Eoin Keith and Anna Troup break records at Montane Summer Spine Race

The 268-mile race stretches from Derbyshire to the Scottish Borders and is one of the toughest in Britain

Eoin Keith

by Trail Running |

Overall Montane Summer Spine Race winner Eoin Keith

Ireland's Eoin Keith last night won the Montane Summer Spine Race in a time of 77 hours 34 minutes 52 seconds, taking 29 minutes off Mark Denby's course record.

Shortly afterwards, Britain's Anna Troup reached the finish at Kirk Yetholm in 80:28:35, breaking Sabrina Verjee's women's course record by 52 minutes.

The Summer Spine Race is a 268-mile (431km) non-stop challenge from Edale in Derbyshire to Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders along the Pennine Way. It was set up in 2018 as an accompaniment to the Spine Race, which takes place in the winter.

Keith, a former winner of the Montane Spine Race in the winter, said taking part in the summer equivalent was a "joy by comparison". He said he had not thought about the record until 220 miles into the course. “I’d heard the numbers but I just thought, no way, I just want to finish by Wednesday," he said.

Troup, who did not realise the entire way that she was on course for the record, said afterwards that prior to the event she had been worried by the "enormity of it (the race)", adding that she "couldn’t foresee how she would do that day after day".

By Wednesday morning they were still the only two to finish, with 29 having retired and 62 others remaining on the course, which covers parts of the Peak District, Yorkshire Dales, Cheviots and Scottish Borders.

The inaugural Spine Race had only 11 entrants but, by 2018, 283 were lining up at the start of the three races: the 268-mile Spine Race, the 108-mile Spine Challenger and the 108-mile MRT Spine Challenge.

The course has an overall ascent of 13,135m (43,093ft) and overall descent of 13,255m (43,487ft), with the highest point being Cross Fell at 892m (2,926ft).

The winter Spine Race made mainstream national news headlines in 2019 when Jasmin Paris became the first outright female winner, setting a record of 82 hours 12 minutes 23 seconds.

Last month John Kelly, with the aid of a support team, set a fastest-known time for the Pennine Way of 58 hours four minutes.

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Montane Summer Spine Race
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