Leading mountain gear brand Montane has been confirmed as the headline sponsors of the Spine Race 2014. Known as one of the toughest ultras in Europe, the Spine takes place in the depths of winter across extremely inhospitable terrain, and entails a 268 mile, non-stop, 7 day, mountain marathon encompassing the entire Pennine Way.
Considered the most testing National Trail in Britain, the Pennine Way crosses beautiful, difficult and challenging terrain and includes the Peak District, Cheviots, Yorkshire Dales and Northumberland National Park, and finishes on the Scottish Borders.
Over the 268 mile route (431km) from Edale to Kirk Yethom competitors must tackle 36,729 ft (11,195m) of ascent, with the highest point on the course being 2,920ft (893m).
Mark Caldwell, who was one of just three participants to complete the course in 2012, said of the event: "The Spine Race is easy apart from: it's dark most of the time; your feet then body will fall apart; the compulsory baggage doesn't get any lighter; sleep is a luxury; you experience extremes of weather and cold; and finally of course it's 268 miles long. Many will try to break the Spine but most will become race statistics."
For those that want to experience the Spine but in a shorter format, there is also the Spine Challenger. Although shorter than the full Spine, the Challenger involves a 60 hour, 109 mile race from Edale to Hawes which encompasses a challenging and extremely technical section of the Pennine Way.
For more information and to apply for either race, visit the event website.