Michelle shows backbone to complete Spine Challenger

Radcliffe Athletic Club’s Michelle Hincks said she was “amazed to get to the finish” after battling brutal conditions in the 108-mile Spine Challenger Race.

She completed the non-stop race from Edale in the Peak District to Hardraw in the Yorkshire Dales in 46hrs 51mins 14secs.

With more than 18,500ft of ascent, it includes some of the most beautiful and difficult terrain on the Pennine Way.

Hincks has previously completed a 156-mile ultra-marathon in the Nabid Desert, and said of her latest achievement: “It was brutal, unyielding and almost broke me at times; it threw everything at me.

“Issues with heat, dehydration and nausea meant I had to stay in the check point at Hebden Bridge longer than I wanted to; I think it was between three and four hours.

“I went back out on course at around 3am and the weather turned bad with really cold rain and wind. I was with some other people at this point and we were all affected by the cold, wet weather and had to act quickly to get all our layers on.

“Thankfully no one suffered hypothermia but we were all of the opinion that if we’d have left it five or ten minutes longer we would have been in a bit of trouble. It took hours for us to warm back up properly and it was a reminder of how quickly things can change for the worse!”

Hincks also suffered hallucinations during the race and added: “Throw in the usual assortment of blisters and stubbed toes and I’m amazed I got to the finish. I think it will be a long time before I do another one as tough as this!”

Jenny Yates was the fourth woman and first F55 in 20:46 at the Andy O’ Sullivan Tribute 5k at Cowm Reservoir, Whitworth while Elaine Bailey clocked 1:02:32 in hot conditions at the Cirrus 10k in Pontefract.

Sarah Scott finished the 20k Round Sheffield Run in 1:50:35. The race is made up of 11 timed stages on trails around the city.

Michelle Hincks on the Spine Challenger.

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