British ultrarunner Jasmin Paris created history on Thursday by becoming the first woman to win 268-mile Montane Spine Race along the Pennine Way. To add to the extraordinary success story, Paris not only shattered the course record by 12 hours but also expressed breast milk for her baby at aid stations during the race.
Paris gave her best performance of her career so far at the Montane Spine race as she beat all her male and female rivals in the course from the Edale in the Peak District to the Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish borders in 83 hours, 12 minutes and 23 seconds. She broke the record of Eoin Keith who had set the previous best of 95hrs 17mins in 2016.
“It is really tough,” Paris was quoted by the Guardian as saying after the run, admitting that she was hallucinating by the end of the race. “Two thirds of the time it is dark and it is completely different from any race I’ve run before because it is non-stop. You have the whole challenge of when to sleep and that becomes very tactical, and then you’re sleep-deprived.
“When I was on the final section I kept seeing animals appearing out of every rock and kept forgetting what I was doing – hallucinations. Every so often I’d come to with a start. On top of that it’s very cold and I was wearing all of my clothes by the time I finished.”
The competitors have one week to finish the gruelling race, which covers hilly terrain, 43,000ft of climbing. Eugeni Rosello Sole, winner of the Spine Race 2013, was forced to push his emergency button 6km before the end due to getting unwell due to sleep deprivation, eliminating him from the race.