taste the beer in KY?
Great pic on Twitter of him enjoying a pint - very well deserved!
I've just seen Sharon/Wonrek's Facebook live video - she looks very determined to keep within cutoffs and finish. Apparently they have a plan!
It's a nailbiter, the going must be very hard.
It's gonna be tight. Come on, Wonrek and co!
just woken up. Wonrek made it with 7 seconds to spare! Is that right?
> just woken up. Wonrek made it with 7 seconds to spare! Is that right?
Not sure. I thought the cutoff was to leave by 4A.M, not arrive? Tracker shows her still at the CP, although board shows her still in the event.
Edit: She looks to be in the Village not the CP. Away with seconds to spare and had a rest after the CP?
Come on Wonrek!
She's definitely on her way on her way out of Alston now. Cool!
Looks like she's on her way North again? Is that right- 2 minutes rest and off? (Snuggles back under duvet)
A tremendous effort but the next leg looks impossibly tight. No-one in the groups ahead has managed it in a time as fast as she needs. Maybe the conditions have improved?
edit: unless their times include the pause?
Amazing effort! Seems like only wonrek and one other made it. Next cut off is 4am at Bellingham. The next bit to Greenhead is a horrible slog too.
Yes, definitely heading north.
> just woken up. Wonrek made it with 7 seconds to spare! Is that right?
That was great news to wake up to. Go on Wonrek!!
> Thanks. I've just plotted it though, on the OS maps thing, and it is 10 miles, albeit all flattish or downhill. Five hours to do 10 miles, in the dark, cold and knackered. I wonder what the going is like.
Yeah, mine was a lazy google effort rather than actual plot. I thought 7 was a bit short......
I suspect that the going underfoot isnt too bad - the path itself up there is generally ok (old mine tracks etc, and they can do the last few miles on tarmac. Temp is way to low for any slush, so with spikes or similar it should be ok. He says from a computer keyboard having not slogged up from Edale in grim weather...........
Yeah, 7 seconds! And she seems to be moving north towards Hadrian's Wall reasonably well. Can't believe the mental and physical stamina this is requiring.
Another 5 out and moving behind them now.
Interesting to watch Phil Clarke who I know as something of a master tactician from old rallying days. Is he struggling or is he taking extra time to refuel?
Yes, looks like she's managed 9 miles from Alston in a bit over 3 hrs - not bad for snowy terrain having had 12 hours struggling through drifts overnight! (as well as all the previous 150+ miles)
I'm impressed with the pace they are making towards Greenhead (on one of the worst bits of the PW, it's such a slog!). If they can keep it up it's still game on.
Looks like Wonrek has reached Greenhead and now has 13 hours to cover the 22 miles to Bellingham
I do hope someone's told her how many of us are tracking her progress and willing her on !
> Exit pursued by a bear?
I've only just got that joke !
Looks like she has just headed straight through Greenhead without stopping for a rest. Going well, hopefully there's a bit of a track along the Wall by now as well.
(apologies for my corny sense of humour, but couldn't resist it)
I'll post on her FB page. She's properly got her head down - go Sharon!
Love the story about two of the runners who weren't going to make the Alston cut off time being taken in by some Garrigill villagers who had been dot watching, given breakfast and a lift to the checkpoint.
It's taking people 10-11 hours to get from the start of the Hadrians Wall section where they are now to CP5 at Bellingham. So it's doable but leaves precious little time for sleeping!
How comes the guy who's currently lantern rouge wasn't pulled? He arrived at Alston after some others who were pulled.
Must be some reason, anyone know what the story is?
Re: Wonrek, my previous pessimism about the cutoffs may have been misplaced, maybe she's going for a negative split race
Hopefully she'll make it the whole way but I suspect she might end up being a tad tired.
> Re: Wonrek, my previous pessimism about the cutoffs may have been misplaced, maybe she's going for a negative split race
It's a bit like watching cricket - her required run rate is is now 18.5 in 12 hours (and then 13 in 8)
I read something on FB that others in Wonrek's group into Alston had been pulled from the course at Langdon Beck when they paused the race, then taken back to Middleton CP by car. When they restarted they had to start from Middleton again (perhaps the road back to where they were pulled was impassable due to snow? Don't know). These people were (so the rumour goes) given additional time at Alston to compensate for this. Not sure that really helps them as presumably they still have to meet the next cut off at Bellingham which will be very tough.
My understanding is that even if people are timed out, they can still continue under their own steam, unsupported and with no safety cover. It's a free country after all...
Wonrek is 15 miles from Bellingham, for which the cut-off time is 136 hours. By my reckoning she has to be there by 3:30am, which seems like an odd time. Is that right? If not, how do I work it out, or find it?
This was on the Spine FB page yesterday at 11am after the overnight pause:
OFFICIAL UPDATE: New cut-off times have been issued to checkpoints and are being communicated to all runners. These are:
CP3 - 0630 Thursday 18th Jan
CP4 - 0400 Friday 19th Jan
CP5 (Bellingham) - 0400 Saturday 20th Jan
CP5.5 - 1200 Saturday 20th Jan - No Change
Finish - 0800 Sunday 21st Jan - No Change
Just over 13 miles in just under 10 hours - she's made quite good progress along the wall I reckon. I'm guessing she might even have time for a couple of hours sleep
Carol Morgan just finished. 8th place overall.
Really amazing run by Carol Morgan.
Yep, Wonrek has to be out of Bellingham by 4am. Her group's just making the left turn off Hadrian's Wall to head into Barbaricum!
They look like they're making good progress.
> Carol Morgan just finished. 8th place overall.
Less than two hours off 4th place. Amazing.
They have 12 miles left to Bellingham; at current pace they should have time for a couple of hours sleep before getting out again for 4am
Woo, past Hadrian's Wall! Must be SOOOO tired!!!
It astounds me how they manage for so long on so little sleep.
10 miles to go now, 8 hours left. At the pace since your last post, arrival at Bellingham would be 1:30-1:45 am. And they are just about to get 6-7 miles of gradual descent, with only the lump of Ealingham Rigg left just before the end.
Yep, looking good so far!
Also, I'm sending positive thoughts to all those people mid-pack that we might not have mentioned much but are still soldiering on - there's quite a few battling away, so good luck to everyone for the final day or two. We're willing in you onwards (from the comfort of our homes)!
Looks like Sharon's on the last 7-8km. They're making good time, fingers crossed there's a bit of rest and food time before moving on.
As you say, good luck to everyone still out there.
On that note, that's Greg Crowley just finished. It's his 4th Spine, so obviously a real glutton for punishment.
It looks like they are having some sprint finishes 4th, 5th and 6th separated by 32 seconds.
Is this really the case? I would have thought that after 5 days out, and quite a bit of that time working together they might have decided to come in together, especially as they weren't competing for a "medal" position.
Not feeling at all judgemental about it as I'm in no position to pass judgement, just interested.
Maybe they agreed it for a laugh to finish something that is quite bonkers anyway?
Finding watching this incredible, knowing how grim the conditions have been. Feel guilty going to my bed at night!
I think on Facebook it said they came in joint 4th place, so I assumed the times we saw on the tracking were just quirks of GPS.
Yes the initial timing is off the GPS trackers so there will be some variation depending upon when they send a signal. 4/5/6 finished together.
Thanks, that makes sense, i couldn't imagine having the energy or desire to do a sprint finish.
But then I couldn't imagine finishing at all.
Wonrek's group has just made it into Bellingham at 0:50, so excellent time over the course of a horribly long day. Hopefully they'll get a bit of rest there before heading out again.
Well done, Group Wonrek!
Good progress already this morning. Great effort Wonrek, keep going!!!!!
> It's a bit like watching cricket - her required run rate is is now 18.5 in 12 hours (and then 13 in 8)
Not used my imagination so much since listening to European football on the radio in the late 60's/70's - much respect to all competing! Though I've no idea who she is - "Go Wonrek!!!"
> How comes the guy who's currently lantern rouge wasn't pulled? He arrived at Alston after some others who were pulled.
> Must be some reason, anyone know what the story is?
He is one of a number of runners who appeared to be returned to Middleton when the race was stopped. They were then restarted from Middleton rather than the point that they were pulled from meaning that they had to repeat about 3 hours worth of effort.
It would seem fair if they were give some sort of allowance for this.
Morning dot watchers!
Wonrek looks on course to get through Byrness by 12 but not so sure about the other woman and her husband.
Meanwhile one of guys has just proposed to his girlfriend at the finish- even got down on one knee, surprised he managed to get up again
Wonrek's got 2.5 hrs for 5K so should be fine, might even get a brief kip? The Normans have about 10K to Byrness so it's doable, but tough in those conditions. Will be surprised if the two back markers make it. Must be a real bummer being pulled with one stage to go after all that effort.
Apparently Matt Harmon's girlfriend's reply was yes, but also "I love you but your feet stink!"
Hope the Normans make it. If they have managed to get through 200 miles together without an argument over map reading i’ll be amazed!
Yep, Wonrek and her running partner Robin looking good to get to Byrness well before the cut off. Sounds like the Cheviots are pretty horrendous though. A small group spent the night in the emergency hut below Lamb Hill including Kirsty Williams, currently in 2nd place in the women's race, after making very slow going last night.
Apparently Jens Wackerhagen has just retired, at the hut below Auchope Cairn with only about 10K to go. Anyone know why? Hope he's OK.
That first bit of the Cheviots around the Roman Camp must be pretty horrendous, everyone has been very slow on that section. Kirsty Williams seems an irrepressible character so if she stopped it must be pretty bad. They're all going well now though - definitely looks like things get a bit easier after Windy Gyle.
Wonrek's looking amazingly cheerful: https://www.facebook.com/TheSpineRace/photos/rpp.139587836128920/1799561706798183/?type=3&theater
They're in Byrness now, with an hour to spare. The Normans have about 5K to go, on good forest road so should just make it. Going straight out again is going to be tough though.
And they've just checked into Byrness. Fantastic; one more leg to go. Probably the toughest too.
It's beautiful up there today though. Hope that carries on.
Yeah, I know one of the guys manning the hut - it's very cold up there but he's loving it!
Does your mate know what happened with Jens?
Looks like he's about to get busy!
Don't know yet, and it's about to become Piccadilly Circus up there with all those runners coming in!
...and Wonrek and Robin are on the move again
Yep, just spotted that. Have to go to the gym, but will wait to see if the Normans get in time, then will be glued to the dots for the rest of the day!
I think they must be cheering the Normans into the checkpoint as they haven't started up the hill yet.
And the Normans have made it easily, 7 minutes to spare this time!
yeah, I wondered if that's why they'd stopped by the CP too. They're heading up now. Good on the lot of them. Dot watching between customers in the shop is going to be the order of the day for me.
Was looking like a close run thing for 2nd woman between Kirsty Williams & Daphne Derouch, but it seems Daphne got a 3 hour penalty for a kit infringement so even though Daphne is now nearly a km ahead Kirsty looks a cert for 2nd. Go the Grinner!
Well done to Kirsty Williams for managing to keep smiling throughout what must have been a pretty gruelling few days.
So can we work out what time Wonrek will finish? I love the way they are filming every finish for Facebook and would like to see her.
Well, Kirsty Williams took about 10 hours to get from Hut 1, the emergency shelter just below Lamb Hill, to the finish, and didn't stop for long at Hut 2; Wonrek and Robin are about 2km from Hut 1, so it's going to be a long night for them.
A long night on very little sleep - as far as I can tell Wonrek might have grabbed an hour or two's kip at Bellingham, but other than that... it's just mind-boggling.
Wonrek, Robin and the Normans are at Hut 1. That took them 6 hours, and it is about half way, distance wise, to Hut 2.
They're on the move again after a short stop at Hut 1. Hopefully the earlier runners'll have created a route through the snow for them.
Apparently Jens was hypothermic and hallucinating by the time he got to Hut 2. He says that without Thomas's (Oderud?) help he wouldn't have made it. I gather he was put into 2 sleeping bags and a space blanket and warmed up but wasn't up to continuing. With only 10k to go that must be a real heartbreaker, but at least he's ok.
> Apparently Jens was hypothermic and hallucinating by the time he got to Hut 2. He says that without Thomas's (Oderud?) help he wouldn't have made it. I gather he was put into 2 sleeping bags and a space blanket and warmed up but wasn't up to continuing. With only 10k to go that must be a real heartbreaker, but at least he's ok.
Oh man--poor guy, that's so awfully close. Glad he's okay though.
Awfully close to the end (potentially in two ways), good thing he had a running mate with him. The key thing is that he's ok, and I'm sure the Spine Race will be back next year if he's a complete masochist!
Our guys seem to be making good progress now
I reckon that will put them at the finish about 5am, depends if they stop for a rest at hut 2.
I know what I'll be doing as soon as I get up in the morning.
Other things notwithstanding (sleepmonsters, hypothermia etc.), they're looking like getting in earlier I think - they could be at Hut 2 by half ten to eleven.
11.5 miles left and 11.5 hours to do it in!
At the pace they've been going over the whole leg I think that is ambitious. I'll raise you 11:47 at Hut 2
Whoever thought that watching a 1-2 mph race could be so exciting?
Most people have speeded up after Windy Gyle so I reckon they are on course for getting to Hut 2 around 11. We'll find out in a bit.
Going to feel quite bereft next week with no dots to watch!
The kit inspection is usually based on a raffle system, whereby you pick a number out a hat and they look on a list which has selected 3 random pieces of kit from the mandatory list. It may be that goggles weren't one of those things. It could have been knife, compass and head torch for example.
Edit: note - this may have changed.
I’m going for 11:33 at Hut 2 - reckon Wonrek is slowing down a bit, probably starting to feel the effect of the quite frankly ridiculous effort ! Still on course to reach KY in plenty of time for the 8:00 am cutoff
Ok, that's me out!
Me too. You're going to be pretty close.
Nice pic of the four of them outside Greg's Hut the other night on the Spine FB page BTW, they've obviously done a great job of keeping each other going.
Pretty much bang on in fact. I assume Sharon is actually there even though her dot is still halfway up Auchope Cairn on my screen (timed at 23.15)
Wonrek clocked into Hut 2 at 23:34 so I think you win!
yep, that's right - kit check was a raffle with most folk being asked to show three items and only some having a full check of every mandatory item.
I did some of the kit checking at the start, but there have also been kit checks at some of the checkpoints.
23:34 - Good call!
Well done all of them. They should make it now. What a relief that must feel to them.
I’ve spent far too long watching the dots !
Looks like they're grabbing the chance to get some kip. They certainly deserve it! (Still love the little zzz's that come out of the dots.)
Just heading up the Schil now, then it's downhill to the end! I'll Che k out the video of the fab four completing in the morning.
Wow, well done everyone! Just two more to come in who are pretty close!
I'm off for a "long" run, but not sure I can call it that anymore
Just one more to go then a week's dot watching from the race HQ can stop and I can return to a normal life
Well done doesn't really cover it!! Fantastic achievement, it's been amazing following your progress!!
Well done Wonrek. Fantastic achievement in those conditions. Congratulations to everybody who finished, you're stars!
Wow, massive respect. To put it mildly, you must be absolutely knackered.
Brilliant, have a good sleep
Amazing, can't have had more than a couple of hours sleep since the restart after the storm. Incredible achievement, huge congratulations.
Hope you've raised loads of money for Cornwall Search and Rescue.
Well done well done! Just awesome and amazing. I have run out of vocabulary to express my admiration and co gratulations.
> Hope you've raised loads of money for Cornwall Search and Rescue.
Thanks for the reminder, and I’ll just repost the link
Oddly enough for someone who has done most of their climbing in the Peak it’s the only rescue service I’ve had to call!
Great picture on Twitter of Wonrek with a pint of Bellhaven at the finish, and then fast asleep a few minutes later. Lightweight
I'm just back from my own totally piffling snowy hill run and I'm knackered. I can't begin to imagine how the Spiners feel after more than 50 times further, much of it in the dark and in much worse weather. I'm in awe guys!
Congratulations to you and all others, great effort toughing it out all week in those conditions.
Put your feet up, eat and sleep for a few days and enjoy the moment - before you start planning your next adventure!
Amazingly well done. Get some sleep and then get started on eating all the food!!
I only picked up this thread a couple of days ago as I was intrigued as to how the weather was affecting the event. I became really interested in the 'dot-watching'. It is as nail biting as watching England play cricket!
Well done to everyone who took part, especially wonrek who initiated the post and did the hard work and also to her followers who kept the story alive.
Yes, you wouldn't think it would make a good spectator sport, but the tracking and Facebook posts, photos and videos, and this thread of course have made it quite gripping! More exciting still to have somebody to cheer for (Wonrek), and I found myself taking an interest in many other characters throughout the week as their battles unfolded.
The fact that some competitors seemed so close to cut offs at times (seconds!) and I doubted they'd make it to the very end added to the nail biting! Steely determination for sure.
Fantastic effort. I'm in awe of you grit and determination. 'Nuff respec', as the kids say
Congratulations. Truly amazing effort!
Brilliant effort !!! Can people post some pictures/links for those of us not on social media ?
Congratulations! So much respect!
A fantastic super-human effort Wonrek and maa-hoosive congratulations + respect to you! Also to Pavel who won the mens event, Carol who won the ladies event, plus all the runners you are truly amazing! I have loved watching the blue and red dots and now feel strangely bereft!
Ironically I finished the Pennine Way with my better half in May 2017 and it really is a superb long distance trail with some amazing sections such as Malham, Low Force to High Cup Nick, the infamous Cross Fell and of course the Cheviots to name but a few. Only took us 17 days...
Well that was a great 8 days! Massive well done to Wonrek and her companions for an awesome effort in making it all the way there against some really challenging cutoffs and conditions, after the re-start from Middleton. Congrats too to Pavel, Carol and all the other competitors; so inspiring.
And thanks to the spine race team for providing so much vicarious pleasure to so many would be ultra runners sat at their computers dot watching! My third year of it and the most excitement yet.
I feel bereft this morning. No little dots to distract me from what I'm meant to be doing
Me too. I am going to have to concentrate on the stuff on my desk
Thank you everyone for the support! And the generous donations to Cornwall search and Rescue, I've now raised over £1k for them so totally blown away by that!!!
As for me, well it was one hell of a ride that I scraped through by the skin of my teeth at times! i'm trying to get my blog written today so will post a link to that when it's done. With so much that happened it may need popcorn just to plough through it!
I'm glad my dot kept you entertained, on the ground we were mostly unaware of the drama we were creating and just had one focus and that was to reach the next CP without getting timed out.
With the stoppage of 12hrs taking away a huge amount of our time yet the finish time remaining unchanged I was convinced we could make it to Byrness but would be timed out before the Cheviots. How we got there not only in time but with an hour to spare is a miracle.....
It saved me having to shove the tracker where the sun don't shine and continue on my own though!
Looking forward to reading your story.
Well done Wonrek and to everyone involved in The Spine Race - fantastic achievement all round! I bet you enjoyed that final sunny day on the Cheviots after all the full on weather during the week. I shall enjoy reading your blog.
Hurrah, welcome back. Dying to read the blog!
Still dying to read the blog - have I missed It somewhere or are you still writing it? Take your time, but I don't want to miss it
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