From 2012 the Spine® family has continued to grow. A brief history of the event is detailed on this page.
The Spine® Race was first attempted in January 2012. During this first attempt we witnessed many courageous attempts to finish the 268 mile course. Three athletes would eventually make the finish. The race was won jointly by Gary Morrison and Steve Thompson, closely followed by Mark Caldwell in 158h55m. The 2012 record was 151h2m. This was a journey into the unknown and it was a privilege to see these Spine® Legends cross the finish line.
In dramatic circumstances the 2013 Dare 2b Spine® Race was won by Eugeni Roselló Sole in an incredible 124h52m with Annabel Gates completing the race as 1st Female in 172h59m. This was over the deadline as the competitors were unable to move from their position on the course until the morning. Defying the almost Arctic conditions the entire race field battled bravely on and are a testament to the courage and camaraderie shown by those who wish to take the Spine® on.
2014 MONTANE® Spine® Race saw adventure racer Pavel Paloncy finish in an incredible 110h 45m, in what has to be one of the great winter performances seen in the UK. He was unsupported during his incredible run (only supported by the Spine® Team and what we provide). Pavel, was shortly followed by Matt Davis and Steve Holyoak.
This was only the start as Debbie Brupbacher smashed the ladies record coming home in an incredible 153h 17m! Which is no mean feat and certainly worthy of many accolades. She was chased all the way by 2013 Challenger Winner, Anne Green who came in a few hours behind in 156h 58m.
The times from the 2015 MONTANE® Spine® Race are a pretty unique set of results and cannot really compare to other editions of the race. The race was severely interrupted by extreme periods of weather which, in some cases, resulted in alterations to the race route and mandatory holds by race marshals. This affected the race clock and resulted in elements of staging between some checkpoints at various times with rest (as this is subjective) not being applied, regardless of the time held. This did not affect all of the athletes at all times either.
The returning 2014 MONTANE® Spine® Race champion, Pavel Paloncy just held off the challenge from Irishman Eoin Keith coming home in 81h34m and 82h35m respectively. Beth Pascall placed joint 4th overall and completed the course in an incredible 90h59m. Keri Devine placed 2nd, completing a slightly amended route in 126h 55m. We hope to see all of them back in 2016!
The individual times are much improved on previous years, but this is due to no rest being applied when mandatory holds were in place. So we class the times from the 2015 MONTANE® Spine® Race as a unique set of results, when compared to other years.
During the 2016 MONTANE® Spine® Race we witnessed some incredible individual performances, and one that would continue beyond the race. Two-time defending champion Pavel Paloncy, Eoin Keith and former champion Eugeni Roselló Sole battled for supremacy and overall lead of the race for more than two and a half days of continual head-to-head racing.
The break away was finally managed by Eoin Keith, which he established at Tann Hill, not taking off your shoes pays sometimes. From here he was able to maintain a cushion to the dogged Pavel, with both men looking to complete the course under 100hrs. Which is absolutely incredible.
Sadly Eugeni was forced to retire, leaving it down to two men battling for the win. Eoin was able to maintain the gap, as severe weather and low visibility hampered Pavel’s chase. Eoin would go on to smash the existing record and set an incredible time of 95h17m, with Pavel also breaking his 2014 record, coming home in 100h36m.
Pete Wilkie, the first Brit home would complete the course in a very impressive 117h14m. The best performance by a home athlete.
As the race developed we were all very keen to see who would be the first lady home, what was evident was that we initially had another battle shaping up. The returning Anna Buckingham was competing against Zoe Thornburgh for the honour of being the first female finisher.
At this stage of the race we were down to two remaining ladies.
Continuing their advance up the course, we had chance to catch up with them around the Greenhead area and the duel had turned in to a joint effort to get to the finish. Great to see such camaraderie displayed.
Anna and Zoe would place =17 overall and make the finish in 166h38m.
One last mention must go to Javed Bhatti, who not only finished the race in 167h33m, but he would turn around and complete a return to Edale. The Pennine Way completed twice in a row. Incredible stuff!