Calder Valley and Stainland runners complete gruelling Montane Spine Race

Local ultra runners earned themselves a long rest after completing the Montane Spine Race, one of the country’s toughest races.

By Mark Berry
Thursday, 20th January 2022, 11:09 am
Updated Thursday, 20th January 2022, 11:10 am
Calder Valley Fell Runners' Bill Johnson finished in 14th place.
Calder Valley Fell Runners' Bill Johnson finished in 14th place.

The 268-mile route takes in the entire length of The Pennine Way, starting from Edale in Derbyshire, through the Peak District, the Yorkshire Dales, Cheviot Hills and finishing at Kirk Yetholm, in the Scottish Borders.

Stainland Lions’ Kevin Robinson was forced to retire from last year’s race through injury but he bounced back to complete the race in 119 hours and 57 minutes.

Calder Valley Fell Runners’ Dougie Zinis finished joint second with James Leavesley in a time of 96 hours, 6 minutes and 30 seconds.

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Stainland Lions' Kevin Robinson

Fellow Calder runner Doug Gurr retired at Middleham but clubmate Bill Johnson bagged 14th place in a time of 111 hours, 59 minutes and 55 seconds.

Kim Collinson, previous winner of the Lakeland 100, and Sabrina Verjee, holder of the Wainwrights record both dropped out, while in the lead, at Malham. Damian Hall, previous record holder for the Pennine Way and current holder of the Coast to Coast record, then took the lead only to drop out at Alston.

Previous Spine winner, Spaniard Eugeni Rosello Sole also retired from the race, allowing Eoin Keith to take victory in 92 hours, 40 minutes and 30 seconds - a time that includes sleep and eating breaks.

Zinis said: “I’m over the moon with my race, getting a podium finish was beyond my dreams but also the whole Spine experience, the Spine family, who really treat you like royalty. I’ve met some wonderful people and learned some massive lessons.”