John Kelly on his way to victory in last year's Spine Race. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

John Kelly on his way to victory in last year's Spine Race. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Organisers of the Montane Spine Race have abandoned the winter challenges because of Covid-19 lockdowns.

The Spine Race normally takes place during January along the whole length of the Pennine Way.

Shorter Spine Challenger and Mountain Rescue Team Challenge are run on the southern part of the national trail.

Organisers had already postponed the winter races to February, but further restrictions by governments to limit the spread of the coronavirus have led to the cancellation of the challenges this year.

A spokesperson for the organising team said: “We’d like to thank our runners, who have been endlessly supportive throughout an extended period of adaptation and uncertainty.

“We’d also like to thank those of you out there who have supported the race from afar over the years, the dot-watchers, friends, and family who are usually glued to our race updates in early January. We hope you’ll all join us for our future adventures.

“Finally, we’d like to thank our team who fought for so long to make the event happen and who planned and replanned tirelessly as the rules changed over the last few months. Everyone involved has displayed the tenacity and community spirit we have come to expect from those involved in this event.

“We are deeply passionate about this race and we know you are too. We fought as long and as hard as we could to make it happen but we would only ever have carried out the event if we felt that it was safe to do so, and this is clearly not the case.

“The Pennine Way isn’t going anywhere; it remains as beautiful and indomitable as ever, and the winter Spine Race will be back.

“Planning for the Montane summer Spine Races in June 2021 is still very much underway and we are working towards holding those events as usual, so long as we are able to do so safely within the restrictions that are in place by that time.”

Some articles the site thinks might be related:

  1. Spine Race organisers suspend running in face of severe weather warnings
  2. Carol Morgan adds Spine Challenger win to list as Jasmin Paris leads Spine Race
  3. Strongest line-up yet as runners prepare for start of brutal Spine Race
  4. Montane Spine Challenger runners face 80mph winds at start of Pennine Way race
  5. Pavel Paloncý leads Spine Race after Eoin Keith withdraws