Dales ranger completes Spine Race

3. Matt Neale after finishing the Montane Spine Race 2019. Credit: YanBB Montane Spine Race

Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority ranger Matt Neale has run the length of the Pennine Way over six days to finish thirteenth overall in the Montane Spine Race.

Matt, 47, from Garsdale, started at 8am on Sunday in Edale in Derbyshire and reached home territory – the Yorkshire Dales National Park – the following morning, being clocked in Malham at 11.23am.

It took him about 24 hours to go south-to-north through the National Park; he had a six hour rest in Hawes, where he serves as a retained fire fighter.

Britain’s Jasmin Paris became the first woman to win the 268-mile race, setting a new record time.

Speaking moments after finishing at Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders at 11.12am this morning, Matt Neale said: “There’s too much emotion to try and describe it. It’s quite overwhelming.

“What a great use of five days annual leave. It was minus ten degrees last night and it was a spectacular morning to finish.”

Matt Neale running through the Yorkshire Dales. Credit: MSR.

Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority director of park services Kathryn Beardmore said: “Congratulations to Jasmin Paris for a truly awesome achievement and also to Matt for once again pulling off an inspirational feat of endurance.

“The Montane Spine Race is helping to bring international attention to national park landscapes and our national trails.

“We’ve got a fantastic array of long distance routes through the Yorkshire Dales National Park to suit all abilities.

“One of the national park management plan objectives is to promote the Pennine Trails and other long distance routes, where the journey really is the experience whether walking, running, cycling or riding – whatever the pace.

“The videos of this year’s race were very atmospheric, with episode 4 catching my eye as it shows competitors – including Matt – running through the stunning scenery of the Yorkshire Dales.”