Lymm Runner and Joint-Chair of the Club, Tim Martland has just completed the 108 mile Montane Spine Challenger Ultra Race in 49 hours and 51 minutes.
This took place over the weekend, starting Saturday 13th January and ending Monday January 15th and is Britain’s second most Brutal race.
This race runs along the Pennine Way from Edale north to Hardraw It is physically and psychologically demanding and requires concentration, good physical fitness and respect. There is a 60 hour time limit to complete the route.
Having finished, Tim had this to say about his experience:
“The Spine Challenger race is incredibly tough. The Pennine Way is muddy, wet, slippery and rough at the best of times. The heavy rain and snow through Sunday night flooded large sections and made the going so slow. Add to that the cold and wind and fog and it was impossible to keep dry and hard to stay warm. I was on my own for most of the race and navigation while tired was hard. I struggled to find the path up Pen y Ghent in fog. Teaming up with 2 others for the final hours really helped. The 2 points I underestimated beforehand though were the weight of my pack (10kg or so – no support allowed and only 1 checkpoint) as you’re carrying a lot of kit and all your food/drink and second, the amount of darkness. For 15 hours a day it’s dark with lower speeds and harder navigation. Mentally it’s so hard to keep going. The visual (and some auditory) hallucinations were really spectacular on night two. So pleased to have finished. It is Britain’s most brutal race.”
Like many other Clubs, members of Lymm Runners are increasingly participating in a range of Ultra races. An Ultra is any race longer than the classic marathon of 26.2 miles. Not all are as extreme as the Spine race, plenty are between 30- 50 miles and take place along tracks and trails, often in very beautiful and dramatic terrain. What’s more, although you do need to prepare, train hard and be fit to tackle one, you don’t have to be superhuman, just tenacious – there are many Mums, Dads and Grandparents taking part to experience the mental and physical challenge of running in natural surroundings and in all weathers – and meeting some great people along the way.