The 2017 Montane Spine Race kicks off this Sunday 15 January, and current conditions and the ongoing weather forecast suggest that his could be the toughest yet running of the self-styled ‘Britain’s Most Brutal Race’.
A quick recap if you haven’t come across the Spine before. Essentially it’s a winter race along the course of the 268-mile Pennine Way which follows the spine – geddit – of England from Edale in the Peak District to Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish borders.
From 11 entrants in 2012 to 260 this year…
The race was first run in 2012 when there were just 11 competitors with only three finishing the event and has grown year on year into its current incarnation where 260 competitors are scheduled to take part across three different events with main sponsorship from outdoors brand Montane.
In addition to the main Spine Race which starts on Sunday morning, there are also shorter Spine Challenger events covering the 108 miles between Edale and Hawes in the Yorkshire Dales. One is a general entry event just like big brother, the other, the Spine MRT Challenge is restricted to members of mountain rescue teams.
When Does It Start?
This year, the shorter Spine Challenger events are set to start on Saturday 14 January with the standard race starting at 08.00 and the MRT Challenger some four hours later at 12.00.
The main Spine Race is scheduled to start at 08.00 on Sunday 15 January. The good news is that all racers are equipped with a GPS Tracker and, once the event has started, you can follow their progress live at live.thespinerace.com/spinerace17/ – be warned though, it can become addictive…