Huitzing and Hopkinson break MONTANE Spine Challenger records

Dutchman Wouter Huitzing and Briton Emma Hopkinson set course records for the the174km race; Jim Mann sets a scorching early pace in the full Spine® Race

Episode 3 • Montane Spine Race TV 2018

⚠️Watch now! Episode 3 • Montane Spine Race TV 2018 #SpineRace #Montane

Posted by Montane Spine Race on Sunday, 14 January 2018

Highlights from today’s action on the Montane Spine Race and Spine Challenger can also be viewed here

Hawes, Yorkshire Dales National Park, United Kingdom, Sunday, 14 January, 2018: Wouter Huitzing (NED) has won the 2018 MONTANE® Spine® Challenger with a course record. Huitzing, who placed 4th in the 2017 race, shook off Simon Bourne (GBR) overnight at Malham to arrive at the finish line in Hardraw, in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, at 09:44 Sunday morning. His time of 25:44:21 knocks well over two hours off Dominic Layfield’s previous best from 2017.

“I feel horrible,” said Huitzing said, after the race. “Everything hurts. I was under a lot of pressure, because I was chased the whole time and I had to keep going and going and going. It was cold overnight, so I just kept speeding up to keep warm. I am happy. But so tired.”

Would he consider the full Spine® Race next time? “No. My girlfriend said I can’t. But maybe the year after!”

Britain’s Simon Bourne placed second, almost three hours behind Huitzing, with Ian Magee third, 20 minutes behind Bourne in 28:42:47.

Fourth-place overall, Britain’s Emma Hopkinson won the women’s race in a new course record of 29:39, knocking almost 40 minutes off Beth Pascall’s record from 2016.

Former England-international fell-runner Hopkinson raced to the finish line holding hands with her two young daughters.

First in the women's race and Fourth overall, Emma Hopkinson runs in to the Spine Race Challenger finish line at Hardraw!#spinerace #fanclub

Posted by Montane Spine Race on Sunday, 14 January 2018

Cass Chisolm (GBR) placed second, five hours behind Hopkinson, with Montane’s own Jen Scotney (GBR) third.

Robin Smith looked likely to win the Spine® Mountain Rescue Team (MRT) Challenge (which is on the same course as the Spine® Challenger but only open to active Mountain Rescue personnel from England, Wales and the Scottish Borders), though Mike Fawcett isn’t far behind. Steph Dwyer leads the women’s race, from Jennifer Doe.

Runners have until 20:00 GMT Monday to reach the finish at Hardraw. There have been 19 retirees so far.

Meanwhile back in Edale, the full Montane Spine Race got underway at 8am, with Jim Mann (GBR) setting a scorching pace. At times travelling at six miles an hour, he was hotly perused by three previous winners Eoin Keith (IRL) in second, Pavel Paloncý (CZE) third and Eugeni Roselló Solé (ESP) fourth.

Mann seemed focused but in good humour as he stocked up on pizza at the first of five major check points at Hebden Hey. By 21:00 he had grown his lead to about 3km.

John Knapp (GBR) is in fifth place, along with Carol Morgan (IRL), the current women’s champion. Second woman is Sarah Kirsty Williams (GBR), with Daphné Derouch (FRA) third.

It’s currently raining and sleeting in the Pennines, with colder temperatures expected.

The 2018 MONTANE Spine® Race continues through the night…

Available to view at

Comments are closed here.