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Thread: Spine Flare June 2018

  1. #1
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    Spine Flare June 2018

    I'm not sure what came over me, but I have paid my £230 and am entered in this. Edale to Hardraw up the Pennine way. I walked the pennine way in 1993 so hope I can remember the way! Anyone else doing this?

  2. #2
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    I wanted to do the Spine Fusion 2019, but the past weekend's experience has made me a lot more realistic about my abilities. I can only applaud your fitness and commitment...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Travs View Post
    I wanted to do the Spine Fusion 2019, but the past weekend's experience has made me a lot more realistic about my abilities. I can only applaud your fitness and commitment...
    Time alone will tell if I've got the fitness!There may be a lot of, hopefully fast walking. Biggest I've done before is The Fellsman.

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    Master BillJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattPo View Post
    Time alone will tell if I've got the fitness!There may be a lot of, hopefully fast walking. Biggest I've done before is The Fellsman.
    I'm sure you will love it Matt. The longest race I did before the Spine was the Fellsman.
    "And the winds blow and the sky looks cool / So I make my home in the clouds"

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    Senior Member Manhar's Avatar
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    I'm on checkpoint duties so will see you at the CP1. Any other forumites having a bash ?
    This BG round & the training therein is dedicated to the fond memory of Daz H - there is no such word as can't.

  6. #6
    Was planning on the fusion after injury forced retirement last year when in third, but went on broke my friggin arm 5 weeks ago. Looks like it'll have to be winter - got to get this thing done

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    Well, food brought and gear in a pile. Weather looking good for it. Off to Buxton tomorrow and gear check and registration, then off at 8 on Saturday morning. All I lack is some graphine wellies.

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    Master Travs's Avatar
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    Good luck Matt I'll be watching the tracker with admiration and envy....

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    Many of you will have heard of the winter Spine race,but they also run a summer version that started a couple of years ago; Spine Fusion (full Pennine way) and Flare (108 miles to finish in Hardraw, just beyond Hawes). I have run a few Ultra's in the past up to 68miles, but in the last two years I had not done one and this winked at me. I'm not keen on the total sufferfests, preferring nice weather and plenty of daylight, so I can enjoy the scenery on the journey.
    So after paying my £235 entry, I went by train last Friday to Buxton to stay the night with my Mother in Law. In the evening I went to Edale for the pre-race briefing, kitcheck and photo taking.
    I got taken to Edale early on Saturday morning for the start and to deposit my dropbag (containing more food, clothes and other stuff that might be useful). I was reunited with this at the main checkpoint just outside Hebden Bridge, and again at the finish. At the start there were about 80 of us, half doing the fusion and the same doing the spine. A lot of very intense Ultra runners talking the usual pre-race bollocks. Off we set at 8.00 to go up Kinder Scout and onto the moors. The Downfall was completely dry and the moors were covered in Cotton grass. Due to the recent fabulous weather the conditions underfoot were bone dry all the way, allowing me to run in comfy road shoes. The only time my feet got wet was in the morning dew.
    We carried on over to Bleaklow which I ran alone and down to the Woodhead valley. The organisers had set up extra water stations on route due to the weather, which was great. So Up Black Hill, now thankfully flagged, passing where I broke a finger in the Holme Moss fell race a few years ago. When I walked the Pennine way 30 years ago Black Hill was the bog from hell. Down to Wessenden Head and the very welcome burger van. I ordered 2 sausage sandwiches and the owner asked if I was sure, saying they were very large. I assured her that I was serious, and these powered me on for a good way. The route now passes lots of reservoirs, which looked very inviting in the hot weather. We crossed the M62 on the iconic bridge, and I waved at the traffic - some waved back. Then off we went over Blackstone edge; the last time I crossed this was in a blizzard during a fell race.It was now late afternoon and I was running with a grumpy old man, as we headed to the ever impressive Studley Pike monument towering above the Calder valley, and we entered Yorkshire. A long descent down to cross the canal, river,road and railway between Hebden Bridge and Todmorden was followed by a hideously steep ascent up on to the tops again. At this point we diverted from the Pennine Way to drop down to the main checkpoint, a bit short of halfway. Here we were fed and resupplied, before leaving at dusk. At this point I teamed up with Colm (from Ripon, an Irish Professor of Geology at Durham) and Micheal ( from Bath, who taught kids with autism) and we ran together for the rest of the race. Nice people who were the same speed as me - I was glad of the company and chat. Darkness fell and we ploughed on past lots more reservoirs to a very atmospheric, starlit Top Withens and Bronte country, passing a compediter asleep by the path in a bivi bag. As we climbed up on to Irckonshaw Moor at 2.00am there was a surreal event. Two guys with a tent and Field kitchen offering hot drinks and bacon butties to all the runners! Very welcome and amazing, Turns out they had run the race before and thought this would be a nice suprise for us - too right. A hard grim descent off this only brightened by moorland birdsong, including the strange rodding of snipe, heralded dawn. By the time we had got to Lothersdale it was fully light and we climbed up to Pinhaw Beacon. There was mist in the valleys, but clear on top and we were amazed to get brockenspectre's from the top. This is were the sun casts your shadow onto the mist below and you get a rainbow effect round it.
    So down to Thornton in Craven and a long flattish stage to Malham. This was broken by a stop at Gargrave Coop for breakfast and the application of more suntan cream. It was 11.00am when we got to Malham, and lots of folk. Strangely there was another ultra going the other way and we crossed with lots of runners for the next couple of hours. Up the steep steps by the cove seeing the family of peregrine falcons and onto the Tarn. It was very hot by now, and another application of sunblock was in order. From here we climbed Fountains Fell and then Pen Y Gent. Not much running now as we were getting pretty tired and sore. The descent of PyG was long and hard down the track the Three Peaks race starts up, to arrive in Horton in Ribblesdal as the cafe shut! However we had enough food between us to sustain us for the last 18 mile section to the finish. We ground this out passing some lovely scenery and struggled up the huge climb to Cam High Road. West Cam road heads north from here towards Hawes, contouring below Dodd Fell. I had been up here before as The Fellsman uses part of this route. Eventually after miles of level stony track we started to descend through reeds to civilisation and twinkling streetlights of Hawes. At this point we realised that if we speeded up we could finish in Under 40 hrs. It's not easy to speed up when you've been running for 2 days and a night, but we got to Hardraw and glory in 39hrs 27minutes, at 11.30pm, to finish in the middle of the field. Unfortunately we had missed the pub, but I had cunningly ensured there was beer available.
    Ryk ran with a friend and they finished in 49 hrs.
    Micheal and Colm were whisked off by family, so I had a shower and change of clothing, ate a lot and drank all the available beer. The organiseres had erected tents in the garden of the finish Centre so I had a blissful sleep, till Sally collected me in the morning.
    An incredibly satisfying journey through so much landscape and amazed to complete it in my 61st year. Not too bad today, apart from some impressive blisters and stiff legs.

  10. #10
    Master Mossdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattPo View Post
    Many of you will have heard of the winter Spine race,but they also run a summer version that started a couple of years ago; Spine Fusion (full Pennine way) and Flare (108 miles to finish in Hardraw, just beyond Hawes). I have run a few Ultra's in the past up to 68miles, but in the last two years I had not done one and this winked at me. I'm not keen on the total sufferfests, preferring nice weather and plenty of daylight, so I can enjoy the scenery on the journey.
    So after paying my £235 entry, I went by train last Friday to Buxton to stay the night with my Mother in Law. In the evening I went to Edale for the pre-race briefing, kitcheck and photo taking.
    I got taken to Edale early on Saturday morning for the start and to deposit my dropbag (containing more food, clothes and other stuff that might be useful). I was reunited with this at the main checkpoint just outside Hebden Bridge, and again at the finish. At the start there were about 80 of us, half doing the fusion and the same doing the spine. A lot of very intense Ultra runners talking the usual pre-race bollocks. Off we set at 8.00 to go up Kinder Scout and onto the moors. The Downfall was completely dry and the moors were covered in Cotton grass. Due to the recent fabulous weather the conditions underfoot were bone dry all the way, allowing me to run in comfy road shoes. The only time my feet got wet was in the morning dew.
    We carried on over to Bleaklow which I ran alone and down to the Woodhead valley. The organisers had set up extra water stations on route due to the weather, which was great. So Up Black Hill, now thankfully flagged, passing where I broke a finger in the Holme Moss fell race a few years ago. When I walked the Pennine way 30 years ago Black Hill was the bog from hell. Down to Wessenden Head and the very welcome burger van. I ordered 2 sausage sandwiches and the owner asked if I was sure, saying they were very large. I assured her that I was serious, and these powered me on for a good way. The route now passes lots of reservoirs, which looked very inviting in the hot weather. We crossed the M62 on the iconic bridge, and I waved at the traffic - some waved back. Then off we went over Blackstone edge; the last time I crossed this was in a blizzard during a fell race.It was now late afternoon and I was running with a grumpy old man, as we headed to the ever impressive Studley Pike monument towering above the Calder valley, and we entered Yorkshire. A long descent down to cross the canal, river,road and railway between Hebden Bridge and Todmorden was followed by a hideously steep ascent up on to the tops again. At this point we diverted from the Pennine Way to drop down to the main checkpoint, a bit short of halfway. Here we were fed and resupplied, before leaving at dusk. At this point I teamed up with Colm (from Ripon, an Irish Professor of Geology at Durham) and Micheal ( from Bath, who taught kids with autism) and we ran together for the rest of the race. Nice people who were the same speed as me - I was glad of the company and chat. Darkness fell and we ploughed on past lots more reservoirs to a very atmospheric, starlit Top Withens and Bronte country, passing a compediter asleep by the path in a bivi bag. As we climbed up on to Irckonshaw Moor at 2.00am there was a surreal event. Two guys with a tent and Field kitchen offering hot drinks and bacon butties to all the runners! Very welcome and amazing, Turns out they had run the race before and thought this would be a nice suprise for us - too right. A hard grim descent off this only brightened by moorland birdsong, including the strange rodding of snipe, heralded dawn. By the time we had got to Lothersdale it was fully light and we climbed up to Pinhaw Beacon. There was mist in the valleys, but clear on top and we were amazed to get brockenspectre's from the top. This is were the sun casts your shadow onto the mist below and you get a rainbow effect round it.
    So down to Thornton in Craven and a long flattish stage to Malham. This was broken by a stop at Gargrave Coop for breakfast and the application of more suntan cream. It was 11.00am when we got to Malham, and lots of folk. Strangely there was another ultra going the other way and we crossed with lots of runners for the next couple of hours. Up the steep steps by the cove seeing the family of peregrine falcons and onto the Tarn. It was very hot by now, and another application of sunblock was in order. From here we climbed Fountains Fell and then Pen Y Gent. Not much running now as we were getting pretty tired and sore. The descent of PyG was long and hard down the track the Three Peaks race starts up, to arrive in Horton in Ribblesdal as the cafe shut! However we had enough food between us to sustain us for the last 18 mile section to the finish. We ground this out passing some lovely scenery and struggled up the huge climb to Cam High Road. West Cam road heads north from here towards Hawes, contouring below Dodd Fell. I had been up here before as The Fellsman uses part of this route. Eventually after miles of level stony track we started to descend through reeds to civilisation and twinkling streetlights of Hawes. At this point we realised that if we speeded up we could finish in Under 40 hrs. It's not easy to speed up when you've been running for 2 days and a night, but we got to Hardraw and glory in 39hrs 27minutes, at 11.30pm, to finish in the middle of the field. Unfortunately we had missed the pub, but I had cunningly ensured there was beer available.
    Ryk ran with a friend and they finished in 49 hrs.
    Micheal and Colm were whisked off by family, so I had a shower and change of clothing, ate a lot and drank all the available beer. The organiseres had erected tents in the garden of the finish Centre so I had a blissful sleep, till Sally collected me in the morning.
    An incredibly satisfying journey through so much landscape and amazed to complete it in my 61st year. Not too bad today, apart from some impressive blisters and stiff legs.
    Absolutely brilliant. Thanks for taking the time to give us your account Matt. I really enjoyed the read. Oh! And really well done too
    “My actions are my only true belongings.”

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