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Mick Kenyon/Montane Spine Race

Britain's most brutal race: the story so far

by Press Release
Monday 16th January 2017
Dominic Layfield (US) wins the 108-mile Montane® Spine® Challenger in a new course record. Alasdair Cowell (GBR) wins the 108-mile Montane® Spine® MRT (Mountain Rescue Team) Challenge race. The much-anticipated, sixth Montane® Spine® Race, 268 miles along the Pennine Way in winter, gets under way, with leaders setting a scorching pace.
British-born, US-based Dominic Layfield (US) has won the 108-mile MONTANE® Spine® Challenger in a (provisional) course record of 28:04 – almost an hour quicker than Marcus Scotney's previous record. 
The 108-mile race began at 8am on Saturday, 14 January from Edale in the Peak District National Park. Runners started out in the snow, strong winds and below-0˚ Celsius temperatures, along the Pennine Way, England's oldest and generally thought to be toughest National Trail.
At mid-day on Saturday, the 108-mile, Spine MRT (Mountain Rescue Team) Challenge race also began, following the same route to Hawes, in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Only this race began in brilliant sunshine.
Both sets of runners battled with treacherous terrain – bogs, rocks, ice, snow – and unpredictable weather during the day and continued through 15 hours of darkness. Layfield reaching Hawes around lunchtime on Sunday, Silver Eensaar (EST) finished second in 30:13, with Dan Shrimpton (GBR), 31:09. 
Sarah Davies (BGR) currently leads the ladies race, by over five hours.
Alasdair Cowell (GBR) set a fast early pace in the Spine MRT Challenge race, reaching Hawes to win in 33:40. 
Both races continue through a second night, with runners aiming to reach the finish in under 60 hours. There have been 27 retirements so far.
At 8.30am on Sunday 15 January, the much-anticipated, full MONTANE® Spine Race, along the entire 268-mile Pennine Way National Trail, began in warmer but much wetter conditions.
The race includes three previous winners: 2016 winner and course record holder Eoin Keith (IRL), 2014 and 2015 winner Pavel Paloncý (CZH), and 2013 winner Eugeni Rosello Sole (ESP). The roster also features strong runners from the US, Japan, Sweden. 
It was the three previous MONTANE® Spine Race winners who set the early pace. But after around two hours,  Paloncý and Rosello Sole put a gap on Keith, which grew to 1km. But at press Keith looked to have caught them back up. There's doubtless plenty of drama to come. 
There have been four retirements so far.
Race winners:
MONTANE® Spine® Challenger (M): 28:04, Dominic Layfield (US)
MONTANE® Spine® MRT Challenge (M): 33:40, Alasdair Cowell (GBR)
Current race leaders:
MONTANE® Spine® Race (M): Pavel Paloncý (CZH)/Eugeni Rosello Sole (ESP)/Eoin Keith (IRL)
MONTANE® Spine® Race (F): Carol Morgan (GBR)
MONTANE® Spine® Challenger (F): Sarah Davies (GBR)
MONTANE® Spine® MRT Challenge (F): Ella Corrick (GBR)
Live tracking and live leaderboard: 
Available to view at http://live.thespinerace.com/ 
See videos and keep up to date on the Facebook page.

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