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‘I nearly DNF’d’ – Jack Scott on the lows and highs of his epic Winter Spine win

Jonathan Turner
News Director
Updated on
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Jasmin Paris‘ all-time course record for the Montane Winter Spine race of 83 hours and 12 minutes, set in 2019, was seen as close to unbeatable.

But Jack Scott knocked more than 10 hours off that mark with his winning performance this year which will go down as one for the ages.

Conditions were bitterly cold and while it was good underfoot it was still a remarkable display from the 29-year-old against arguably the strongest Winter Spine field there’s ever been.

Scott reached the finish line in Kirk Yetholm on the English-Scottish border 72 hours and 55 minutes after setting off from Edale in the Peak District, following the Pennine Way for 268 miles in a race that is dubbed ‘Britain’s most brutal’.

Resilience to the fore

Interviewed soon afterwards he revealed he’d had battles to face even before the start, explaining: “I just had to be resilient in my training because I picked up three injuries in December.

“So I had to win the mind games really early on in the training block and there was less volume.

“I tried to attack certain areas and think of it as more of a race rather than getting to the finish line – Cross Fell was one of those areas.”

Battle plan

He felt the early pace was too fast as he tried to stay with Kim Collison and Konrad Rawlik and admitted he felt “bad” at mile 85 near Malham, saying: “I nearly DNF’d – I was not in a good place. The frozen ground was so hard on the legs.

“So I slowed it down and took control of my race. I then sat in with James Nobles [a Spine debutant but winner of the Northern Traverse last year] and we bounced off each other – it was a really enjoyable 12 to 15-hour stint.

“And then I left a checkpoint with James and Damian [Hall] and I was thinking how am I going to win this race.”

He said it was a conscious decision to kick when he did, explaining: “James was struggling with his downhills so we pulled away coming off High Cup Nick.

I skipped the Dufton checkpoint and Damian came with me but I lost him on the climb and I thought ‘this is my chance’.

“I started to get a lead and was able to hold it. It’s a performance I’m incredibly proud of.”

Jack Scott lets the emotions sink in after winning the Montane Winter Spine Race 2024
Jack Scott lets the emotions sink in [Photo credit: Montane Winter Spine 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.  

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