Challenging conditions at the Montane Summer Spine

Treacherous weather creates challenging conditions on the second night of the Montane Summer Spine event with Jon Shield and Sam Moppet forced to retire from the main event race, while the Montane Summer Spine Challenger South podium is complete.

After a strong start, Montane Athlete Jon Shield has been forced to retire from the race along with Sam Moppet, propelling Chirs Cope into a strong position. Irene Kinnegan of the Netherlands leads the women just outside of Anna Troup’s course record pace, with Rachel Price in second place taking advantage of gaps in the showers to pick up some distance. Price is closely followed behind by Sue Straw and Lynn Murphy.

The Montane Summer Spine main event commenced early on the 16th June with runners set to navigate 268 miles across the Pennine Way with 1.5 Everests of ascents. This year’s event is the biggest in race history as participants take on the route through three national parks.

Of the race so far, current leader of the Montane Summer Spine Chris Cope said: “The mud is miserable; you are sliding all over, it is crazy tough. Everything aches but that is part of the course and I’m enjoying it.”

The 108- mile Montane Summer Spine Challenger South podium wrapped up in Hardraw later than anticipated due to the tough terrain underfoot as rain came down over Black Hill. The men’s podium featured a new course record from Rupert Allison as he crossed the line with a time of 22:31:02. James White came in second recording a time of 24:20:37 and Jack Cooper pushed hard in the final three miles to round off the podium.

Ruper Allison, Montane Summer Spine Challenger South winner said: “It was a torrid afternoon . I am really tired, but it has been a really nice last hour, a gorgeous morning and this is pretty special. It is a relief to finish; glad to be done and really delighted with the time in the end.”

Ursula Sullivan led the women in the early stages of the race, remaining in place to claim first female in her first-ever 100 mile race. Mel Sykes finished as second female with 33:16:02, while Marie-Lou Alemany placed third after having to withdrawn from her first two race attempts in previous years.

Race reports show a difficult second night for runners on the Montane Summer Challenger South with poor visibility and torrential rains alongside a drop in temperature and increased wind speed. The remaining runners have until 8 PM tonight [17th June] to complete the route.

Elsewhere, the Montane Summer Spine MRT Challenge South, which is open to runners from mountain rescue teams across the country, saw Brett Mahoney secure a comfortable first position.  Runners for the Montane Summer Spine Challenger North and MRT Challenger North set at 8am on the 17th June as athletes of the full event continue into their second day.

Follow along and get race updates via The Montane Spine FacebookInstagram x, and YouTube. More information can be found here.

Header image: Montane Summer Spine 2024 – Rupert Allison crosses the line.

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