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Britainís most brutal race

I’m fond of adventures close to home. I also enjoy gruelling challenges. There is generally a perception that the two are not compatible. Many people, myself included, have done ultramarathons around the world. But you shouldn’t need to travel far to have a miserable time!

So I was pleased to receive an email from Scott Gilmour telling me about a 268 mile ultramarathon here in Britain. Get involved!

The Spine is a non-stop, 268 mile, winter mountain marathon that encompasses the entire Pennine Way. The course features over 30,000 feet of ascent, and covers some of the most challenging terrain found in England. The Pennine Way is a notoriously challenging trail in good conditions. In winter it will test even the most disciplined.

There are 3 classes of entry Elite (6 Days), Open (7 Days) and the 100 mile Challenger (70 hours). As this is a non-stop race you are master of your own destiny. For details on the different classes visit the race website here:

We decided to organise the race as there was space on the UK circuit for a race such as this. Britain has one of the world’s best ultra-marathon calendars and some truly innovative and challenging events. If we can add something to this we would be very proud.

Entries for the 268 mile race close at midnight (GMT) on the 16 December 2011.†

Kind regards,

Scott Gilmour

Race Director

The Spine: Britain’s most brutal race

M: +447538083177


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  1. Andy Fleet Posted

    400 quid!!!

    Someones making a killing there,looks like another step on the yuppie bangwagon to me Al,plenty of better events out there

    • Hi Andy,
      I had mixed feelings about this – I would not pay that myself but I also think that, for some people, this is an opportunity to force yourself to commit totally to something that is difficult.
      Swings and roundabouts.

      The Marathon des Sables felt a total rip-off at about £2500. A couple of years later I never think about the cash, but I often think about the memories of the event.

      • Andy fleet Posted

        It looks an epic undertaking no doubt about that! I just think that charging 400 pounds for what is essentially a self supported venture is a bit of a rip off! But hey if people are prepared to pay it then fair enough.Coming from a fell running background i’m not used to paying more than a tenner for a race! Good luck with the Atlantic row by the way,should be a great experience.

        • Hey Guys,

          Great to see a discussion going on the race whether your opinions are positively positioned in favour or against! I can guarantee you we aren’t making a killing and it’s not entirely self supported. In fact we have 7 venues booked for safety, rescue staff, vehicles to run, medical and sweeping teams on the course, food, awards and hopefully some equipment to give out to the participants.

          We are also supporting another race on the Sunday with the use of one of our facilities. We’re all genuinely passionate about what we are doing.

          Granted you can run the route for free any time of the year but winter is a tricky time of year to do it and many of the comments we have received are based around the complexities of attempting the route in winter. We hope we can provide the support that will allow individuals to take on a massive challenge and get to finish.

          Keep the comments coming and I will try to answer them as best as I am able.

          All the best!



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