/ Spine/Spine Challenger 2017

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Tall Clare - on 13 Jan 2017
So which of you crazy fools are doing this year's Spine or Spine Challenger? You've picked a *lovely* weekend for it (I know the weather is part of the point, but even so...)
Scarab9 - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Tall Clare:

not me but a friend of mine. I'd love to do it in future though, an amazing event.

I am hoping there's enough snow around to enjoy my run up and around Kinder tomorrow though
Iain Thow - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Scarab9:

Was up there today. Lots of snow in morning but melted very fast on S facing slopes, most of which are now stripped. Lots of drifting on the tops. Some ice in the cloughs but it was pretty rubbish stuff. Was staring to freeze by 4.30 though. Good luck to all the racers.
Scarab9 - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Iain Thow:

The racers probably have a different hope but....I want snow damnit!
(though it appears there's now a few of us so won't be a run and we'll be walking. )
Lostsky on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Tall Clare:

I found the live tracking incredibly addictive last year. http://map.opentracking.co.uk/spinerace17/map.htm
Ridge - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Lostsky:

Same here. Watching little blobs on the map, marvelling at the speed of the leaders, worrying about the ones going of route or not moving. Strangely addictive. Good luck to all the runners.
Tall Clare - on 14 Jan 2017
In reply to Ridge:

My husband's no. 275 - I'll be heading out to support him later but for now I'm very glad to still be in bed, having a chat with one of my cats... it looks nithering out there!
Fredt on 14 Jan 2017
In reply to Tall Clare:

Anyone else we know on UKC in the race?
Ridge - on 14 Jan 2017
In reply to Tall Clare:

He's just going over Rishworth now. Brrrrrr!
nniff - on 14 Jan 2017
In reply to Ridge:

He's doing well. Not a nice night to be out though
Fredt on 14 Jan 2017
In reply to Tall Clare:

Does anyone know the name of the guy who finished last year, then turned round and went all the back to Edale?
Tall Clare - on 14 Jan 2017
In reply to Fredt:

Iain's running with a guy called Johann who apparently knows who I am via UKC - not sure of his UKC name though.
Tall Clare - on 14 Jan 2017
In reply to Fredt:

Javed Bhatti, I think
Iain Thow - on 14 Jan 2017
In reply to Tall Clare:

Yes it was Javed Bhatti. He made it back in 8 days and raised a shedload of money for mountain rescue and the hospice that my mum volunteers at in Lichfield. Cracking bloke, and obviously a very tough cookie.
Ridge - on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to Tall Clare:

Congratulations to Mr TC. Sterling stuff.
Tall Clare - on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to Ridge:

I think he was very pleased to be doing the short course - apparently the lovely snow that the Challenge folk enjoyed over Bleaklow on Saturday had turned to bog by Sunday, and a small stream turned into a raging torrent that Spine folk had to wade/swim across.

He's promised me never again - more to the point, promised himself!
Scarab9 - on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to Tall Clare:

Sounds similar to what my friend said who was doing the main event.

She retired about 25k in after nearly 10hours of sliding about on her bum mostly. (she did also take a wrong turn which didn't help).

Crew said it was the worst conditions they'd had since the race started, and they'd been busy rescuing people all over.

Having done most of what my friend did the day before it sounds like the change over night was huge.

I do think also theres a limit to what you can do in 'running' gear and they kinda hit that.
Andy Hardy on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to Scarab9:

> I do think also theres a limit to what you can do in 'running' gear and they kinda hit that.

Watched a bit of video on the website, have to say I was wondering how you'd avoid frostbitten feet running 48h through wet snow...
The New NickB - on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to Andy Hardy:

Gore-tex or Sealskin socks, running shoes with integrated gaters.

Wet snow is usually above freezing, hours on end in it in ordinary socks and fell shoes isn't very pleasant, but frostbite isn't that likely, unless you manage to get your feet wet and it is much colder.
1
Andy Hardy on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to The New NickB:

Pretty sure it would be below 0 overnight! Still, where there's no sense, there's no feeling...
The New NickB - on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to Andy Hardy:

I don't think it has been this time, but definitely something to consider more generally.

Plastic bags between socks and trainers is quite effective if you don't want spend more, but given the entry fee, I suspect cost isn't a major issue.
johang - on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to Tall Clare:

Hi Clare, good to meet you out there and thanks for the tea . I ended up dropping out at Malham Tarn due to a shin/ankle injury. Walking's a bit sore today.

I was good to see Iain come through CP1.5 later on, I hope he finished alright. Conditions looked half clement for his final journey across Fountains Fell, PyG and the Cam High Road.

Either way pass on my congratulations and regards. It was excellent craic and made the running much more enjoyable.
Scarab9 - on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> Watched a bit of video on the website, have to say I was wondering how you'd avoid frostbitten feet running 48h through wet snow...

Depends on the person. I've not done snowy runs for that distance but have run with minimalist fell shoes and normal thin socks for a few hours in snow and been fine. As long as I'm moving I'm ok.

Those who I know get cold extremities, as nick said, swear by waterproof socks. I d probably try them out if I was doing longer in the snow.
Tall Clare - on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to The New NickB:

The amount of kit required makes it a very, er, exclusive event - Iain already had lots of kit but has still spent an eyewatering amount making sure he was going to be warm enough and had enough spares of things to change into...
Tall Clare - on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to johang:

Hello, good to meet you too, and gutted to hear you had to drop out. Iain finished early this morning and is now passed out on the sofa, being bothered/sat on/whined at by our overenthusiastic dog! He's said never ever again.

One of his friends ran/walked/hobbled to the finish, having either twisted or broken his ankle somewhere before Pen-y-Ghent, and is in something of a mess now.

You're all mildly deranged.
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Michael Hood - on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to Tall Clare:
Fully deranged = full spine

Completely off their trolley = the guy who then ran back last year because he'd parked in Edale

So congrats to hubby, the tracking app is very addictive, watched him making steady progress throughout.
Post edited at 13:07
The New NickB - on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to Tall Clare:

> The amount of kit required makes it a very, er, exclusive event - Iain already had lots of kit but has still spent an eyewatering amount making sure he was going to be warm enough and had enough spares of things to change into...

I've not seen a kit list, but expect it to be substantial. The £725 fee for the full event makes it exclusive enough. I note that it has more than doubled in price over the last 5 years.
Tall Clare - on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to The New NickB:

Excluding entry fee, for those kitting themselves out from scratch for the Challenger a figure of £1300 seems 'normal'. Ay caramba.
Iain Thow - on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to Tall Clare:

Ouch, that sounds nasty, tough cookie. Congrats to Iain and all the others who have finished. Still reckon Javed Bhatti's turning round and running back again last year deserves the prize for sheer bonkersness (is that a word?).
Michael Hood - on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to Tall Clare:
Currently enjoying watching competitor 284 Mark Robers who is currently on the train south of Settle. Presumably his tracker hasn't been switched off

Edit: got to Skipton now.
Post edited at 16:13
johang - on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to Tall Clare:
To get to the finish on a twisted ankle from before PyG is insane; fair play to him! My ankle's just starting to loosen back up again.

I'll definitely be going for round two next year. Can't leave it at Malham Tarn...
Post edited at 18:25
johang - on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to Scarab9:

A big issue I found was that as you get tired, you cool down. I usually run very warm, but I had to have full Brynje base layers plus fleece, plus tights, plus full waterproofs and hat/gloves to stay warm, even when moving, from about 50 miles onward.
Ridge - on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to Tall Clare:

Tom Hollins is doing incredibly well in the full race after winning last year's Challenger. He's a workmate of the wife of an occasional UKC poster, so we do have a tangential vicarious interest in his progress!

Eoin seems to be suffering though.
Iain Thow - on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to Ridge:

Looks like Eoin has got a new lease of life now and is speeding up again. He's about 10K behind Pavel & Eugeni, but they got 30 minute time penalties for taking a short cut during the night.
Fredt on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to Iain Thow:

> Looks like Eoin has got a new lease of life now and is speeding up again. He's about 10K behind Pavel & Eugeni, but they got 30 minute time penalties for taking a short cut during the night.

The trickiest part of following on the map is estimating the distance of the gaps.
I thought of counting the red diamonds that mark the Pennine Way, (current gap between Pavel and Eoin is 27 diamonds)
I'll need to figure out how far apart, on average, the diamonds are, and how accurate this would be.
Any other ways to measure? (on a screen)
Iain Thow - on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to Fredt:

The tracking map has OS km grid squares on it (at least it does on my screen). I got the 10K figure by estimating from those to get a (very) rough figure. Just checked (Czeched?) (sorry, couldn't resist) again and it's less now, Eoin is definitely catching up.
tony on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to Iain Thow:

> The tracking map has OS km grid squares on it (at least it does on my screen). I got the 10K figure by estimating from those to get a (very) rough figure. Just checked (Czeched?) (sorry, couldn't resist) again and it's less now, Eoin is definitely catching up.

Although it is confused by the fact that the position markers don't appear to update regularly - at the moment, I'm seeing a time of 11.04 for Pavel, 9.26 for Eugenio and 11.01 for Eoin.
Michael Hood - on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to Iain Thow: it'd be interesting to know where the short cut was.

Also, the gap between P&E and E is confused because we don't know where and for how long they're resting/sleeping. Unless they're doing the same strategy it may not be a true gap.

And... it looks like Pavel & Eugeni have been pretty much together all the time, but their trackers keep on showing a significant gap that suddenly disappears. The list gives the miles covered so far which puts the gap at almost 10m.
Iain Thow - on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to Michael Hood:

Yes, the short cut would be interesting to know, and whether deliberate or a nav foul up. Pavel's tracker has disappeared completely from my map at the moment, with Eugeni shown as about 7km ahead of Eoin. The list distance gives the gap as a corresponding 4 miles, with Pavel & Eugeni together. As you say, it doesn't take account of stopping strategies though.
Chris the Tall - on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to Iain Thow:

> Looks like Eoin has got a new lease of life now and is speeding up again. He's about 10K behind Pavel & Eugeni, but they got 30 minute time penalties for taking a short cut during the night.

How do you know about the penalties ? Can't see anything on the site
And how are they enforced - added on at the end ? Or is it like Triathlon and they have to go and stand in a field for half an hour ?

There were a few places where you could see an obvious shortcut, so presumably the trackers are checked, but what if (as seems to be happening now) the trackers aren't working ?
mangoletse - on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to Iain Thow:

The details are on the facebook page where there are regular updates, have a search for a photo by 'Stef Shuermans' for the screenshot, which shows that the short cut was cutting the corner on the road SE of Thornton in Craven (near where OS shows 'The Mount' and a Tumulus) (rejoining the PW at East Marton). Reckoned to be a 20 min short cut hence penalty was 20 mins +50%.
mangoletse - on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Again going on details from the FB page (Montane Spine Race official page) - P&E elected to take the penalty at Middleton CP. It's imposed after their intended rest/admin period and begins as and when they are ready to go - at which point they are no longer allowed to use CP facilities as they wait.
Tall Clare - on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to tony:

My experience was that there seemed to be a consistent ten minute lag on the tracker, if that helps, though at points it seemed to stop - one of Iain's friends seemed to be at Hebden for four hours longer than was the case, which nearly resulted in his support team missing him a bit later on.
Iain Thow - on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to Michael Hood:
Pavel's tracker has now reappeared and puts him in Dufton (where he actually did arrive a few minutes ago), while Eugeni's shows him still on the Tees and "no signal", jJust watched it make a sudden jump a couple of miles north then back again! Looks like tech hitches.
Eugeni's tracker is now working again and shows him at High Cup Nick, so looks like Pavel has pulled well ahead.
Post edited at 12:12
zephr - on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to Tall Clare:

Not sure if this is going to post as UKC seems a bit squiffy on my computer.
Just seen this topic, but Alicrag ran the MRT challenger and won. (he doesnt post often, if at all).
Chris the Tall - on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to mangoletse:

Thanks. I've just discovered that if you click on the athlete you can see the track they have actually taken alongside the official route - confusingly in the same colour but visible nonetheless. I'm guessing they missed a turning in the dark and just continued on the road.

>at which point they are no longer allowed to use CP facilities as they wait.

Does that include seats ? Mind you in that state you could probably sleep standing up.
tony on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to Iain Thow:

And it now looks like Eoin's tracker isn't working in the same place that Eugenio's tracker wasn't working. I wonder if it's anything to do with the topography, or just coincidence.
Ridge - on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to Iain Thow:

> Yes, the short cut would be interesting to know, and whether deliberate or a nav foul up. Pavel's tracker has disappeared completely from my map at the moment, with Eugeni shown as about 7km ahead of Eoin. The list distance gives the gap as a corresponding 4 miles, with Pavel & Eugeni together. As you say, it doesn't take account of stopping strategies though.

I think it was coming off of Pen-y-Ghent, they cut the corner slightly. I think it was a genuine error on Pav's part. (Reading between the lines Eugenie seems content to let Pav worry about the nav and to just follow him on the dodgy parts).
Iain Thow - on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to tony:

They're quite close in under the cliffs there so maybe it's that, although I would have expected that as soon as they come out onto the more open ground past Cauldron Snout the signal would come back.
Gromit :D - on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to Tall Clare:

Live from the Post Box Pantry in Dufton...
Pavel went through at 12:15 keen to push on but not had a decent sleep yet.
Eugini came through an hour later pushing to catch him.
Eoin expected in the next 20 mins or so.

Cross fell visibly poor, very clagged in, 2-3℃, no wind.
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r0b on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to tony:

There is a notorious mobile signal black spot between Cauldron Snout and High Cup, there are never any tracker updates for that section
zephr - on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to mangoletse:

Having done that bit, taking the road as a shortcut is way more than 20 mins -especially when you consider the amount of mud and cow-crap that you have to wade through to get to Thornton in craven. Also, booting along on a road is far far less effort.

I reckon they missed the turning, realised after a couple of k and just decided to keep on going, rather than double back to pick up the route again.
johang - on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to zephr:

Yes to all that.

I'm also wondering if they're using the Harvey's map to navigate. I was running with Sarah Davies for a period - she was using the Harvey's Pennine Way map, whereas I was using the A-Z Pennine Way (based on OS 1:25k), and the road that the track to Thornton branches off of doesn't exist beyond the track on the Harvey's.

We almost made the same mistake, but after my recce in December I was looking out for the turning.
Iain Thow - on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to zephr:

That sounds a likely scenario, easy to miss a turn in the dark and wet, especially as I gather Pavel made it all the way to Alston with only 75 minutes sleep, making it even more likely. Looks like they're both now crashed out at Alston.
Chris the Tall - on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to Iain Thow:

Looks like PP has just left the checkpoint after about 3 hours there. Looks like ERS almost caught him up on the last section - gaining almost an hour.

I gather they have to carry tent or bivvy bag, but presume that is just for emergencies and the strategy is to power nap at each CP. Do you have to cook your own food as well, or is that provided ? I note that some competitors have (S) after their names - seem to remember that means they are supported, but can someone tell me what that entails.
Welsh Kate - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

They have to carry food with them, but meals are provided at the checkpoints along the way. As you have a resupply bag follow you to the checkpoints, you can resupply along the way and eat your own stuff if you prefer.

The partner of a friend is 'plodding along' and has just crossed the A66.
Iain Thow - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to Welsh Kate:

We had someone drop into the shop and buy a new resupply bag the day before the start as theirs had split, so we're rooting for him to do well. He's with loads of others in Middleton at the moment. Still feels weird to sell someone something and know where it goes all the next week.
Iain Thow - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to Ridge:

Apparently Eoin broke a rib on the first day, but he still made it all the way to Alston before packing it in. Respect!
DancingOnRock - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to Tall Clare:

I'm freinds with Greg Crowley's sister in law. The only man to do the Dragons Backs and the Spine in the same year twice. Now attempting his third.

He looked extremely fresh in yesterday's photo.
Ridge - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to Iain Thow:

> Apparently Eoin broke a rib on the first day, but he still made it all the way to Alston before packing it in. Respect!

Phenominal stuff.
Deleted bagger - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to Iain Thow:

Evenin' Iain,

Friend saw these guys on Black Hill the other day. Awesome!
Iain Thow - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to Deleted bagger:

Hi Mark,
I'm still gobsmacked by the idea of running 150 miles on a broken ankle!
On a different planet, feeling quite pleased as just back from equalling my PB for the Rushup ridge. Obviously totally piffling compared with what the Spine runners are doing.
By the way, do you fancy a night hill and pint next wednesday?
Deleted bagger - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to Iain Thow:

You're on. I'll text you.
Iain Thow - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to Iain Thow:

I mean rib, of course. Still impressive.
Dave the Rave on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to Welsh Kate:

My mate 'Fat Jack' is doing it. He's gone off route and is in Wigan stocking up on pies.
Chris the Tall - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to Tall Clare:

By eck - I thought earlier that Tom Hollins was going a good pace, and might just get to CP5 before the two leaders left. Well it looks like he did that and has now joined up with them. 3 way sprint finish on the cards ?
Iain Thow - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

He's certainly made the step up from last year's Challenger without any problem. Really hope Eugeni finishes though, after getting so close last year.
Chris the Tall - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to Iain Thow:

What happened last year ? I know he won it a few years back.

Do you think they talk much to each other ? Or are they just stumbling on together - reminiscent of soldiers in a Wilfred Owen poem ?
Tall Clare - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

I like to think that if they were British there'd be an awkward silence for 267.5 miles then one of them would finally think of something to say in the last few metres...
sg - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to Iain Thow:

It sure is compelling stuff - the fbook page's most recent comment: 'watch live...' sounds slightly daft. But in truth, whenever I've had a spare moment since the Challenger started Saturday am, I've actually done little else...

I'm so in awe. I did a run at the weekend and felt reasonably pleased with myself, then ran again Monday evening and again this evening (more than usual, I should say). And then I get back and think, 'but they've been on the move almost the entire time since Sunday morning'.
Iain Thow - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

The medical team refused to let him go on as he was borderline hypothermic. Sounded like they made the right decision too.
Iain Thow - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to sg:

Same for me, it's hugely impressive isn't it. Pavel's Edale to Alston on 75 minutes sleep, for instance. I don't think I could stay awake that long even if I wasn't running up and down a pile of hills.
Tall Clare - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to Iain Thow:

My husband said he was hallucinating on the way to Hawes and obviously that's a long way short of Alston. No idea how Pavel does it.
Iain Thow - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to Tall Clare:

A bit like the story about Archer Thompson and another bloke spending all day on the hill together and saying nothing, until as they parted the other guy cracked and said "I have a brother even more silent than myself". Thompson just nodded.
Michael Hood - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to Iain Thow et al:
Just looking at the tracker (@22:42) and it looks like the 3 leaders are off route - will they get penalised for running down the (obviously quicker) road?

Also - what goes on at Hadrian's Wall? They all run along the wall but the route blue line seems to go all over the place below the wall.
Post edited at 22:48
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Iain Thow - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to Michael Hood:

I see what you mean. The Wall bit has to be a mistake surely, as they all run along over the bumps and the PW itself goes that way too. I guess they'll get a penalty for using the road (and presumably the forestry track coming up), just as they did for the Thornton in Craven one.
Welsh Kate - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Tom's got a lead of about a km now - it's midnight - I wonder if he'll be able to sustain it!
Darren Jackson - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Welsh Kate:

I'm glued. An awesome effort by Tom.
Darren Jackson - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Michael Hood:

> Just looking at the tracker (@22:42) and it looks like the 3 leaders are off route - will they get penalised for running down the (obviously quicker) road?

I have it on good authority that the road diversion was specified during last year's race. I'm assuming that the same goes again... Then again, maybe they just collectively agreed to forsake the bog, and embrace a penalty, given that the closest challengers are barely even in the same hemisphere?

Welsh Kate - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Darren Jackson:

Tom's got a really significant lead now, but he's cut the corner at Chew Green Roman camps, and that has saved him time over Pavel and Eugeni.

The gps signals on the backmarkers seem to have stopped working, nothing since last night.
Iain Thow - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Welsh Kate:

Looks a cert for Tom now, good for him. Think the back markers were just in the Upper Tees Void (somewhere near Betelgeuse, I think). Big shout out for them on the Spine facebook page, including the comment "they're not at the back, they're a damn sight ahead of my ass on the sofa!". Absolutely spot on.
Chris the Tall - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Welsh Kate:

Tom now has a lead of 6 miles - 2 hours ? - which is quite a turnaround from being 10 hours behind

Can someone confirm that the (S) following his name means supported rather than solo ?

That short cut you mentioned seems odd - it seems the prescribed route takes a major deviation to go to a road head
Darren Jackson - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Tom now has a lead of 6 miles - 2 hours ? - which is quite a turnaround from being 10 hours behind

Indeed. It seems that he never got the note informing him that he's allowed to grab some sleep at some point.



Michael Hood - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Darren Jackson:

From the little information I've managed to see whilst following this, it appears that Pavel had bu**er all sleep in the first half whereas Tom had some and is now managing with less.

Overall race strategy?

From watching this last year as well, it seems to me that the winner is the person who's functioning closest to a normal human being towards the end.

I may of course be wrong with all this surmise.

Regardless, it's amazingly impressive and addictive (well watching is, not sure if doing is addictive).
Iain Thow - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Yes, (S) means supported.
Michael Hood - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Darren Jackson: Re the road diversion - the next two (Johan & John) seem to be taking the blue line route across Padon Hill.

Presumably Tom will get a penalty for missing the corner at Chew Green but that doesn't look like it'll have any overall effect. Part of his lead also appears to be because it looks like Pavel and Eugeni had a bit of a navigational wander about over Wedder Hill a few miles later losing about 10 mins.

From looking at the tracking info on the map, there are corners between the actual marked positions (at approx. 10 min intervals) - this would seem to imply that position is recorded more frequently (every 2 mins?) but only transmitted every 10 mins.

Iain Thow - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Michael Hood:
3km to go! Always thought that last little hill before Kirk Yetholm was a pig, you feel it oughtn't to be there.
Pavel is about 8km behind, which doesn't seem like enough for any penalty Tom gets for his Chew Green short cut to matter.
PS love the little Zzzzs that come out of the markers when they're asleep!
Post edited at 11:24
Darren Jackson - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Iain Thow:

Apparently, Tom isn't subject to any time penalty as the racers have a route option at Chew Green.

... If they were going to ping him at all, then surely he'd have got gripped at the penultimate CP?
Chris the Tall - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Iain Thow:

Pavel attacks !!! He's dropped Eugeni on the run in to the hut

I wonder if he's now thinking that Tom was a hallucination. He and Eugeni were together alone for so long, then in the middle of the night some Brit appears from nowhere, walks with them for a few hours, probably doesn't say much, and disappears into the gloom.

Chris the Tall - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Darren Jackson:

Enforced rest is far too soft a penalty. Surely they need to send them on a detour up one of those hills just near the finish. I know it sounds cruel, but these folks are so masochistic they'd probably enjoy it.
Darren Jackson - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

"You're a very naughty boy... Now, go and touch the trig on The Cheviot."
Michael Hood - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:
From the times at the various checkpoints it looks like Tom overtook just before Byrness. Must have been a bit of a shock when he was 4hrs behind coming into Bellingham, but maybe they rested there longer than Tom and did a fair bit of that leg together.

At 11:42 it looks like Eugeni has fallen off the side of the hill - oops. He must be absolutely knackered and having difficulty making decisions (Edit2: I feel so sorry for him, he's lost about 150m of height and must put in extra effort to get back on track - must feel devastating)

Is Tom going to manage it in under 100hrs (Edit2: which is the time he said he was aiming for) - he has about 15 mins to make it (Edit: 1km to go so should do it, Edit3: I think he's going to just miss it). Looks like he'll certainly get the 2nd best ever time though.
Post edited at 11:58
Iain Thow - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Michael Hood:

Yes, feel sorry for Eugeni with that extra uphill, must be a real bummer.
Tom's marker has just done 3 little jumps in the air on my screen. Seems entirely appropriate!
Michael Hood - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Iain Thow: My bad, Tom's finished inside 100hrs, didn't notice that they actually left at about 8:30 not 8:00 as planned.

Iain Thow - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Michael Hood:
He's just finished. I make that just under the 100 hrs, adding on his time from Hut 2. Terrific going anyway.

The camera crew waiting to interview him can't because he's fallen asleep!
Post edited at 12:11
Chris the Tall - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Michael Hood:
Tom has finished and credited with 99:22 - remarkable

Bit concerned at Eugeni though. Off route and his tracker hasn't moved for a bit. Is Hut 2 manned ?

Edit - he's now back on the ridge. That must have hurt
Post edited at 12:09
Michael Hood - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Iain Thow:
> PS love the little Zzzzs that come out of the markers when they're asleep!

Tom's tracker says "not moving" and he has the little zzzs - from the little video on Facebook, looks like he fell asleep in about 5 seconds. Star
Michael Hood - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall: When it wasn't moving for a few minutes I wondered if he'd lain down for a cry, I think I would have.

Good to see he's back on route.

Andy Mullett - on 19 Jan 2017
Fantastic achievement by Tom... the other two must be gutted that he came up from a long way back to take victory. And Eugeni must be double gutted at having a big nav. error in last few miles resulting in a big additional climb.

Bath Bat Mike Prince (84) has left Alston and is heading north... well done Mike!

What are we all going to do when there isn't a map with little slow moving dots to watch when we should be working?

Tom was supported by a crew during the race while Pavel and Eugeni weren't... how much difference would that make? Discuss....
Darren Jackson - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Andy Mullett:

Apparently, Eugeni's been injured since Byrness and has requested a medic to meet him at the finish. Good on Pavel for sticking with him.
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Iain Thow - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Darren Jackson:

Do you know what the injury is?
Welsh Kate - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Iain Thow:

Pavel's made it in, 90 minutes behind Tom - just shows how much effort Tom put in over the last sections.
Chris the Tall - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Darren Jackson:

looks like he's just finished

I see Tom Hollins is a doctor, so will be well used to getting little sleep. And from Yorkshire, which would explain everything else
Michael Hood - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Welsh Kate: I suspect it was largely tied up with the different strategies...

Pavel's seems to have been, push, push, push, don't sleep, keep going as fast as possible.
Tom's seems to have been to have reasonable sleeps (still nothing by everyday standards) to still have it towards the end.

It would be interesting to see what sort of speed they were all doing in the various stages - my guess would be that it was won by Tom by maintaining his speed for longer and not slowing down so much at the end. I just can't imagine how knackered and tired they must feel. Combining huge physical effort with the kind of sleep deprivation you get when there's a new born baby in the house.

Looks like Eugeni's just finished. All of them inspiring stars.



Iain Thow - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Welsh Kate:

Eugeni too now. Both he and Pavel look pretty knackered (and who can blame them). Tom seemed almost sprightly by comparison. Joy of winning, I guess.
Iain Thow - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

I see Tom is well into his 40s. Anyone know who is the oldest person to have finished the race and how old they were?
ablackett - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Tall Clare:
Looking at the other end of the field, I would love to know the stories of the 4 poor souls who retired after less than 20 miles. The £700+ entry fee and the week booked off work is going to hurt for quite a while longer than whatever stopped them racing I would presume.
Post edited at 15:36
Chris the Tall - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to ablackett:

I see one poor sod has just gone all the way up Great Dun Fell before turning round and going back to the checkpoint - presumably to retire, rather than because he'd realised he'd left his house keys there.

I guess that most of them will do a fair bit of running in the first 20 miles, so greater risk of turning an ankle (or breaking a rib)

A mate of mine abandoned on the start line of the Kielder 100 MTB race - he'd changed his pedals the day before, had cross threaded one and the damage was done. He was remarkably relaxed about it - just when back to bed for a couple of hours, packed up his tent and drove home - thus avoiding 11 hours of grim riding in unrelenting rain.
r0b on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Iain Thow:

David Lee started this year at 70 years old but dropped at Hawes. Think he finished two years ago at 68
Iain Thow - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to r0b:

Wow, that's impressive. Obviously there are a fair few 60-somethings in the short hill races, but the Spine is another world. Good on him.
Michael Hood - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> I see one poor sod has just gone all the way up Great Dun Fell before turning round and going back to the checkpoint - presumably to retire, rather than because he'd realised he'd left his house keys there.

Looking at his trace this afternoon I suspect an injury, several traces in a gully on the slope, then a rather quick descent (further than you could run every 5 mins so presume motorised down the track?) and on various roads back to Dufton.
Ridge - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Tall Clare:

Carol Morgan just come in as 1st woman. Cracking stuff!

Ridge - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to ablackett:

> Looking at the other end of the field, I would love to know the stories of the 4 poor souls who retired after less than 20 miles. The £700+ entry fee and the week booked off work is going to hurt for quite a while longer than whatever stopped them racing I would presume.

One of the retirees was Canice Harte, an American ultra runner. I think he went off much too quick to keep up with the front runners but just wasn't expecting how different conditions were underfoot compared to US trails. He looked absolutely gutted in the photos I saw. Conversely his mate Dominick Layfield won the challenger. Steep learning curve I think.
r0b on 22 Jan 2017
In reply to Tall Clare:

I did the Challenger, third start and first finish! Written a bit of a blog about it: https://misforturob.wordpress.com/2017/01/21/spine-challenger-2017/

Absolutely in awe of those in the full race, the way I was feeling at Hawes I couldn't imagine that not even being halfway!!
mountainbagger - on 22 Jan 2017
In reply to r0b:

> Absolutely in awe of those in the full race, the way I was feeling at Hawes I couldn't imagine that not even being halfway!!

Well done! The way I was feeling at the end of my run this morning I couldn't imagine that not even being a fifth of what you did! Congratulations
Welsh Kate - on 22 Jan 2017
In reply to r0b:

Thanks for the write-up. Huge congratulations!
Iain Thow - on 22 Jan 2017
In reply to r0b:

Nice one Rob. Well done. Good no nonsense write up too.
sg - on 22 Jan 2017
In reply to r0b:

Yep, v impressed, well done! Great write-up too; wish I could pretend that it would be important for me to know all that stuff but I won't ever be doing it. I'll be watching the dots again next year though.
Michael Hood - on 22 Jan 2017
In reply to sg: With luck we only have to wait until late June for the summer versions where the dots should move even more quickly.

jayme - on 23 Jan 2017
In reply to Tall Clare:

I was one of the Safety Team controllers and spent 12 hours each day monitoring the dots and moving the safety teams along the course as required.
I find the effort by all the competitors to be amazing and hope that my unseen efforts help the event run successfully and set the minds at ease of all the friends and family at home also monitoring the dots.

Well done to all who entered and especially to all who finished.

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