Erwee smashes record to win 268-mile Pennine ultra

Island-based ultra runner Tiaan Erwee has crushed the course record to win the 268-mile Montane Summer Spine Race in the UK.

Tiaan Erwee looked remarkably fresh after crushing the course record. (Picture from Montane Spine Race)
Tiaan Erwee looked remarkably fresh after crushing the course record. (Picture from Montane Spine Race)

The event covers the entire length of the Pennine Way, from Edale in England to Kirk Yetholm in Scotland, and is widely considered one of the world's toughest endurance races.

After being forced to retire from the winter edition of the event in January, the South African ultramarathon ace — who set a new record in Guernsey's 36-mile showpiece last month — truly redeemed himself over the mountainous course, defying sleep deprivation to win very convincingly in 70hrs 46min. 50sec.

That is almost 7hrs faster than Irishman Eoin Keith's victory from last summer, which was previously the fastest time recorded in an official Spine Race, including the more established winter equivalent.

American great John Kelly's 58-04-53 from a standalone record bid last year remains the fastest known time for the Pennine Way in any circumstances.

However, Kelly benefited from increased flexibility, running the course in north to south format and not being required to carry as much equipment as he would in a Spine Race.

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