The Spine

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28/01/2012 at 13:55

Yes, totally agree with Ian regarding nav. Unless you're at the front you can get away with following those in front (hoping that they themselves know where they are going). Low viz could throw you tho'. Most difficult sections to nav would be after Fleet Moss CP. Then during nighttime. First couple of times i did it, i had prob between Buckden Pike and Top Mere CP. Can be tricky in the dark.

Its a fantastic event. See You there!

16/02/2012 at 17:31

I am bumping up this thread to get a bit of advice on tackling this event. 

Definitely a possibility for next year. 

16/02/2012 at 18:09
Get in there!!

Got to 135 miles this year before becoming hypothermic and have already entered next year's event. Really well organised by a great group of people. Atmosphere was brill!!

Here's my account:
16/02/2012 at 20:14

Thanks for posting that Rich, it made a fascinating read. 

What clothing will you carry next year, knowing what you know now?

17/02/2012 at 18:39
Definite upgrade of gloves needed.
Will rethink base layer and overall layering system.
Mainly though I think I need to rethink my fuelling strategy - need to eat more and more frequently
Ultimately it was bloody cold and I'm only little!
26/02/2012 at 12:34
What was the consensus on shoes ? Did anyone try the Sportiva shoes with the built in gaiters? From all the accounts i have read it seems that keeping your feet dry and hence avoiding trench foot would make a huge difference to your pace. Having said that next years event could all be about dealing with torrential rain and high winds for days on end.
26/02/2012 at 14:17
I had some Montrail Badrock Outdry shoes - waterproof membrane - and Raidlight gaiters. Pretty much dry feet!!
IMO, Waterproof/goretex is definitely the way to go for this event
26/02/2012 at 19:59
Would you recommend carrying a lightweight down jacket or gillette?
27/02/2012 at 09:41

Well, put it this one point I was wearing Underarmour Coldwear LS base layer, tech T-shirt, Montane Fireball Smock (windproof insulated), First Ascent light wt down jacket and then had to put my OMM Kamleika over the top and then withdrew with hypothermia!! It was bloody cold in the middle of the night! I do feel the cold - not much insulation on me - but it was really cold that week.

29/02/2012 at 12:53

IMO I would advise against goretex / waterproof shoes. Further on the course, 150 miles and beyond,  the terrain became very boggy. I was up to my knees in mud and water.

Whatever you wear you have to accept with this race you are going to get some serious foot issues over 268 miles, and it's going to hurt.

With regards to lightweight down jacket / gillette, I occassionally wore a Rab vest as part of my thermal protection. The secret lies in knowing when to add or remove appropriate layers. You have to be mentally alert and aware of what's happening to be able to make quick effective decisions and and respond to situations.

07/03/2012 at 19:37
Hi Gary congratulations!
With regard to the boggy terrain after 150 miles, was that due to the rain thawing out the ground? What I am getting at is did the sub zero conditions on the first few days cap over the bogs .
If we get a freeze for the duration of the race next year then some degree of gortex may stave off the trench foot at least for a while.
I take it you rotated your shoes for dry ones where possible from your support crew. How did Mark manage as i don,t think he had a support crew?
Living in devon its,s a hell of a long way to go for a recce. Any parts of the course you think it would be worth concentrating on ? I have the Harveys maps showing the parts with vague trails in sections, did these match the reality on the ground?
22/08/2012 at 20:14

Hi guys - booked leave this week for this and if accepted will be entering next month.

who used GPS and if so what model? how was battery power / spare batterys?  Will be getting the OS Maps and have to get back to remembering Nav skills from old Army days - that and the being mental part to take part in this..... Cant wait - Just kit and logistics to look at.

Whos already signed up for 2013?

26/08/2012 at 23:04

Finally got myself properly entered. Now waiting to see if the training day clashes with the winter100. My diary is starting to look rather over crowded.

25/09/2012 at 17:05

In response;

 I used the same pair of shoes for the entire race. I did not have a support crew, I relied on reaching the checkpoints to access my kit bag/spare clothing. I'm not sure what footwear Mark wore and if he changed it, Mark's father was at a few villages with his campervan to meet Mark on route & check in on him, but Mark was pretty much self-sufficient, again relying on making it to checkpoints.

There is no 'hand holding' from a support crew on the Spine race. The 5 checkpoints are very far apart, and you have to be totally self-sufficient to handle what occurs. All competitors at some point of the race grouped together, but ultimately you're on your own. I would regard this race as more of a solo 6 to 7 day Mountain Marathon such is the kit and skill set required for this event.

This is a totally unique race, more of an adventure.

With regards to which parts of the course to 'concentrate' on, basically all 268 miles ! A lot depends on what time of day and what the weather conditions are. As for the trail, it is easy to lose it through lack of concentration, navigation issues or just plain confusing with the number of other routes criss-crossing the Pennines. I didn't rely on GPS, I much prefer map & compass.

All the best to all who enter 2013, I look forward to meeting you.


26/09/2012 at 09:07

Good to hear from you Garry.  Food breaks at pubs / cafes on the rout must have been a real help at times. Having read various accounts it seems like information on location and food serving times would help.

Are you in the RAB MM or the OMM this year? 

27/09/2012 at 14:31
A stop in civilisation was a welcome & in some cases a necessary respite from the wintry weather. As for locations & opening times Richard L is your man for that, I think he's compiling a book. You'll get to experience yourself this coming Spine race.
01/10/2012 at 15:02

Entering today guys, cant wait. Ty for your updates on here Gary, I'll be self sufficient too with no support crew. i'm an OK map reader but hoping to get a GPS.Selecting kit i guess is a big part for helping with the elements. Rest will be will power I guess lol..

This sounds like such an epic adventure, 6 to 7 days alone in the wilderness. Cant wait to meet everyone talking part.

I'll not be at the training weekend in Nov, its my wedding anniversary, the wife will kill me

01/10/2012 at 17:04
Nice one Lee - and welcome.
01/10/2012 at 18:22
Good to see you're onboard Lee.
I did it last year & it hurt like hell on the last day,but I can't wait to be on that Start line in January, such is the event. It really is a brilliant adventure. A lot of the time you'll be alone in your own world, but occasionally you'll enjoy the great camaraderie of fellow Spine runners. Hopefully this coming year the camaraderie & banter will be as good.
16/12/2012 at 21:08

Last long run completed this sat. 50 k on dartmoor with the full kit on soggy ground and half of it in the rain. Large quantities of food and Bonio,s were consumed.  Me and my two four footed training partners are now officially tapering .

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