Montane Spine Race winner Tom Hollins. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Montane Spine Race winner Tom Hollins. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Tom Hollins has won the Montane Spine Race, dubbed Britain’s most brutal ultrarunning event.

The Yorkshire anaesthetist stretched his lead over the two men who had been at the front of the field for most of the race since its start on Sunday.

At the Auchope mountain hut on the Border Ridge, Hollins had a two-hour advantage over second-place Pavel Paloncý who was 12 minutes ahead of Eugeni Roselló Solé.

The Briton caught and overtook the Czech and Spaniard who took a sleep break at Bellingham, allowing Hollins to close the gap on Wednesday. As they ran into the night the doctor, who works at Airedale Hospital in West Yorkshire, increased his lead. Hollins was participating as a supported runner, with a crew meeting him in a campervan where the course crosses roads, which is allowed under the race rules.

Pavel Paloncý, left, and Eugeni Roselló Solé.. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Pavel Paloncý, left, and Eugeni Roselló Solé.. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Hollins, who last year won the 109-mile Montane Spine Challenger along the southern part of the course, arrived at the Border Hotel in Kirk Yetholm shortly after midday with a provisional time of 99hrs 25mins 36secs, outside the course record set of 95hrs 17mins by Eoin Keith, who dropped out of the Spine Race on Wednesday with a suspected broken rib following a fall in the early stages. Hollins had set himself a target of a sub-100-hour time.

Carol Morgan leads the women's field. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Carol Morgan leads the women's field. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Competitors in the longer race must complete the course, which involves 13,135m (43,094ft) of ascent, in no more than 168 hours. Runners follow the full 420km (268-mile) length of the Pennine Way national trail.

As Hollins arrived at Kirk Yetholm, more than four days after setting off from Edale, Paloncý had a lead of about a kilometre over Roselló Solé on The Schil.

Leading woman runner Carol Morgan was in sixth overall place, approaching Byrness checkpoint.

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