Spine Challenger New Course Records

By Alice Morrison

108 miles in 60 hours from Edale to Hardraw in January. How hard can it be? Pretty hard is the short answer. The MONTANE® Spine® Challenger set off at 8am on Saturday, January 13th and, as always, provided a great three days of racing – both for the competitors and for those following the live dots as they sped over the hills.

Going into the race, the course records stood at 28:00:28 held by Dominic Layfield for the overall record and 30:18.00 for the current women’s record, held by Beth Pascall.

Both records fell in a really fast race. Wouter Huitzing came in first at 25:44:21, followed by Simon Bourne with 28:42:17 and then Ian Magee with 29:02:47.

Wouter had this to tell us after he finished, “It was a great race. Conditions were perfect (or definitely better than the previous year). But it was hard working. I was hoping to go for the win, and the first 3 hours I was on my own. Then Simon catches up and we run more or less together. I am noticing that he looks to be a better runner, but I am the stronger hiker and climber. So I try to stay with him on the flat bits and near Malham Cove I get a chance to make a move. So I start climbing and pushing hard. And it worked out. However, I have been constantly watching over my shoulder, expecting him to catch up. “

For the women, Emma Hopkinson was first with 29:39:35, Cass Chisholm was second with 35:38:20 and Jen Scotney was third with 37:12:45.

Jen spoke to RunUltra after the race, “It felt amazing despite the state of my feet! It felt such a privilege to be in this race. I love this type of wild terrain and similarly wild weather, and had trained hard for 5 months for the race. It was my first 100 miler and I had absolutely no idea my body could do anything like this. Really special to cross the finish line for that reason, especially with my husband/coach (Marcus Scotney) waiting for me, just as I was when he won it in 2014.”

The course is famed for its difficulty and the vagaries of the British weather, and if you like a bit of during-race cossetting, then this is not the race for you say the organisers:

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!

For more on The Challenger and its big sister, the Spine Race, join the RunUltra chat. 

"I love this type of wild terrain and similarly wild weather, and had trained hard for 5 months for the race. It was my first 100 miler and I had absolutely no idea my body could do anything like this (Jen Scotney)"

Like what you read?

Click here to sign up for more

Related news

Latest news

MIUT 85k Race Report

MIUT 85k Race Report I want to share my experience of the MIUT 85k as a novice Ultra-Runner – what my background is, how I prepared, how

Read More »

SEARCH

Filters

Distance
Distance - slider
0KM500KM
Entry Fee
Entry Fee - slider
010000

DATE SEARCh

Date Range

Global - Virtual

Elevation

A virtual race which can be run at any time shown on the dates shown, on any type of terrain in any country.

Suitable for

For runners from beginners to experienced as you choose your own course and challenge based on the guidelines and options set by the virtual race organiser.

Endurance - Multi-activity

Elevation

An ultra distance race including at least two of the following activities such as running, swimming, cycling, kayaking, skiing and climbing. It may also include different climatic conditions (eg ice, snow, humidity, cold water, mud or heat).

Suitable for

Experienced multi-skilled athletes who have trained for the different activities included in this event. Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements and any specialist equipment required such as a wetsuit, skis or a mountain bike.

Brutal

Elevation

Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude)

Suitable for

Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

Expert

Elevation

Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat)

Suitable for

Experienced runners who have completed at least 4 ultras in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.

Advanced

Elevation

Increase of up to 1500 metres

Suitable for

Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.

Intermediate

Elevation

Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for

Runners who have completed at least one ultra in last 6 months or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.

Beginner

Elevation

Very little change < 500 metres

Suitable for

First ultra event. Runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running (>26 miles) in the last 6 months.