Montane Spine 2023
Leon and I are on the final leg (of the 268 mile Pennine way) from Bellingham to the Spine finish at Kirk Yetholm and in the dead of night, high up on the bitterly cold Cheviots, I spy a light.
I'm approximately 110 hours into the race, with about 6 of these of these being 5/10 hostel based dorm sleeps and everything is a blur.
Is this a fixed light.
Is it one of the many glorious still night stars.
As we get closer the light appears to be mumbling/ softly sobbing.
Before the start of this years Spine race I had only a basic idea of what to expect. I had managed to recce a few sections (one of these being the gnarly Middleton to Alston stage - coming up!) Some of these recces were with fellow newbies Alison Walker, Eloise Eccles and Matt Buck and we all shared a sense of trepidation. As a seasoned runner of Londons parks I feel I have genuine imposter syndrome. Most of the other 185 competitors that I have been stalking live in the Lakes, Peaks, Snowdonia, Alps - surely an advantage over Victoria Park laps. As someone who loves cuddling radiators the thought of spending multiple nights in the cold mid-winter gave me the fear.