Jasmin Paris has taken the lead in the Montane Spine Race: Bob Smith/grough

Jasmin Paris has taken the lead in the Montane Spine Race: Bob Smith/grough

Jasmin Paris has established a five-mile lead over second-place runner Eugeni Roselló Solé in the Montane Spine Race as competitors continue north for the third night.

The two runners were neck-and-neck for much of the race, one of Britain’s toughest endurance events, until Paris pulled away after the Alston checkpoint, 194 miles into the route.

She said she has had little more than two hours’ sleep since starting the race in Edale in Derbyshire on Sunday morning. The 35-year-old runner revealed she is juggling her ultrarunning with being a parent.

At 10pm on Tuesday, she was maintaining her lead with 48 miles to go to the finish in Kirk Yetholm. If she wins the race, it will be the first time a woman has claimed overall victory in the gruelling 268-mile run along the full length of the Pennine Way.

Both Paris and the second-placed Spanish runner are now north of Hadrian’s Wall, and will be looking to finish the race before forecast snow arrives. Wintry conditions are expected on the Border Ridge by late Wednesday.

The Derbyshire-born runner, who works as a vet, said: “I’ve slept about two hours 15 minutes so far. I’m really enjoying myself.

“It’s a mixture of type one and type two fun. I’m eating a lot but I’ve barely seen the others eating.

“I’m juggling being a parent with ultrarunning and I have also got a thesis to write when I finish the Spine.”

Irish runner Eoin Keith is in third place, and was a few kilometres north of Alston at the time of writing. Second-place woman Shelli Gordon was approaching High Cup Nick, east of Alston, in seventh place overall.

Runners’ progress can be followed on the Montane Spine Race Open Tracking website.

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