Sabrina Verjee won the women's race. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Sabrina Verjee won the women's race. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Sabrina Verjee has taken the women’s trophy in the Montane Spine Race.

The runner reached the finish at Kirk Yetholm in a total time of 108hrs 7mins 17secs.

Verjee took fifth place overall in the race, completing the course about 4½ hours after joint third-place athletes Simon Gfeller and Wouter Huitzing.

She was the lead female runner since the race got underway four days previously, and arrived at the northern end-point of the Pennine Way about 8pm on Thursday as second-place woman Debbie Martin-Consani began her ascent of the Border Ridge. Patricia Patterson was third-fastest female runner, heading into the night from the Bellingham checkpoint.

Second-placed woman Debbie Martin-Consani, seen leading Jon Hall. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Second-placed woman Debbie Martin-Consani, seen leading Jon Hall. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Sabrina Verjee was also the first Briton to complete the course, with American John Kelly winning the overall race, ahead of Irishman Eoin Keith, Swiss runner Gfeller and Huitzing of the Netherlands. Her victory in the women’s category follows her overall victory in the 2019 Spine Fusion Race, which is the summer version of the Montane Spine Race.

She said: “A lot of people said I shouldn’t do the winter race because I’m not good in the cold. But I thought, yeah, that’s a real challenge then.

“I thought the winter race could get really hairy, and it did get really hairy.”

At the finish, Eoin Keith said: “Last year I was first of my gender; this year I’m claiming first non-superhero.”

At the time of writing, 57 men and eight women remained out on the course. All runners must reach the finish point at Kirk Yetholm by 8am on Sunday.

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