Jasmin Paris wins the Spine Ultra Marathon in 83h 12m
February 19, 2019 10:26 PM   Subscribe

Jasmin Paris smashed the old record by more than 12 hours. The Spine is a 268 mile long race from Kent to Scotland. She only slept for 3 hours and at each checkpoint she pumped milk for her daughter. posted by Uncle (53 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
She pressed on with minimal sleep because another runner was only two hours behind. That’s one reason why she smashed the existing record by such a huge margin. But the following runner collapsed exhausted without finishing. The actual second place runner was over fifteen hours behind.
posted by Segundus at 11:11 PM on February 19 [12 favorites]


If you have superpowers and your baby is breastfeeding, your baby also gets superpowers. Transitive property.
posted by hippybear at 11:16 PM on February 19 [32 favorites]


It's hard to imagine a better training regimen for performing exhausting tasks with very little sleep than being a nursing mother.
posted by jamjam at 11:20 PM on February 19 [41 favorites]


It's always nice to see insane people doing insane things.

But oh sheesh, that guy in second. He had to drop out at mile 264 of a 268 mile race. Ouch.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:25 PM on February 19 [13 favorites]


At the first checkpoint it took her about 10 extra minutes to add in pumping, but as the race went on, her exhausted body was producing so little milk that it was only a minute or two.

When my son was a year old and still almost exclusively breastfeeding I got a horrible stomach virus where I threw up every 10 minutes like clockwork for 12 hours straight (in hindsight, I should have gone to the hospital), and even though I started trying to nurse again the next day, my milk had dried up completely. I wonder if part of the reason why she was pumping at each station was as a preventative measure- after such an extreme energy-draining 4 days, it's totally possible that her milk supply would just disappear if she didn't keep prompting her body to make it.
posted by lollymccatburglar at 11:40 PM on February 19 [9 favorites]


I am quite certain that I would die after 80 hours.

...if by some miracle I didn't die, I would become some kind of psychotic nightmare creature.
posted by aramaic at 12:05 AM on February 20 [5 favorites]


According to other sources she had already frozen enough milk to feed her baby and was pumping primarily to guard against mastitis.
posted by Segundus at 12:56 AM on February 20 [6 favorites]


I'm a bit confused about the route -- the post says "Kent to Scotland" (North-South), but the route description in the second link says it's along the Penine Way, which starts in Edale.
posted by metaBugs at 2:06 AM on February 20


I find it interesting that the article frames her wanting to keep ahead of the guy in second place as being about wanting to win; the term "latch on" makes me wonder if it was less about winning and more about not getting landed running with That Guy.

I know nothing about either of them personally, but I've had plenty of personal experiences of changing my schedule or transport plans on the fly in order not to get stuck with whichever That Guy was the problem at the time.
posted by terretu at 3:40 AM on February 20 [6 favorites]


Going back to high school cross country days here, but I think when another runner latches on to you, you might lose because they can set the pace for when they start push you, threatening to pass. They can basically exhaust you by running right behind you and always threatening to pass and then, once you’re exhausted at the end, they pass you in the final sprint.
posted by CMcG at 3:53 AM on February 20 [8 favorites]


Edale to Scotland is south to north. Full route is here.
posted by yeti at 3:55 AM on February 20


Correction: the race runs from Edale to the Scottish Borders. Edale is not in Kent, it's in Derbyshire, a considerable distance further north. Not that this diminishes Paris' achievement one iota, of course.
posted by parm at 4:10 AM on February 20


I have to say that that 3.2 mph is a surprisingly low average speed. I assume it reflects the difficulty of the terrain...
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 4:22 AM on February 20


I’m a little bit miffed that an article on the winner of a race that is open to all genders is on ESPNW. If a man had won, would the article be hosted on the main site?
posted by domo at 4:28 AM on February 20 [16 favorites]


But oh sheesh, that guy in second. He had to drop out at mile 264 of a 268 mile race. Ouch.

The last 5 miles is the race. Everything that came before is just the warm-up.
posted by srboisvert at 4:51 AM on February 20 [4 favorites]


She felt wobbly as she prepared her sleeping bag. She had planned to sleep there for three to four hours, but she realized that wasn't going to work. Former Spine Race winner Eugeni Roselló Solé was only two hours behind and Paris didn't want to be at the checkpoint when Solé arrived. He'd latch on and it'd be hard for her to shake him off.

ಠ_ಠ
posted by Mayor West at 4:59 AM on February 20 [7 favorites]


I was just really confused that Kent is only 268 miles from Scotland. Derbyshire makes a hell of a lot more sense.
posted by Leon at 5:04 AM on February 20


One thing that amazes me is how she is always smiling. Every picture, every interview, pounding up mountain tracks, jogging through sleet, picking her way through darkness on treacherous footing, she always looks cheerful, like her morale is just unshakeable, no matter what.
posted by Segundus at 5:15 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]


Three point two miles an hour seems very fast for eighty hours in a row.
posted by jeather at 5:28 AM on February 20 [17 favorites]


We seem particularly good in Scotland at producing people who excel at this kind of crazy stuff. Almost more impressive, to me, are the people who compete by running for 24 hours round the track.
posted by penguin pie at 6:18 AM on February 20


If you have superpowers and your baby is breastfeeding, your baby also gets superpowers. Transitive property.

"...and from that day forward, I took as my motto, 'with great power comes great responsibility.' You?"

"Uh..."
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:26 AM on February 20


I’m a little bit miffed that an article on the winner of a race that is open to all genders is on ESPNW. If a man had won, would the article be hosted on the main site?

God, you're right. Its really disappointing.
posted by CPAGirl at 6:29 AM on February 20 [2 favorites]


My usual opinion is that runners are insane, though not as insane as sportsball fans (they’re doing something, at least), but this lady is clearly superhuman and beyond any of my puny concepts of “sanity.” Bravo.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 6:39 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


I’m a little bit miffed that an article on the winner of a race that is open to all genders is on ESPNW. If a man had won, would the article be hosted on the main site?

If a man had won, there might well have been no article at all. It doesn't look like ESPN have ever reported on this race before (google search for "Montane Spine Race" -Jasmin site:espn.com comes up with nothing), so it looks like they've only latched onto this story because of the rarity of having a female winner and course record holder.
Same as most of the non-specialist media.
posted by vincebowdren at 6:52 AM on February 20 [6 favorites]


I have to say that that 3.2 mph is a surprisingly low average speed. I assume it reflects the difficulty of the terrain...

I think it's more likely that people are pacing themselves to run 268 miles, and if you run faster than that, you'll gas out early. My friend who started ultramarathoning to mitigate the stress of grad school ran 100 miles in 25 hours and keeping up a 4 mph pace for 25 hours was incredibly hard. She didn't finish the 26th hour.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:38 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Sorry for my bad UK geography.
posted by Uncle at 7:41 AM on February 20


She only slept for 3 hours

wait. total? she slept for 3 hours in 4 days while running 50 miles per day? is that...physically possible?

and at each checkpoint she pumped milk for her daughter.

hahahahahaha HOLY SHIT

Paris signed up for the Spine Race with one intention: It would help her wake up at 4 a.m. every morning to run. Her daughter was keeping her up at night and she needed that motivation to start her day.

omg she did this as an accessory to motherhood

There are going to be so many mad dudes
posted by schadenfrau at 7:41 AM on February 20 [19 favorites]


Three point two miles an hour seems very fast for eighty hours in a row.

Well it certainly would be for me, providing I survived. But it appears the women's world record for 250 miles is 48 hours, which is a much faster pace than 268 miles in 83.

However, as I said I'm pretty sure the terrain explains the big difference.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 7:43 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Urgh, sucks this is under ESPNW -> Life/Style alongside sections such as "How They Got That Body". In the UK she made the main news - newspapers and television, such an incredible achievement. I went to a talk by Nicky Spinks last month - another crazy inspiring ultrarunner, in fact they're friends and are both Innov-8 ambassadors. She was asked about the emergence of women winning the field in the really long ultras (see also Courtney Dauwalter) and thought they had an advantage in both pain tolerance and pacing (not burning out by competing too hard at the start). It's all the more inspiring when people like Jasmin fit training and competing around a full time job and young child.
I did my first (flat and shorter at 100miles) ultra last year, the mental and sleep deprivation aspect was just as big as physical so feels a very inclusive sport - I think I was one of the younger ones doing it.
posted by JonB at 7:43 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]


I’m a little bit miffed that an article on the winner of a race that is open to all genders is on ESPNW.

That is annoying, although given that breastfeeding was the hook for the article I can see why it ended up where it did.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 7:47 AM on February 20


Yes, the challenge of the Spine Race beyond the distance is the route finding (ambigious!), terrain (muddy/rocky), steepness (13,135m total ascent or 1.5x everest!), darkness and weather (often winter conditions, better this year at just terrible!)
posted by JonB at 7:48 AM on February 20 [2 favorites]


Look I don't think I could walk 3.2 miles an hour in 83 hours on flat terrain with a clearly marked route.
posted by jeather at 7:53 AM on February 20 [5 favorites]


Look I don't think I could walk 3.2 miles an hour in 83 hours on flat terrain with a clearly marked route.

At one point in my life I spent a lot of time around professional endurance athletes. As far as I'm concerned you and I aren't even the same species as them.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 8:04 AM on February 20 [8 favorites]


it looks like they've only latched onto this story because of the rarity of having a female winner and course record holder.

Just an FYI that female winners of ultra long distance running races are not that rare. It's so frequent there are now articles proposing a possiblity of female advantage in these kinds of races.
posted by srboisvert at 8:12 AM on February 20 [2 favorites]


Hm.. 3.2.. not bad. But if I were in an ultramarathon, I would simply run at a pace of 3.3 miles.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:44 AM on February 20 [4 favorites]


“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.” [Guardian article]

Great, now all complaints of physical exhaustion mean nothing anymore.. Thanks a lot Jasmin.
posted by hadal at 9:51 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]


As well as the climbs, there's also "287 gates, 249 timber stiles, 183 stone stiles". It's not exactly track running.
posted by tavella at 9:59 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Three point two miles an hour seems very fast for eighty hours in a row.

For comparison, my average running speed over the last eighty hours is zero miles per hour. (And if you include my various errands and commutes by car, my average speed is about 0.8 mph.)
posted by The Tensor at 10:17 AM on February 20 [2 favorites]


Searching "Spine Race" -Jasmin site:espn.com does turn up some Spanish-language results, and searching "Spine Race" -Jasmin "ESPN" turns up some videos, but yeah I can see that the newsworthy part is her parental and breastfeeding status. Those two things are already really hard on your body. That's what moves this from 'someone won a race' to 'OMG' territory.
posted by domo at 10:36 AM on February 20


My favorite race (to read about) is the Badwater Ultramarathon. It’s half the length and has nowhere near the elevation gain but it is run in Death Valley in the middle of the Summer with an average temperature of about 120F. Hallucinations start early.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:05 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Just an FYI that female winners of ultra long distance running races are not that rare. It's so frequent there are now articles proposing a possiblity of female advantage in these kinds of races.

SO MANY MAD DUDES

even more remarkable, the women in that article are in their 30s and 40s
posted by schadenfrau at 2:34 PM on February 20


As well as the climbs, there's also "287 gates, 249 timber stiles, 183 stone stiles". It's not exactly track running.

and infinity sheep shits.
posted by srboisvert at 2:42 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


SO MANY MAD DUDES

I mean... I dunno. Not really? Whilst I'm sure many female ultra runners have had the "not wanting to get chicked" experience (men not wanting to be beaten by females), the vast, vast majority of ultra-runners are really competing against themselves and the course. Once you have an idea of what it takes to complete an ultra, you're going to have nothing but respect for anyone who does.

And while I wouldn't say overall females winners of ultras is a frequent thing, I've rarely seen anything other than congratulations when that happens.

All of that said, I'm a very back-of-the-pack runner who gets passed by most and has no problem with that :) It may be different at the elite end of the field, but I still don't think there's many "MAD DUDES" out there railing against women doing well in ultras.
posted by maupuia at 4:14 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


CBC Radio interviewed a man and woman last week who had both failed to complete the Yukon Arctic Ultra. There's an interesting contrast in perspectives, though I would hesitate to conclude that "all women ultra like this and all men ultra like that" from it.
posted by clawsoon at 5:10 PM on February 20


I still don't think there's many "MAD DUDES" out there railing against women doing well

May I introduce you to the internet

(I wasn’t laughing about mad dude ultra runners, I was laughing about mad dude incels and MRAs on Reddit or wherever, but as this was only on ESPNWbody or whatever they possibly have not seen it, and I’m not gonna show it to them. They’d be mad tho.)
posted by schadenfrau at 5:25 PM on February 20


And while I wouldn't say overall females winners of ultras is a frequent thing, I've rarely seen anything other than congratulations when that happens.

Given that you appear to be accessing the internet via dial-up AOL circa 1996, I can only suggest to you: sink all your money into Apple stock.
posted by Mayor West at 5:28 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


even more remarkable, the women in that article are in their 30s and 40s

Women come into their own at 30-40. They're damn vicious at 50.
posted by BlueHorse at 5:57 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


even more remarkable, the women in that article are in their 30s and 40s

Endurance sports leaders trend older in general. I've heard it attributed to both the deep experience that you gain with your body over time and the patience -- and pacing -- that comes with maturity.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 6:03 PM on February 20


I find it interesting that the article frames her wanting to keep ahead of the guy in second place as being about wanting to win; the term "latch on" makes me wonder if it was less about winning and more about not getting landed running with That Guy.

It's a breastfeeding pun - "Latching" is the act of the feeding infant making the appropriate seal with their mouth on the breast. Laboriously explaining wordplay makes it more fun!
posted by chiquitita at 6:13 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


I still don't think there's many "MAD DUDES" out there railing against women doing well

May I introduce you to the internet


Oh please. Way to take a comment out of context. I appreciate, now, that you weren't talking about "ultra dudes", but please don't assume I was talking about the internet.


And while I wouldn't say overall females winners of ultras is a frequent thing, I've rarely seen anything other than congratulations when that happens.

Given that you appear to be accessing the internet via dial-up AOL circa 1996, I can only suggest to you: sink all your money into Apple stock.


Maybe it's possible to be more condescending in your reply?
posted by maupuia at 8:09 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Eh, shhhh. Let's let this human's sheer insane badassery just be nice.
posted by lauranesson at 9:11 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


Lazarus Lake was just on a running podcast I listen to and speculated that Jasmin Paris could be the first woman to finish the Barkley Marathons. Courtney Dauwalter came second in his last man standing race last year and is considering entering (in itself a challenge!).
posted by JonB at 1:24 AM on February 21


More on Dauwalter - The Woman Who Outruns the Men, 200 Miles at a Time (slnyt)
posted by zakur at 8:21 PM on February 27


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