Two super-fit Borders mountain rescue volunteers are currently undertaking probably the toughest annual winter endurance event in the UK.
Duncan Buchanan and Peter Gibson, both members of the Border Search and Rescue Unit are tackling the tough Spine Race along the Pennine Way, which starts in Edale, Derbyshire and ends 268 miles north in Kirk Yetholm.
Now in its sixth year, the event incorporates a special category specifically for mountain rescue volunteers.
“Over the past few years, Border Search and Rescue has been fairly heavily involved with the Spine Race,” a team spokesman explains.
“Runners completing the week-long 268-mile option end up running about 30 miles along the edge of our patch, and in 2013, 2014 and again last year the race presented us with a collection of fairly challenging rescues, the first in a blizzard to evacuate three runners from one of the refuge huts up on the border ridge.”
The team spends a lot of time and effort fundraising, and are a very visible presence at the various Common Ridings throughout the summer.
Duncan explains: “I look after the team’s vehicles, and our specially-equipped off-road ambulance is due for replacement. This is going to set us back in the region of £50,000, so fund-raising has taken on a fresh significance this year.”