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Jack Scott rewrites the record books with victory at the 2024 Montane Winter Spine Race

Jonathan Turner
News Director
Updated on
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British runner Jack Scott smashed both the men’s and the overall course records as he powered to an incredible victory at the 2024 Montane Winter Spine Race.

The 29-year-old was runner-up to fellow Brit Damian Hall last year – the pair actually finished together but an unintentional navigation error cost Scott the chance of the win.

And 12 months on, they were alongside each other again until around the halfway stage of the epic 268-mile journey up the Pennine Way in a race that is dubbed ‘Britain’s most brutal’.

But it was after the checkpoint in Dufton in the early hours of Tuesday morning (the race had started from Edale in the Peak District at 8am on Sunday) that Scott started to pull clear.

A league apart

And from that point onwards he was in a class of his own, meaning that as he approached the finish he was around eight hours clear of Hall.

When he crossed the line in Kirk Yetholm on the English-Scottish border he stopped the clock in 72 hours 55 minutes and 5 seconds at just before 9am on Wednesday – and he revealed at the finish he’d had just 54 minutes sleep during the race!

That was way ahead of Hall’s record men’s time of 84:36:24 from last year and also Jasmin Paris’ overall best of 83:12:23 when she became the first woman to win the race outright in 2019.

It was just before 6.30pm when Hall came crossed the line in second in 82:25:10, more than two hours quicker than his time last year.

Paris’ husband Konrad Rawlik took third.

But it all meant Scott had hours to celebrate a famous victory before anyone else arrived in Kirk Yetholm.

How the race panned out

Conditions were relatively favourable for the duration of the race in that it was dry and hard underfoot – but it was also bitterly cold throughout and ice was a factor in the second half of the route, prompting a small diversion at one point.

A whole host of big names exited the race too, including arguably the pre-event favourite in John Kelly – the American who won here in 2020 – after he sprained his ankle. As soon as Scott crossed the finish line, Kelly wrote on social media: “What Jack Scott has done at the Spine Race is mind boggling. An outstanding athlete with an outstanding performance in outstanding conditions.”

And a knee injury put paid to the chances of three-time winner Pavel Paloncy.

No fewer than nine of the last 10 male winners had lined up at the start in what was the strongest-ever renewal of the race, making Scott’s triumph all the more noteworthy.

Jack Scott crosses finish line Montane Winter Spine Race 2024
[Photo credit: Montane Winter Spine Race]

At under 30 he’s young for an ultrarunner and he only took up the sport relatively recently – indeed it’s less than seven years since his first race, which was a half marathon.

He’s also spoken about battling – and overcoming – a gambling addiction, with running helping him to do that.

Asked beforehand how he would celebrate reaching the finish, he said: “I’ll touch the wall of the Border Hotel then facetime my wife and dog.”

Montane Spine Race Results, started Sunday 14 January 2024, 268 miles

MEN:

  1. Jack Scott (GBR) – 72:55:05
  2. Damian Hall (GBR) – 82:25:10
  3. Konrad Rawlik (POL) – 85:47:12
  4. Dougie Zinis (GBR) – 87:45:50
  5. Orran Smith (GBR) – 94:48:36
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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