In the news: Jasmin Paris wins Montane Spine Race
Have you heard of the Montane Spine Race? If you are a regular reader of this website, there is a greater chance that you are already familiar with the 268-mile running race, regarded as one of the world’s toughest ultra marathons. However, until now, news of the Montane Spine Race, which has taken place annually for years in the English Pennines, has rarely made it to mainstream publications, whether press or on-line. This year is different…
For this year, the Montane Spine Race has been won for the first time outright by a woman. Jasmin Paris also broke the record by an incredible 12 hours. The fact that Jasmin, 35, is also a mum, who is still breastfeeding her young child, has seemingly given the story extra, dare I say it, spice.
It’s fantastic to see such focus on a race that until now has seemingly been considered too niche for mainstream publication. Indeed, it’s not often that you see any articles outside the specialist press about ultra running.
It has taken a woman – a truly amazing runner as well – to bring the tough endurance race – and the world of ultra running – to the attention of a wider audience.
It is sad to think that the results of previous runners, who also finished in amazing times, did not end up recorded by the national press and news websites, and therefore more widely known by the general public, but, at least, the sport of ultra running is finally gaining some much deserved recognition…
The ultra marathon runners who take part in gruelling events such as the Spine Race, the Ultra Great Britain Race, the West Highland Way Race and many, many others worldwide should make the popular news because they are incredible athletes.
There are also some amazing women runners, who are leading the way in the sport. This is a great article by James Britton on the top female ultra runners regularly beating the guys.
Jasmin’s record-breaking Spine Race
I have not had the privilege of interviewing Jasmin, originally from Derbyshire and now living in Edinburgh, since her superb finish yesterday in a time of 83 hours, 12 minutes and 23 seconds. But I did have the opportunity to chat to her while reporting on the Salomon Skyline Scotland race series last summer.
Jasmin was a little deflated after being beaten to the line by seconds by American Hillary Gerardi after a sprint finish in the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline race, yet she took the time to reflect on running in early motherhood.
At the time, Jasmin’s daughter was 10 months old. She said: ““It would have been nice to win but I gave it my very best shot. I am pretty pleased with how my race went but I think I need to work on my speed on the flat. It doesn’t feel like I am fully fit yet and there is the incentive to get back out there and train more.”
Four months later, Jasmin was on the start line of the Montane Spine race. Before entering the race, she wrote on her blog: “So, I did something crazy, I entered a race I’d vowed I would never ever run, the Spine. It’s a 426km race non-stop along the Pennine Way in mid-January.
“Realising I’d need to up my game and run more than 30 miles a week in preparation, I also started training in a focused way for the first time in my life. We’ll see whether that’s worked…
“The bigger challenge might be of another kind, however… my intention to complete the weaning process over Christmas suffered a big blow when Rowan [her daugher] got two viral infections back-to-back and refused to take anything except breast milk for five days. Now I’m trying to work out the feasibility of pumping at every checkpoint to keep myself milked…”
Jasmin, an ambassador for inov-8, also juggles ultra-running with full-time work as a small animal vet.
Her training and obvious determination paid off – and more.
The Montane Spine Race, which first took place in 2012, is a non-stop running race from Edale, Derbyshire, to Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders.
The challenging route calls for competitors to run the full Pennine Way, through the Peak District, Yorkshire Dales and the North Pennines. They must carry their own kit.
Runners can make stops if they need them but that means other competitors might overtake them. During the race, Jasmin took a little over seven hours of rest time, when she ate, slept and also expressed milk for Rowan.
She crossed the finish line at just after 7pm on Wednesday evening, almost 10 miles ahead of Eugeni Rosello Sole, of Spain, who won in 2013.
By the way, Some reports have said Jasmin breastfed Rowan at checkpoints but it seems clear from other reports that she expressed the milk, mainly to prevent mastitis.
Round up of reports on Jasmin’s Spine Race win
I thought it might be interesting to post a selection of the news reports on British runner Jasmin Paris winning the Montane Spine Race outright and in a record-breaking time.
UK Hillwalking: Jasmin Paris wins Montane Spine Race
BBC Sport: Spine Race: Jasmin Paris becomes first female winner of 268-mile ultra marathon
Trail Running Magazine: Jasmin Paris breaks outright course record at Montane Spine Race
Outsider magazine: Jasmin Paris Smashes Record at Spine Race 2019
Edinburgh Evening News: Edinburgh mum becomes first woman to win 268-mile ultra marathon.
Let’s hope that the more mainstream press continues to pick up on the very many great stories of ultra running in the UK and worldwide.