Jack Scott obliterates record for UK’s most brutal ultra marathon, the 268-mile Winter Spine Race, by over 10 hours

Jack Scott just having crossed the finishing line of the 2024 Spine Race
(Image credit: Montane Spine Race)

British ultra runner Jack Scott has won the winter edition of this year’s Montane Spine Race in a new record time. In fact, he didn’t just break the record, or even smash it. He obliterated it by a margin of over 10 hours.

The previous record for the gruelling 268-mile ultra marathon – often referred to the Britain’s most brutal – was set by in 2019 Jasmin Paris who won the race in 83 hours and 12 minutes, set in 2019. This was widely regarded as close to unbeatable.

But this year, Scott completed the course from Edale in the Peak District to the finish line in Kirk Yetholm on the English-Scottish border in 72 hours and 55 minutes, despite even more bitterly cold conditions than usual, and possibly the strongest Winter Spine field there’s ever been. He slept for just 54 minutes over the three days.

Not bad for someone who lost out on pole position last year for a navigation error than saw him accidentally take a short cut, which incurred a 48-minute time penalty.

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Damian Hall, who finished second (also breaking Paris’s previous course record), congratulated Scott, saying, “Today we saw a piece of British ultra running history… and I don’t mean my haircut.”

29-year-old Scott from Staffordshire touched the wall of the Border Hotel at the finish line in Kirk Yetholm just before 9am on Wednesday morning, but revealed in an interview later that at one point he feared he was going to DNF, fearing that he’d set out too fast, and feeling bad as the 85 mile mark: “I was not in a good place.," he said. "The frozen ground was so hard on the legs.”

So what kept him going? “Just pulling away after Alston, taking money out of Damian Hall’s bank, putting it into mine. Just creating that gap so I could try to enjoy whatever happened up in the Cheviots last night; and I did enjoy it - it was unbelievable, amazing!” he told Greatest Hits Radio.