British ultrarunner Jasmin Paris became the first woman to win the 268-mile Montane Spine Race.
Featured image by Tann BB.
On Wednesday, the new mom smashed the Montane Spine Race course record while pausing course-side to pump milk for her breastfeeding baby. Jasmin Paris, 35, an Edinburgh-based athlete, set the fastest course time ever among all competitors, male and female, in 83 hours, 12 minutes, 23 seconds.
Some athletes are still running.
The Montane Spine Race is one of the world’s toughest endurance challenges. In 2011, the first year it was staged, 11 people entered and only three finished. The ultramarathon runs seven days nonstop along the 268-mile Pennine Way National Trail. Britain’s brutal winter weather typically adds to the challenge. This year’s race weather included heavy snow, -4 degrees F windchill, and winds gusting to 50 mph.
Paris already holds women’s records for the U.K.’s three premier 24-hour mountain running challenges: Bob Graham Round (England), Ramsay Round (Scotland), and Paddy Buckley Round (Wales). She gave birth in November 2017. In 2018, Paris won the British Fell Running title.
Paris told reporters that she was hurting during this year’s Spine Race, but her main motivation for finishing the race, let alone winning, was to see her little girl.
Moms Are Serious Athletes Too
Paris’ achievement at the Spine Run is significant. We applaud her. It’s also one of many stories about runners and other hardcore athletes remaining competitive after motherhood. This year, for example, three moms topped the podium at Denver’s Colfax Marathon.
Perhaps more importantly, Paris’ overall victory among runners of both sexes may send another message: mothers still matter. And in the #MeToo era, you may be hearing more from female runners on the topics like picking parenthood over the chance to compete at a high level.
And, well, for women, breastfeeding is just part of the game.