Former professional triathlete Lucy Gossage showed that class is permanent this week, as the NHS oncologist finished on the podium at one of the UK’s toughest endurance events.
Taking on a number of seasoned professional ultra runners and a 268-mile course up the Pennine Way that includes over 10,000m of elevation gain, the Brit was in hot pursuit of the podium throughout the multi-day epic.
With defending champion Claire Bannwarth of France taking a second successive title up front, the battle for runner-up came down to a thrilling contest on the fifth day of racing between Gossage and fellow doctor Hannah Rickman.
Close race to the finish line
With numerous accolades from her time as a pro triathlete, Gossage is an incredibly accomplished endurance athlete. However, the prospect of taking on the Spine led her to say that “I’ve never been so intimidated by something in my life” prior to the race.
Despite the scale of the challenge, Gossage dived right in at the deep end and was towards the front of the race from the gun, with great updates on her progress provided on social media throughout by fellow triathlete Nikki Bartlett.
Overcoming the terrain, subzero temperatures and some sleepwalking, Gossage completed the race in a brilliant 106:05:26, finishing the race in third, despite reaching the finish line in second, as Rickman was credited time by the race organisers for stopping to assist a fellow runner in distress.
“What an insane achievement!”
With the live race tracker allowing fans to send in messages of support, Gossage’s page was inundated with congratulations after the Brit crossed the finish line, with hundreds of people sending well wishes to one of the favourites.
Bartlett, who had been documenting Gossage’s progress throughout the race, summed up the magnitude of her friend’s achievement on Instagram after the race in an emotional message.
“Absolutely EPIC!!!!!!!!!!! How do I even begin to write the words to describe this insane achievement?!!! Literally crying typing 🤣. WHAT AN INSANE ACHIEVEMENT AND INSANE PERSON Lucy is!!!!!!
“Thanks so much for all of your support it’s been an honour story telling Lucy from the start to the finish line. It’s been emotional writing on Lucy’s social, so proud, such an inspiring person to so many people.”