British runner Sabrina Verjee was the first woman past the finish line at the 431km Montane Spine Race, crossing on Thursday evening UK time. She finished in 108 hours, seven minutes and 17 seconds, taking fifth place overall.

She is now the back-to-back winner, having taken the honours outright in the summer version, beating the fastest man by almost nine hours. She finished the summer edition in 82:19:07.

“I want my bed,” was all Verjee, 38, said on the finish line, after congratulating the camera people on a good job. She then went inside, probably for a cup of tea.

The Spine Race follows the Pennine Way, all the way from the Peaks in England up to Scotland. In the dead of winter, the runners are subject to brutal conditions. This year, Storm Brendan battered the course, adding to the already monumental challenge.

The Spine Race has been going since 2012 and is considered one of the most brutal foot races on earth. The summer version of the race was only added in 2017.

Last year, Jasmin Paris won and her achievement went viral, as she beat all the men and broke the course record by more than 12 hours.

John Kelly, the 2017 winner and last finisher of the rarely finished Barkley Marathon in Tennessee, won the Spine Race overall in 87:53:57. 

Kelly – Barkley’s last finisher – wins Spine Race

Verjee has a host of victories to her name. She was the first woman at the Round Rotherham 80km in October and first woman, second overall, in the Lakeland 161km race in the UK in 2018. She finished as the 21st woman in the incredibly competitive Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc in September 2017.