A triumphant Eoin Keith arrives at Kirk Yetholm. Photo: Baldlygo.uk

A triumphant Eoin Keith arrives at Kirk Yetholm. Photo: Baldlygo.uk

Two endurance runners have broken records in the race along the full length of the Pennine Way.

Eoin Keith and Anna Troup won the Montane Summer Spine Race men’s and women’s categories respectively, both setting new fastest times.

Irish runner Keith arrived at Kirk Yetholm on Tuesday in a time of 77hrs 34mins 52secs. He is a former winner and record holder of the winter version of the race, which was cancelled this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Keith’s overall time was 29 minutes faster than the existing record set by Mark Denby.

UK athlete Troup finished the race in second overall place in a new women’s course record time of 80hrs 28mins 35secs. Her time was 51 minutes faster than that set by Sabrina Verjee in 2019.

Keith said that he didn’t think of the run as a record attempt until reaching the Byrness checkpoint, more than 220 miles into the course. “I’d heard the numbers, but I just thought, no way, I just want to finish by Wednesday,” he said.

He described the experience of racing along the Pennine Way in summer rather than winter as ‘a joy in comparison’.

Organisers said Troup’s boundless positive energy made her extremely popular among the team behind the scenes.

Anna Troup touches the wall at the Border Hotel in Kirk Yetholm

Anna Troup touches the wall at the Border Hotel in Kirk Yetholm

When it was revealed to her that she had taken the record she said: “Oh really? That’s exciting,” not having realised until crossing the line that she was on course to break it.

Keith then pointed out that Anna was ‘the third fastest of everyone, male or female’, to which she replied: “That’s fun. Imagine if I got good at navving; that would be worrying.”

Troup said she had been really worried prior to the event by the enormity the race, adding that she couldn’t foresee how she would do that day after day.

The race involves running the full 431km (268-mile) length of the Pennine Way national trail.

Mark Potts won the Summer Spine Challenger Race, along the section of the Pennine Way between Edale in the Peak District and Hardraw in the Yorkshire Dales. His time of 24hrs 34mins 24secs was less than an hour outside Mark Denby’s record. Fastest woman was Victoria Morris with a time of 32hrs 20mins 14secs.

In the inaugural Summer Spine Sprint Race, which ended at Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire, Sara Abbott took the women’s honours with a time of 9hrs 54mins 1 sec, just three seconds ahead of second-place Sue Straw and seven second faster than third-placed Lynn Murphy.

Niki Worrall was fastest male and fastest overall, completing the course in 7hrs 30mins.

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