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
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.
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.
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.