Nicky Spinks sets new women's record - Womens Running Magazine

Nicky Spinks sets new women’s record

Read Time:   |  July 16, 2015


Full-time farmer and part-time record-holding fell runner, Nicky Spinks, has set a new record for the grueling 66-mile Bob Graham Round fell run. An epic circuit over 42 of the Lake District’s roughest and toughest summits, the Bob Graham Round spans 27,000ft of grueling elevation.

Nicky first took on the Bob Graham challenge in 2005. Taking up ultra-running in 2001, Nicky had little running experience. Training for the Leeds Abbey Dash, Nicky was reminded of the enjoyment she use to get from running as a child around the farm and running to lose weight in her twenties. Since then Nicky has become a fellrunning record holder. She holds the third fastest cumulative women’s time for the Ramsay Round, the Bob Graham and the Paddy Buckley – the three most famous 24-hour fell runs in Great Britain.

Determined to topple the fastest cumulative men’s time, set by Chris Near, Nicky set out to run a faster time at the Bob Graham Round this year, aiming to complete the grueling 66-mile challenge in a time of 17hrs 21mins or faster.

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While Nicky did not make her target time of 17hrs 21mins due to injury, Nicky overcame severe sickness and a bloodied 4cm cut to her hand to set a new record time by six minutes. Descending into a gully known as the ‘parachute drop’ Nicky tripped. “Straight away I felt an excruciating pain in my hand,” said Nicky, “I’d suffered a horrible cut on my thumb muscle about 1cm deep and 4cm long. It began spewing out blood.”

Taping up her hand and managing to continue on against the pain up the gruelling Yewbarrow climb and across to Red Pike, Nicky was hit with a violent bout of sickness. “I began to projectile vomit,” explained Nicky. She added:

“There was lots of food options at Honister. I went for some soup and beans. It was almost a foregone conclusion that it would come back up. And it did.

“I tried to think of reasons to carry on and then remembered my online JustGiving page, on which I have been raising money for Odyssey.”

Fighting against her body’s will, Nicky finished the race, setting a record time of eight hrs six mins.I was so happy to finish and achieve a new women’s record,” says Nicky.

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For Nicky, overcoming a challenge in the face of adversity is nothing new. After first completing the Bob Graham Round in 2005, the 47-year-old was diagnosed with breast cancer a year later. Shortly after undergoing a hysterectomy in 2012, Nicky returned to the Lake District and smashed Anne Johnson’s record, clocking 18hrs 12mins. Nicky is a true inspiration to all women looking to test themselves. She show what it truly means to test your limits in the face of adversity.

To read Nicky’s full account of her record-breaking run go to:


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