The Spine - Britain's most brutal?

Posted in At the Races by Matt Ward on Mon 07 Nov '11

© The Spine Race

2011 has been a year for announcements of big events. The penchant for ultra ultras continues with the news of The Spine – a non-stop 268 mile winter ultra-marathon encompassing the entire length of the Pennine Way…

Event release

Recognised as an area of outstanding natural beauty, the Pennine Way crosses some of the most beautiful, difficult and challenging terrain found in England, including; the Peak District, Cheviots, Yorkshire Dales and Northumberland National Park – finishing on the Scottish Borders.

© Scott Gilmour

Organsier Scott Gilmour states:

The Spine was created to rival some of the big multi-day events that are organised the world over. Britain has some of the finest ultras in the world and we feel The Spine will really add something to the circuit.

The race features over 10,000 metres of ascent across 268 miles of undulating hills that could be snow covered. The hills themselves are very exposed. Racers will have to be aware of conditions such as hypothermia – along with the usual running injuries. Britain has a humid climate which amplifies the effects of the cold, made especially more challenging by the wind; making this a unique challenge.

© Richard Wiles

The race is open to anyone who wishes to test themselves and compete in a truly brutal race. You will face the most extreme weather conditions England has to offer; deep snow, ice, wind and rain in a gruelling 7 day race from Edale to Kirk Yetholm.

It’s a non-stop race so we won’t stop anyone who fancies taking on the fells at night! We call it Britain’s most brutal race and we will find out if the race lives up to this.

© Richard Wiles

It’s not just the conditions that are against you – your own body could become your worst enemy with tiredness, fatigue, sleep deprivation and exposure playing havoc with your performance. To finish you must be prepared and willing to push yourself harder than ever before.

You can walk, run, snowshoe or even use cross-country skis! You must carry your equipment so choose wisely. A pair of skis can be quite cumbersome and if there isn’t much snow…

Athletes competing in The Spine can enter in 3 classes Elite, Open and Relay*

Date: 14-21 January 2012

Distance: 255-268 miles dependent on route

Time: 6-7 days (dependent on class)

Checkpoints: 5 (dependent on class)


For the race documentation click here

Entries close at midnight (GMT) on the 16.12.2011.

© Richard Wiles

Reactions so far
  1. Christen Bouffard Nov 9, 06:44 PM

    What sort of face mask is the person wearing in the image above? I’ve never seen anything like that.

  2. Gary Morrison Nov 9, 08:30 PM

    The Cold Avenger Pro. I’m getting hold of one soon for some sub zero winter training, and possible use on The Spine race in January.

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