RUN247
Search
shop
RUN247 / Running News / Trail Running News / John Kelly comes to terms with Winter Spine Race KO: ‘I guess I can get a haircut now’

John Kelly comes to terms with Winter Spine Race KO: ‘I guess I can get a haircut now’

Jonathan Turner
News Director
Published on
SHOP
Endure 24
How Far Will You Go? UK's Biggest 24hr Trail Race

John Kelly has spoken of the moment that ended his Montane Winter Spine Race.

The American legend, who last year finished the Barkley Marathons for a second time, had been one of the big favourites to repeat his 2020 victory in the race billed as ‘Britain’s most brutal’.

In the build-up he’d underlined just how much more experienced he is now on the 268-mile Pennine Way route, for which he’s currently the holder of the FKT (fastest known time).

And he’d even revealed a few marginal gains – such as not having a haircut for a while in order to combat the freezing temperatures the runners would face!

Advertisement

What happened?

All had gone to plan early on as he stuck to his own schedule even though that left him around 20 minutes off the lead pack, which included his great friend Damian Hall, the defending men’s champion.

But Kelly’s race came to an end late on the first night when he retired at the Cowling checkpoint, with a subsequent Instagram post explaining what had happened.

He said: “With one little slip heading down into Lothersdale, about 65 miles in, my ankle went a direction ankles aren’t supposed to go, and my Spine Race was over.

“Conditions are great out there – it was an absolutely beautiful day and night. The leaders are pushing hard to take advantage of those conditions and I hope they can keep it up.

“It’s a long race, and I was trying not to get too eager early on, closely sticking to my sub 80 hour schedule.”

Advertisement

Staying on to help out

Kelly underlined the spirit of the famed Spine Race family as he added: “For now my plan is to travel up the route with the support team to help out where I can. And I guess I can get a haircut now.”

john kelly winter spine race 2024
Not to be this year at the Spine for John Kelly [Photo credit: Montane Winter Spine Race]

Kelly was the first of the big names to depart – he would be followed by three-time winner Pavel Paloncy a few hours later – and the race media team posted: “John is an astounding athlete with a great many super-human seeming achievements under his belt, but this is not to be his race.”

Jonathan Turner
Written by
Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner is News Director for both TRI247 and RUN247, and is accustomed to big-name interviews, breaking news stories and providing unrivalled coverage for endurance sports.  

THE SBRX Show

In episode 1 of our new SBRX Show we sit down with ultra runners and coaches Kim and Jayson Cavill to get their take on the Barkley Marathons and triathlon & trail running gear reviews, training tips and more

Latest Running News

Courtney Dauwalter Transgrancanaria win [Photo credit: The Adventure Bakery / The North Face Transgrancanaria]
Hardrock 100 results 2024: Dauwalter and Pommeret SMASH course records
Luke Grenfell Shaw wins Val d Aran 2024 photo copyright UTMB
Emotional UTMB win for Luke Grenfell-Shaw MBE on anniversary of brother’s tragic death
Nina Engelhard wins Grossglockner Mountain race 2024 photo credit WMRA Marco Gulberti
Grossglockner Mountain Run 2024 results: Engelhard and Omaya Atuya take the wins
Joyce Muthoni Njeru wins Broken Arrow Skyrace 2024 photo credit Scott Rokis
Joyce Muthoni Njeru bids for Valsir Mountain Running World Cup hat-trick
Courtney Dauwalter crosses the finish line Mt Fuji 100 Photo credit: Fuji Hakone Izu Trail Support - Gran Canaria World Trail Majors
‘Exploding what everyone thought possible’ – Dauwalter and Schide are opening ‘the floodgates’
trail running on your terms

Never miss out with our trail alerts & digest. Get a dose of adventure & inspiration with Boundless.

Invalid email address
The SBRX Group

Proudly elevating endurance sports through content, products & services

SBRX
RUN247
Share to...