Carol Morgan. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Carol Morgan. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Montane Spine Race women’s champion Carol Morgan has retained her title with a win in this year’s event.

The Irish ultrarunner arrived at Kirk Yetholm well ahead of second-place woman Sarah Kirsty Williams.

Morgan, in common with many of the runners in this year’s race, has faced problems with severe weather sapping her morale, but was in good spirits as she topped up her water supply at the refuge hut on the Border Ridge on Friday afternoon.

The 2017 Spine Race winner arrived at the finish at 6.37pm on Friday in a snow storm to claim her second victory, as Williams began her traverse of the Cheviots, with third place woman Daphné Derouch between Bellingham and Byrness.

Morgan was placed eighth overall.

Simon Gfeller of Switzerland was second overall runner, beating Briton John Knapp by about 25 minutes. The pair had run together for most of the race.

British runners Gwynn Stokes and Mark Turner, along with American Gavin Woody all arrived at the finish at the same time. Kevin Stephens of the UK was seventh.

Runners have until 4am on Saturday to leave the Bellingham checkpoint to beat the cut-off and noon on Saturday for the final checkpoint at Byrness. The latest arrival time at Kirk Yetholm for racers is 8am on Sunday, seven days after the start of the race.

So far, 61 runners have retired from the Montane Spine Race, which this year has lived up to its reputation as ‘Britain’s most brutal race’.

Carol Morgan arrives at the Spine Race finish

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