Montane Spine Challenger Race 2022 - Interview with Andy Ayre

Andy Ayre, Challenger, Spine Race -

Montane Spine Challenger Race 2022 - Interview with Andy Ayre

Ahead of Montane Spine Challenger Race 2022 we speak with Andy Ayre.

You can listen to the full interview on the GPS Training podcast, a great listen.

Within the race there are three events over three distances along the Pennine Way, the starting point being Edale, in the Peak District –

  1. Montane Spine Sprint Race – 46 miles in length
  2. Montane Spine Challenger - 109 miles in length
    Starts Saturday
  3. Montane Spine Race – 268 miles in length
    Starts Sunday

You can view live tracking of all participants online here (starting Saturday) - https://live.opentracking.co.uk/ssc2022/

To Follow Andy -

Number - 110
Full name - Andrew Ayre


1. Why?

Andy just wanted to challenge himself.

In the past took part in many Great North runs and thought about stepping up to a marathon distance, but a friend persuaded him to look at entering the Spine Challenger race.

2. Are you walking or running the 109 miles of the Spine Challenger?

Looking at walking the event.

3. How has your training gone? What key things have your learnt whilst doing this?

Always been a keen walker and running half marathon distances.

Before started to train most walks where 10 mile, then started to lift these to 15, then 30 miles and pushing up to 50/ 60 mile walks.Lots of 25/ 30 mile training walks in the hills.

Over the period of training for the Montane Spine Challenger the main thing I have learnt is – Feet – Over that distance those niggles do come to the fore.

All the training has been with fell running trainers, wearing two pairs of socks, wearing silicon tubes on the toes and just listening to your body as you are walking.

Also, taping up your feet has certainly helped whilst training for this ultra-event.

Very surprised how much water you are needing to carry to keep yourself hydrated.

4. How long have you got to do it in?

1 checkpoint – 48 miles – have to be there within 24 hours, but aware the first 30 miles are very hard, lots of climbing.

60 hours to complete the whole Spine Challenger race, but hoping to do it on 50 hours

5. Do you know the feet/ meters you have to climb over the Montane Spine Challenger?

17,000 feet accent a decent over the complete event.

14,000 over the first 40 miles, so that relay shows you need to take it steady at the start.

6. How will you navigate the Montane Spine Challenger?

You have to carry a map and compass.

The organisers do recommend a GPS, so taking a Garmin GPSMAP 86i and the Fenix 7x GPS watch.

Feeling the watch will be used for general navigation but the GPS will help massively when you pass through villages etc where a map would be useful.

7. How will you power your GPS/ watch for that length of time?

Going to have a powerpack in rucksack but also have a larger powerbank to change at the checkpoint, with the leads already in, all set to go.

The Fenix 7x will be OK for the event but the Garmin handheld will need to be charged.

8. What’s the most important thing in your rucksack?

Essential – Feet – tape, antiseptic spray

Luxury – Food – rice pudding

From all the team at GPS Training best of luck and we look forward to ‘dot watching’ you over the coming few days

Andy's Just giving page - please do support him if you can.


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