A non-stop, 160 mile Mountain Rescue Team race along the Pennine Way.
The MRT Challenge North is open to active members of the Mountain Rescue. It provides the MRT an event where team members can compete against each other on the northern section of the Pennine Way. It follows the same route and races under the same conditions as the Challenger North. Beginning from Hardraw in North Yorkshire, competitors have a time limit of 108 hours to get to the finish line at Kirk Yetholm crossing some of the most beautiful but difficult terrains in Britain including the Yorkshire Dales, Northumberland National Park, Hadrian’s Wall and the Cheviots. This race is for those who wish to test themselves and compete in a truly demanding race. It’s not just the ferocity of the British Winter that’s against you, your own body and mind will become your biggest battle.
Prepare to take on one of Britain’s Most Brutal endurance races.
- Start: Hardraw, North Yorkshire, UK
- Start Time: 08:00 January 13th 2025
- Distance: 160 miles
- Time Limit: 108 hours
- Finish: Kirk Yetholm, Scottish Borders
- Finish Time: 20:00 January 17th 2025
- Daytime Temperature: 0°C / 10°C
- Night-time Temperature: -10°C / 2°C
- Total Ascent: 5290 metres
- Total Descent: 5591 metres
- Daylight Hours in January: 8 hours
- Places Available: 30
Get your Race Information Pack
Find out everything you need to know about the MRT Challenge North by downloading our free race information pack. It includes all the details about the route, checkpoints, a summary of the kit list and some tips from the experts.
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Watch The Montane Winter Spine Highlights
Get a feel for what it's like to take on Britain's Most Brutal Race.
Ready to take on the challenge of the MRT Challenge North? See the race roster, download your race information pack or take a closer look at the Pennine Way.
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Check Out The Pennine Way
G Brian Hutchinson & Tim Bradley
The Cheviots was a two-person job. We took it in turns to break the trail. We relied on each other to survive. This was teamwork.
The Spine race is full of low lows and high highs. Every time the Pennine Way knocked me down, a lovely volunteer, an amazing sunset or a kind stranger always appeared to pick me back up again. There's no experience like it.
You need the ability to comprehend the distance and time on your feet, exposed to the winter conditions. But the race runs deeper than that. The sense of feeling I got was the Spine race will do what it wants with you. It's in control. Stay awake, let it evolve and look after yourself. You might have a chance of cracking the code and reaching the wall!
There's a respect for this course. You can't compare it to anything because of the non stop aspect. You get to have a 30 minute kip on Hadrian's Wall! I really wanted to test myself and that's what the Spine Race does.
The Spine is a great course, and I've enjoyed it every time I've done it. There is a great family vibe on the race and you are looked after like kings at the checkpoints!
We want you to be safe in the race and experience of similar challenges will make you safer.
To enter, you must be aged 21 years or over at the time of the race.
If you have run an ultra over 60 miles, or have previously completed a Montane Spine Challenger event, then this will qualify you for the race.
If you don’t meet these criteria, your experience can be drawn from other events. Mountain marathons, orienteering events, fell races, or expeditions similar to the Bob Graham Round are looked upon favourably. The more a challenge features mountainous terrain, moorland and elements of navigation the better.
If you feel you have the experience not mentioned here, include it in your entry form. We are also very happy to advise on what races, challenges or experiences you need to gain entry.
We would always highly recommend that every runner purchases appropriate insurance to cover the costs of your entry fee and your participation in any Montane Spine event should you not be able to take part.
The race has enormous infrastructure costs, most of which are fixed and committed up to twelve months in advance, which unfortunately prevents the option of a full refund. We want to be as fair as possible though, so while your entry fee includes a non-refundable deposit, if you notify us 100 days before the race, you will get a partial refund. Please read the T&Cs before you make your payment.
At each of the checkpoints, (Langdon Beck, Alston and Bellingham) Spinners are offered:
- Hot meals (such as pasta or porridge)
- Hot and cold drinks
- Somewhere to sleep (we recommend ear plugs and sleeping masks)
- Toilets and showers (at Alston and Bellingham)
- Professional medical crew
- Your resupply bag
- Weather updates and race information
- Ample encouragement from friendly, helpful volunteers.
The Spine races are unsupported events, but you are welcome to utilise cafes and pubs along the route for sustenance and shelter. There’s some history of Spiners being offered sustenance by locals, which is a nice touch, so we deem that to be fine. What’s not ok is pacing, receiving planned support or having a private support vehicle follow your progress.
In recognition for the precious time and support the MRT give to the Spine Race, the cost of the entry fee is subsidised. The total cost for The Montane Winter Spine MRT Challenge North is £105. This includes a non refundable deposit of £45.
To secure your place, you will need to pay in full when you enter.
Payments can be made online using your debit or credit card.
To secure your place in the race, you will need to make your payment of £105 on entry. This includes a non refundable deposit of £45.
You can use your debit or credit card to make your payments online. Stripe Payments hands the steps between you providing your card information and learning that the payment has been accepted. Some of the world’s largest companies, including Amazon and Shopify, use Stripe.
Payment on entry
Pay £105 to secure your place.