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Chris Cope wins Montane Summer Spine 2024

Written by Fiona

June 26 2024

Chris Cope claimed victory in this year’s Montane Summer Spine race. He crossed the finish line in Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders in 79 hours, 10 minutes and 14 seconds after a dominant performance.

Chris said: “To finish first is brilliant.”

Winner Chris Cope at Montane Summer Spine Race. Credit: @willbaldlygo

More than 100 competitors – the largest field of participants yet – took part in the summer edition of 268-mile Spine race, which has a total ascent of equivalent of one-and-a-half times the height of Mt Everest.

Starting in Edale, Derbyshire, the route travels the Pennine Way and has a cut off of 156 hours. Runners face challenging terrain, unpredictable weather and sleep deprivation.

The course also traverses three national parks and includes 287 gates, 249 timber stiles, 183 stone stiles and 204 bridges.

Jacob Hayes is Montane Summer Spine race 2024 runner up.

Montane Summer Spine race 2024

The race started with a front-running trio of Jon Shield, Chris Cope, and Sam Moppett pulling ahead of the rest of the pack despite changeable weather conditions.

Meanwhile, Irene Kinnegan took an early lead in the women’s race, tracking faster than Anna Troup’s course record pace, which was set in 2022, with Rachel Price in second.

On day two, both Jon and Sam were forced to retire leaving Chris to race at the front on his own with Bjarte Wetteland in second place for a while. Bjarte then retired, too, pushing Jacob Hayes into second place, ahead of Irene in third.

Over the next couple of days, both Chris and Irene continued to assert their dominance, although their fates would later travel in opposite directions.

Chris, who has had Type 1 diabetes since he was 14, was jubilant when he finished and set the sixth fastest time on the summer Spine course.

Sadly, Irene was advised by medics to withdraw at CP5 in Bellingham, which put Sue Straw in first place, with Rachel a close second and Linn Davies Sahlström in third.

Some 21 hours after Chris finished, Jacob Hayes came home in 100:31:54, while John Boothman took third place in 110:42:24.

Sue Strew wins women’s Montane Summer Spine. Race

Sue Straw wins women’s Summer Spine race

Sue held her lead to claim victory in the women’s race, recording a time of 122:43:49. She is no stranger to the Spine events, having won the Montane Summer Spine Sprint in her first appearance in 2021, before completing the Montane Summer Spine Challenger South the following year and the Montane Summer Spine race last year.

Rachel Price took second place in 134:39:37, ahead of Linn Davies Sahlstrom who crossed the finish line in 138:01:27.

Sue said: “It was a bit brutal out there with the weather and the under-foot conditions were horrendous. We went through some boggy moorland and basically stomped across water for miles and hours.

“My aim was to run my own race and not be bothered by what other people were doing. I just started off steady and then decided to see how it went.”

Other Spine summer races

The summer Spine series also includes the Montane Summer Spine Sprint and Montane Summer Challenger South 2024. There is also a Montane Summer Challenger North race, which starts at Hardraw and travels 160 miles towards Scotland, covering the north section of the full Summer Spine course.

Joe Horne won the race in just over 44 hours and 52 minutes, ahead of runner-up Sam Harrison, while Emma Hopkinson claimed third place overall and first place female, some 14 hours ahead of female runner-up Fern Parker.

Two races open exclusively to Mountain Rescue Teams include the Montane Summer Spine MRT Challenge South, which was won by Brett Mahoney and Hannah Bawdon.

The Montane Summer Spine MRT Challenge North saw Tom Adams take the win ahead of runner-up overall and female winner Fiona Horsfield.

‘It’s a tough and unforgiving race’

Speaking at the conclusion of the seventh and largest Montane Summer Spine event, Montane’s marketing director Matthew Hickman said: “The Montane Summer Spine is renowned for being one of the toughest and most unforgiving races around, often referred to as ‘Britain’s Most Brutal’ endurance race.

“The conditions we have seen this year have only reinforced that tag, although it didn’t deter what was our record field of runners this year.

“Chris put in an absolutely amazing performance to rightfully claim his win, and I’d like to extend a huge congratulations to him, alongside all of our other winners and runners, from everyone at Montane.”

Montane Summer Spine 2024 final results


Chris Cope, GB – 79:10:14
Jacob Hayes, GB – 100:31:54
John Boothman, GB – 110:42:24


Sue Straw, GB – 122:43:49
Rachel Price, GB – 134:39:37
Linn Davies Sahlstrom, Sweden – 138:01:27

Montane Summer Spine Sprint 2024 final results


Stephen Earle, GB – 08:21:49
Liam Hinshelwood, GB – 08:29:48
Paul Johnston, GB – 08:29:48


Molly Browne, GB – 08:30:29 (Course Record)
Lizzie Broughton, GB – 09:31:2
Debbie Martin-Consani, GB – 10:10:38

Montane Summer Spine Challenger South 2024 final results


Rupert Allison, GB – 22:31:02 (Course Record)
James White, GB – 25:11:58
Jack Cooper, GB – 26:54:34


Ursula Sullivan, GB – 31:05:00
Mel Sykes, GB – 33:16:02
Marie-Lou Alemany, GB – 34:32:29

Montane Summer Spine MRT Challenge South 2024 final results


Brett Mahoney, GB – 28:38:40
Xavier Chaduc, France – 42:03:35
Matt Phillips, GB – 47:27:17


Hannah Bawdon, GB – 46:22:37
Delyth Brushett, GB – 54:54:15
Jenny Hall, GB – 56:30:04

Montane Summer Spine Challenger North 2024 final results


Joe Horne, GB – 44:52:01
Sam Harrison, GB – 46:27:33
Edward Hopewell, GB – 56:16:17


Emma Hopkinson, GB – 50:24:02
Fern Parker, GB – 64:43:51
Lucy Pringle, GB – 66:30:23

Montane Summer Spine MRT Challenge North 2024 final results


Tom Adams, GB – 46:50:45
Dan Maltby, GB – 75:06:58


Fiona Horsfield – 50:24:02
Clëo Bishop-Bolt, GB – 84:58:09
Gabby Withrington, GB – 84:58:43

See Montane Summer Spine race.

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