MONTANE® Spine® Challenger
The Montane® Spine® Challenger is a non-stop, 108 mile race between Edale and Hardraw* with a time limit of 60hrs. This challenging and technical section of the Pennine Way is a physically and psychologically demanding route that demands concentration, good physical fitness, resolve and respect. The Montane® Spine® Challenger is a notoriously difficult event in its own right and should be considered as having a similar degree of difficulty as the longer Montane® Spine® Race.
From appearances alone 60 hours looks like ample time to complete this course. However, appearances can be deceptive. The rugged and very technical nature of this race is mentally taxing, as you have to constantly be aware of foot placement in icy conditions, weather systems, navigation, available daylight and self-management.
In all of the previous editions of the race competitors have faced at least one of (if not multiples of ) extreme weather, storm force winds, snow, extreme ice, bogs, fog, hail, mud and almost anything else you can think of!
There is very little hand holding on this race. We expect you to travel with a degree of self-sufficiency and skill which sets this race apart from others. Why? You should never embark on an adventure of this magnitude without the appropriate knowledge and skill to make yourself safe in a time of need. There is nothing more personally reassuring than being secure in your own abilities. That said, we still attach a GPS tracker to you with an emergency button just in case!
The MONTANE® Spine® Team will support your herculean efforts by being there when you really need us. We have an event safety team who will support you on the course, checkpoint teams who will provide you with some of the comforts of home when you need a rest, baggage transfers for your resupply and an excellent medical team provided by Exile Medics.
If you’re ready to face Britain’s second most Brutal race, hit the apply button.
Please see Application Guidance, Entry Criteria and Race Documentation for requirements and read thoroughly the Terms and Conditions of Entry (Race Documentation).
*Hardraw is the new finish for the Challenger from 2018.
What is included? . . .
The event is tough. Very tough at times. Included as part of your entry you will receive accommodation, food at all checkpoints, baggage transfer (1x20kg drop bag to CP1 & FIN), GPS Tracking device, medical support, on-course support and when possible/ required course evacuation. There is 1 main checkpoint in the Challenger (CP1, Hebden Bridge) where hot food, drinks, snacks, medical attention and resupply is available. As you progress your resupply/ finish bag is taken ahead for you to CP2 Hardraw (FIN). There is food, showers & beds at the finish. In addition to these we also utilise a series of smaller stopping points available such as Malham Tarn and the Pen y Ghent Cafe in Horton in Ribblesdale.
The event can be a lonely one if you wish or can be completed in the company of others. You may go for long periods without seeing anyone, due to the remote nature of the route or challenging weather. The race has been designed to have a more expedition approach, in that you carry what you need and you face what comes your way.
This event runs 24/7 to provide maximum flexibility to those competing.
Application Guidance . . .
Our online application form allows you to apply to compete in either the 2018 MONTANE® Spine® Race or Spine® Challenger. All applications are reviewed on a first come first served basis and you will be informed of your success via email if you are deemed suitable for a place on one of the race rosters. In some cases additional information may be requested by a member of the Spine® Team.
Please note that should you have any concerns regarding your suitability, for example: race experience or medical history. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org in advance of your application. The first stage is to register your interest. Apply using the form, completing all of the required fields as best as you can. You will receive a username and password for our online entry system. You do not need to pay a registration fee at this stage. Please complete your application by submitting it to us.
If you are selected for an event, or we require additional information we will contact you via email.
If you receive an offer of a place: To confirm your entry the full entry fee for your chosen event must be paid within 14 days. Failure to do this will result in your place being forfeited. This can be paid via bank transfer or online.
We will email instructions on how to pay your race fees. As part of your entry fee there is a non-refundable deposit which is applied to all successful entrants, please consider this prior to entering as once this is paid it is non-refundable, and make sure you read all of the documentation including the Terms and Conditions.
Entry Criteria . . .
As part of your application for the MONTANE® Spine® Race or Spine® Challenger, you must provide us with information detailing your skills and experience. This helps us determine your suitability for the event. This experience can be drawn from various sources and is not just limited to competing in ultra or multi-day events. Have a look at some of the examples and see if you relate to any of these categories. The race draws on many skills and is advantageous to be skilled in a number of areas related to outdoor activity in fell/ mountainous terrain.
Have you previously competed in the MONTANE® Spine® Race or Spine® Challenger? You know what to expect and are coming back for more! Please indicate this on your entry form.
Ultras, Multiday, Adventure Races, Fell Races, Expeditions or Challenges like the BGR, Ramsay Round are always looked on favourably. It goes without saying that the more relevant these are the better: Fellsman, Hardmoors 110, Lakeland 100, UTMB, Tor des Geants, Goldsteig, YAU etc. The more a challenge features mountainous/ fell terrain, cold, moorland and elements of navigation the better. Long distance walking is also extremely beneficial and you may find yourself doing a lot of this!
Skilled navigator? Have you competed in orienteering events? The route is waymarked as it is a National Trail, but not to the point where you can forget about navigation. Many skilled navigators have made errors on this route. Especially in bad weather or whilst racing at night. The trail may also be difficult to see in sections. Solid navigation skills are very important.
Mountain Leaders, Winter Mountain Leaders, Mountain Rescue Team Members, Mountaineers, Active and Former Armed Forces Personnel have solid skills, fitness and can certainly look after themselves in these environments.
These are just some examples of what we look for in an applicant. If you feel you have skills or experience not mentioned in the above examples, please include this as part of your application. Please note that this is a physically demanding race and your application may be reviewed after we receive your medical information. Please email us for details.