I don’t get to many film premieres; in fact, if I’m honest, I don’t get to any! That is until a couple of weeks ago, when I attended my very first film premiere. I left the black tie and dinner jacket in the wardrobe for this one though – microfleece and technical T-shirt was dress of the day, for this was the premiere of the movie of the Spine Race.
I’ve posted ‘The Spine Race‘ in this blog loads of times, but for those who might have missed out, posts #61, #62, #112, #114 and #149 give a taste of what the race is about – I even let Border Collie ‘Mist’ have her own post (#141) to give a ‘dog’s eye’ view!
Briefly, The Spine Race is a race on the Pennine Way. That’s 267 miles (429 km) with a height gain of about 32,500 ft (9910 metres), which is more than the height of Everest from sea level – the athletes have seven days to complete.
Even this might seem like an easy option compared with the higher mountains of the Alps, but The Spine Race is held in winter, and a UK winter means Atlantic gales and extreme wet-cold conditions. The athletes are constantly hammered by the wind, rain and snow, and it’s not for nothing that the race is titled ‘the most brutal race in Britain’.
I’ve been a member of the Mountain Safety Team since the first Spine Race in 2012, and I’ve seen the runners endure some pretty gnarly conditions. It can’t be much easier trying to film the event in the extreme weather, but that’s exactly what Matt Green and Ellie West of Summit Fever Media did, which is why I found myself at my first film premiere.
The images here will give an idea of what it’s like to run The Spine, but Matt and Ellie’s film captures the determination of the athletes, the drama of the race and the amazingly harsh conditions of a Pennine winter. So if running The Spine sounds a little too challenging why not buy the film and find out what ‘Britain’s most brutal race’ is all about.
Text and images © Paul Shorrock with additional material from John Bamber (© John Bamber) and Richard Lendon (© Richard Lendon)