Winner Debbie Martin-Consani at the finish at the Border Hotel in Kirk Yetholm. Photo: Adam Jacobs

Winner Debbie Martin-Consani at the finish at the Border Hotel in Kirk Yetholm. Photo: Adam Jacobs

Debbie Martin-Consani has taken the women’s trophy in the Montane Spine Race.

She was the first female runner to cross the finish line at Kirk Yetholm, completing the Pennine Way course in 104hrs 8mins 22secs.

Martin-Consani finished almost three hours ahead of second-place woman Elaine Bisson, who arrived at the northernmost point of the national trail 107 hours after leaving Edale in the Peak District.

Lizzie Faithfull-Davies, a brigadier in the British armed forces, took third place with a time of 112hrs 47mins 47secs.

The winner expressed surprise at her victory. She said: “It’s quite unbelievable. Nobody is more shocked about it than me.”

The withdrawal at Horton in Ribblesdale of favoured runner Sabrina Verjee put Martin-Consani into the lead. She said: “It changed the whole make-up of the race. I’d just been doing my own thing and then I had to think about how everyone else was doing. It changed the last few days completely.”

She crossed the line leaning heavily to one side due to a back injury.

Race organisers said: “It was the very definition of leaving it all on the trail. Debbie has bent herself in half to get to this finish line and remained gregarious, friendly and generous of spirit throughout. She is an exceptional athlete.”

At the time of writing, 25 runners were still on the trail, heading into the night on the Cheviots, the final leg of the event.

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