Photo: andrewhendry.com. A racer takes in the dramatic night sky as they navigate the snowy trails on the Pennine Way.
Not since 2019, when Jasmin Paris set a blistering new record, has the Winter Spine Race seen such a fast pace set by participants. With Britain in the grips of a cold snap, racers battled snow, freezing trails, and temperatures that felt as low as -20 degrees. The result? A true taste of winter on the Pennine Way this year.
But the freezing conditions only propelled the participants further, with racer Jack Scott quickly setting a trailblazing pace. Much to dot watchers' amazement, his record-breaking run showed no signs of slowing and saw him cross the finish line in an incredible time of 72 hrs 55 mins 05 secs. This smashed Jasmin’s previous record by over 10 hours. An Incredible, mind-blowing achievement, that will go down in Spine Race history, if not ultra running history.
Keep reading to discover who else claimed Spine glory this year and how the #TeamMontane racers taking part got on…
Jack Scott wasn’t the only record breaker on this year's Winter Spine Race 2024. 2nd finisher Damian Hall finished in a time of 82:25:10, which is also faster than Jasmin’s previous course record in 2019. This makes this the 2nd fastest time ever seen on the course. In 3rd place was Konrad Rawlik arriving at Kirk Yetholm in a time of 85:47:12.
1st woman and 5th overall went to Claire Bannwarth who finished in a time 92:02:02, a faster time than when she raced in 2023. Claire is one of a select few athletes to have successfully defended their title at the Montane Winter Spine Race. 2nd woman went to Hannah Rickman and 3rd to Lucy Gossage.
On the Spine Challenger North, former Spine podium racer Joe O’Learly showed his experience, shaving a whopping 16 hours off the existing course record! Having placed 3rd in previous attempts on both this course and the full course, he finally placed 1st.
The 2nd runner to finish the North Challenger was #TeamMontane’s Tom Hollins, who also has plenty of Spine race experience under his running shoes (having won the full race back in 2017!). 3rd overall and 1st woman went to Nikki Arthur with a time of 52:17:19. We also wanted to shout out to fellow #TeamMontane racer Jon Shield who battled through early injury to complete the race in 7th place.
The Spine Challenger South overall winner was Daniel Weller, followed by James Graham in 2nd place. Paul Haigh and Jamie Pond took joint 3rd. 1st woman went to Samantha Lissauer with a time of 33:16:28, followed by Helen Dale in 2nd and Sam Borrett in 3rd place.
Over on the shortest course, the Spine Sprint was also record-breaking this year! In the women’s race, all 4 top finishers completed the race inside the previous record set by Louise Venables in 2023. The first woman to complete was Jessica Johnson who now holds the new record for women on the Sprint with a time of 10:04:42. Overall winner and the first man to cross the finish line was Rupert Allison with a time of 07:28:09, Rupert also set a new course record to beat!
After an amazing performance on the 268-mile Spine Racecourse, #TeamMontane athletes Simon Roberts and James Nobles sadly retired from the race due to niggling injuries which made it unsafe to be out in the conditions. Simon joined the Spine safety team to help his fellow runners on their journey. You can hear from all of the #TeamMontane racers who took part in our official race Q&A.
Top moments on the Winter Spine Race 2024
Photo: andrewhendry.com. 1st Woman on the Spine Sprint, Jessica Johnson, was full of enthusiam on the trail from Edale to Hebden Bridge.
Photo: Eric Murphy. The full length Montane Winter Spine Race 2024 got off to a fresh and fast start with a lead pack quickly established.
#TeamMontane’s Simon Roberts looked nimble early in the race heading up Jacob’s Ladder, closely followed by defending champion Damian Hall.
A spectacular sunrise on Monday over the frozen landscapes of the North Pennines.
Photo: andrewhendry.com. When exhaustion hits, any place will do to rest your head for a few minutes on the trail...
Photo: Wild_Aperture. Snowfall on #TeamMontane’s Jon Shield as he took on the Spine Challenger North.
Former Spine Race champion and #TeamMontane athlete Debbie Martin-Consani joined the WinterSpine Race team this year visiting some of the most remote parts sof the course. She was eager to get back to Gregg’s Hut for some of his infamously piping hot noodles!
Photo: Wild_Aperture. Jack Scott takes a moment to digest his record-breaking win on the Montane Winter Spine race. Arriving at Kirk Yehtholm at 09.10 on Wednesday morning, he completed the 268-mile course on just 54 minutes of sleep along the way. Time for a well-earned rest!
A participant dwarfed by the bleak and bitterly cold exposed landscapes of the Pennine Way.
Photo: Wild_Aperture. #TeamMontane’s Tom Hollins crosses the Spine Challenger North Finish line in 2nd place. Having won the Challenger South in 2016 and the full Winter Spine in 2017, Tom has well and truly earned his status as a Spine Race legend!
Photo: @willbaldlygo. Touching the finish line! 1st woman and 5th overall, Claire Bannwarth gave it her all to triumphantly defend her Spine Race title.
For those looking for more insights into the Montane Winter Spine Race 2024, don’t miss the official daily wrap-up videos.
The Winter Spine Race may be over for another year but we have plenty more tests of endurance to look forward to, take a look at our 10 ultras to watch in 2024 to get inspired.