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Copyright Montane Spine Race

Montane Spine Race: day four

by Press Release
Thursday 19th January 2017
Tags  MONTANE Spine Race   |   Spine Race   |   Montane
Britain's most brutal race, day four
Pavel Paloncý, Eugeni Roselló Solé and Tom Hollins race neck-and-neck to the finish of the 268-mile MONTANE® Spine® Race. Carol Morgan, joint sixth overall, grows her lead still further in the women's race. The MONTANE® Spine® Race is a 268-mile footrace along the Pennine Way, England's oldest and generally thought to be toughest, National Trail, in winter.
With less than 40 miles left of the 2017 MONTANE® Spine® Race, Pavel Paloncý (CZE), Eugeni Roselló Solé (ESP) – and now Tom Hollins (GBR) – are racing neck and neck to the finish line.
After leaving check point (CP) 4 at Alston,180 miles into the 268-mile race, at around 10pm Tuesday night, 2014 and 2015 race winner Pavel Paloncý (CZE) was in first place. While 2013 winner Eugeni Roselló Solé (ESP) left the CP just 24 minutes after him.
They battled each other for most of the day, as the two traversed World-Heritage-listed Hadrian's Wall before turning north again towards the Scottish Borders. After neither could gain an advantage, the regular Spine foes agreed to run together to the fifth and final CP in Bellingham, 43 miles from the finish in Kirk Yetholm.
In Bellingham the two runners, who've battled each other for podium spots in the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Spine Races rested for around three hours.
As they slept however, Tom Hollins, a Yorkshire anaesthetist who won the 108-mile MONTANE® Spine® Challenger in 2016, grew ever closer. And as Paloncý and Roselló Solé left Bellingham, Hollins caught up with them.
Recently Hollins has looked like the freshest of the three. Unlike the other two, he is a supported runner, meaning a crew can meet him with a campervan whenever the trail crosses a road, an option open to all Spine Race competitors. Hollins aims to finish in under 100 hours. The course record is 95 hours and 17 minutes.
The three will race through Wednesday night, on the Pennine Way across the remote Cheviot Hills in the Scottish Borders to Kirk Yetholm, Scotland. The first runner is expected to finish at around 8am, Thursday, 19 January.
In the women's race, Carol Morgan (IRL) continues to extend her lead over Helene Dumais (CAN), to now more than 50km. Third place is being contested by Sarah Fuller (GBR), Gabriele Kenenberg (GER) and Yvonne Lehnert (GER), all currently at CP3, Middleton-in-Teesdale.
Morgan, an advanced practitioner in A&E, has been running with Paul Nelson (GBR) and they're now joint sixth. Debbie Brupbacher's 2014 course record of 153 hours and 17 minutes is within Morgan's reach.
There have been 36 retirements so far, including 2016 Spine Race winner and course record holder Eoin Keith (IRL). Keith was diagnosed with a fractured rib by the race medical team, probably from a fall on the first night. He continued on initially, while still in third place. But when Hollins passed him in the morning, he decided to retire.
The MONTANE® Spine® Race continues through the night...
MONTANE® Spine® Race (M): Pavel Paloncý (CZH)/Eugeni Rosello Sole (ESP)/Tom Hollins (GBR)
MONTANE® Spine® Race (F): Carol Morgan (GBR)
MONTANE® Spine® Challenger (M): 28:00, Dominic Layfield (US)
MONTANE® Spine® Challenger (F): 37:53, Sarah Davies (GBR)
MONTANE® Spine® MRT Challenge (M): 33:40, Alasdair Cowell (GBR)
MONTANE® Spine® MRT Challenge (F): 58:18 Ella Corrick (GBR)
Available to view at http://live.thespinerace.com/

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