The Spine

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16/01/2013 at 15:27

Bumping this thread.

This year's race is happening right now ( for updates) and some of the guys above are going really well.


16/01/2013 at 15:49

Hats off to them, got to be tempted for next year on this

17/01/2013 at 00:37

I've also been following the FB updates....Oh my....It must be BRUTAL out there!

They are all amazing....The shorter race people too!

17/01/2013 at 09:08

This is just an awesome challenge, huge respect to every dang one of them and of course Rich Lendon and Ian Bowles!!

20/01/2013 at 20:58

The  2013 Spine Race was an unrelenting raging mind and body changing beast and that was just the first 250 miles. After that it got really serious ! I am sitting on the sofa contemplating my tortured feet and knowing I will never be the same again.

The highlights (or was it he depths): Struggling to cover 10 km in 7 hrs along a mountain ridge at night in a full blizzard  with 65mph winds -8c . What got me through was my four other team mates taking turns to break the trail through the drifts. Myself on map and compass one team mate on our remaining functional GPS. 

Our goal : not the finish line but a Mountain Shelter and the chance to live another day.

This may all sound like a "boys own fantasy" but it took place on the spine race last friday night.


20/01/2013 at 21:00
Ian incredible journey, hats off to you, I'll be looking for you at a race later this year to pick your brains about it
Edited: 20/01/2013 at 21:00
PSC    pirate
20/01/2013 at 21:01

awesome.  I think this year it's enough to say congratulations on simply being alive!  Bugger the mileage...  This redefines "hardcore".

20/01/2013 at 21:10

Ian Bowles - The class of 2013 will be remembered for a very long time I suspect, one heck of a ride, incredible barely covers it.

20/01/2013 at 21:16
Well done Ian it was great to meet you all coming in to the Finish.
I took shelter in Mountain hut 1 at 04.00 hrs for an hours respite & quick brew, then pushed on through the blizzards to the Finish. My feet are not too bad but I've lost feeling temporarily feeling in 4 fingers.
It was an epic adventure this year
Roll on 2014
20/01/2013 at 21:42

Lirish do I detect a wish to enter. I certainly have learned a lot over the last few days.

One thing I will say Is that next years race will be a Best but a different Beast from 2013.

The winner will always be impossible to pick as 7days of Jan weather will never be the same. To get to the finish you need to draw on not just your ultra training but all you have learnt from life. This is one race where the older racers have an  extra edge.

20/01/2013 at 21:57

Ian, everyone is in awe of your amazing achievement. Looking forward to meeting you one day.

TBH whilst the person who finished first is for the record books, everyone who took part in this are winners and to finish it is the prize!  Enjoy your rest and your memories. You've earned them and they will become more precious each day

21/01/2013 at 10:29
Ian it is certainly my plan to enter next year but I need to do a considerable amount of research before I do, the decision is whether to do the challenger off the back of a normal winters training post UTMB or dedicate the later part of the year to training specifically for the long course and give it the six months specific training it deserves
21/01/2013 at 12:18

Hi Lirish by all means train but to be honest I did very little due to work and family commitments (four deaths in the family last year). My best week not counting events was 50miles . I averaged less than 20miles per week.

Mountain Marathons were my best training: Hard hill running day one with full pack then overnight camping and running the second day. Added to this the navigation at speed and you have the perfect Spine training weekend.

The first few spine days actually re train your body to run without sleep and up your food consumption to disgusting levels. (6 full meals a day +all the shock blocks , energy bars and fluid you can wolf down! 

Once above about 180 miles your legs are not tired at all by your sustainable pace. At 180 miles I accelerated to a pace I have never achieved before on an ultra (I could not navigate fast enough for my pace) I became an eating /running machine. I flew into one Pub to re fuel ,ordered a pint of pepsi then shamelessly  eat the left overs on all the plates in the pub cos I could not wait for food.

This race is about constantly managing yourself and listening to your body.

21/01/2013 at 12:27
ian bowles 2 wrote (see)

 I became an eating /running machine. I flew into one Pub to re fuel ,ordered a pint of pepsi then shamelessly  eat the left overs on all the plates in the pub cos I could not wait for food.

This race is about constantly managing yourself and listening to your body.


[Whole office turned round to see me laughing out loud at this part]

21/01/2013 at 12:39
Cheers Ian, the work I'd have to do would be getting used to multi daying, I've never been a proponent of huge back to backs so that's something that'd need changing, however most of my questions to you would be around kit choice, body management, nutrition, sleep management and foot care.
I'll have a think about speciifics and get back to you if you don't mind
21/01/2013 at 13:05

I did think about this for a few years time,


Congrats Ian.

21/01/2013 at 15:47

Congratulations Gary, Rich and Ian!

Ian: I think we might have chatted very briefly at a couple of points-in the first few miles (about the lunatic speed at which a lot of the field started) and at CP2 (you arrived with Jenn?).

I did the challenger with one eye on the full race next year. My goal was to treat it like the first ~2 days of the full thing and arrive at the finish feeling comfortable. Which I did. But the full race is a completely different beast (even without the weather which hit on Friday) and is going to need some very careful thought (and preparation).

21/01/2013 at 18:05

Hi An . Yes that was me running with Jenn. We found we were happy at the same pace and ran together for several days, "team age gap". I was gutted when she dropped out at Dufton (she ran out of fuel as she was not eating enough).

You did exactly what I had planned for last year. I had to pull out of the challenger  at the last minute (due to a death in the family), I steam roller,d Mark Brooks  into taking my entry/gear/van to the Spine. I stupidly said " If you win the Challenger you can give me your prize of free entry into the 2013 Spine Race" The rest is history.

21/01/2013 at 18:48

An.  Whats the challenger like?

21/01/2013 at 22:40

Spen71: hard to give a simple answer. It depends on the weather, your preparation and how you plan to tackle it, in particular whether you want to go flat-out for a time or just finish in comfort.

18 started this year, 12 finished, the first 4 (including 2 of last year's Spine race finishers) in 32-36 ish hours, the rest of us between 50 and 60 hours. For me that included two shortish sleep stops and one pub meal.

 I found weekends receing the course really useful preparation. Not just for navigation but also for fine-tuning food and kit (in particular foot care).

 I'm very slow (21-24 hours for fellsman), and was next to last for most of the first day, but overtook a few people by keeping going steadily (and not having any significant issues).

If you've got any specific questions, fire away.

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