Jasmin Paris Wins Montane Spine Race

Jasmin Paris has won this year's Montane Spine Race in a record time of 83 hours, 12 minutes and 23 seconds. She is the first woman to win it outright - and she did so by a huge margin. A non-stop race along the full 429km (268 mile) length of the Pennine Way - in the depths of winter - the Spine Race is widely regarded as one of the world's toughest ultra marathons.

"I don't normally take sugar in my coffee, but..."
© Montane Spine Race

Eoin Keith came in second, arriving the morning after Jasmin in a time of 98:18:23.

Not only did Jasmin Paris come in comfortably miles ahead of the fastest man, but doubly impressive is that she was expressing for breast feeding at checkpoints along the way! And still she smashed the overall record for a winter Spine by around 12 hours.

From the start in Edale on Sunday morning, she had only a few hours of sleep.

On day three both Paris and Spain's Eugeni Roselló Solé began the day by increasing their lead over Eoin Keith. They continued to run together until they reached CP4 at Alston, 194 miles into the race. However, even though they elected to rest, Paris pushed on ahead of Roselló Solé after just 45 minutes. She built up a commanding lead over him, which she then maintained to the end.

However, in second place up on the Cheviots, Roselló Solé retired from the race in cold and very windy conditions, agonisingly just 6km from the end.

Lack of sleep and winter weather take their toll on competitors, and the event is unsupported - which means that between checkpoints runners are on their own, carrying everything they need to complete the race. The total ascent is well over 13,000m.

"I've slept about two hours 15 minutes so far" Jasmin said towards the end of her third day.

"I'm really enjoying myself. It's a mixture of type one and type two fun. I'm eating a lot but I've barely seen the others eating. I'm juggling being a parent with Ultra running and I have also got a thesis to write when I finish."

Jasmin Paris on a night leg of the route © Montane Spine Race
Jasmin Paris on a night leg of the route
© Montane Spine Race

In 2018 the event saw some particularly brutal weather. Jim Mann and Eoin Keith both took the lead, respectively, before each in turn had to retire. The eventual winner Pavel Paloncý talked of 'waist-deep snow'. There was more drama to come when the race was temporarily suspended due to severe weather.

The weather this year has been more amenable - but mid January in the Pennines could never be considered a walk in the park.

"This is an incredible achievement from Jasmin as she bounces straight back from having her first child, and who is still being breast fed!" said Claire Maxted, UKH running contributor and the brains behind Youtube channel Wild Ginger Running.

"However, this comes as no surprise to those who know the history of this fell running vet from Edinburgh - Jasmin is no stranger to both women's and overall records. She only started running just over a decade ago while at university, but quite clearly her formative years spent backpacking multi-day routes in high mountains worldwide has given her the endurance and strength to compete on an international level.

"It's fantastic to have such thrilling racing going on so early in the season so thanks to Jasmin for quietly thrashing two previous Spine Race winners Spaniard Eugeni Rosello Sole and Irishman Eoin Keith, and steadily cranking out the miles to beat the men's record.

"With last year's ladies winner Carol Morgan this year winning the Spine Challenger, and last year easily winning the Cape Wrath Ultra, I would love to see these two race head to head in 2019...how about the 2019 Dragon's Back Race both...?"

For insights into Jasmin's long distance psychology and training, see this interview:

The previous fastest time on the Spine Race was set by Ireland's Eoin Keith (95:17:00) in 2016, while hitherto the fastest female was Ireland's Carol Morgan (109:54:00) in 2017. Racing aside, the fastest known time on the Pennine Way is held Mike Hartley, who ran the route in 65:20:15 back in July 1989; it's a very different ball game in summer, with pacers and support. If she turned her attention to a summer record, Jasmin would clearly be in with a good chance!

In 2015 Jasmin won the women's Dragon's Back Race, coming 2nd overall. The following year she broke records on all three of the UK's famous big hill running rounds: Scotland's Ramsay Round (16:13); Lakeland's Bob Graham (15:24); and the Paddy Buckley in Wales (18hrs 33mins). Her Ramsay time is not only a women's record, but remains the fastest overall time for the round.

That year she also won the Glen Coe Skyline and Tromso Skyrace, to be crowned champion of the Extreme category in the 2016 Skyrunner World Series.

Competitors in limestone country, earlier in the week © Montane Spine Race
Competitors in limestone country, earlier in the week
© Montane Spine Race

  • For most runners the race is still far from over. You can follow the remaining competitors via live tracking here


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Jasmin Karina Paris is a British runner who has been a national fell running champion and who holds the records for the Bob Graham Round and the Ramsay Round.

Jasmin's Athlete Page 3 posts


16 Jan

Record. Wowzers.

16 Jan

Absolutely awe-inspiring.

16 Jan

Totally ridiculous. 

She's a very impressive athlete and competitor.

16 Jan

An amazing, super-human and phenomenal achievement! Maa-hoosive congratulations to Jasmin! :-)

 

17 Jan

Outstanding , I really hope she gets more recognition and nominated for Sports personality of the year 2019 , certainly gets my vote ,well  done Jasmin

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