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Nicky Spinks awarded British Empire Medal

At 51, Nicky Spinks is one of the most inspiring figures in British trail running

British trail runner Nicky Spinks, 51, has been awarded the British Empire Medal in recognition of her contributions to the world of British trail running and the tens of thousands of pounds she has raised for Odyssey, an organization that supports those living with cancer. The British Empire Medal recognizes meritorious civil or military service, and recipients may use the initials BEM after their name. The ribbon for the medal is rose pink with pearl grey edges. 

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A cancer survivor herself, Spinks has a number of trail running accolades to her name, including being the first person to run a double Ramsay’s Round. (Ramsay’s Round is a 58-mile “fell” race incorporating 24 peaks in the Scottish mountains, known as the fells, including Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest peak, within a time limit of 24 hours.) In 2016 Spinks set an FKT (fastest known time) on the double Bob Graham Round, a similarly demanding traverse of 48 peaks in England’s Lake District. Her accomplishment was documented in the film Run Forever

Spinks farms in Yorkshire when she’s not running in the fells. Most recently, she crewed for British trail runner Damian Hall, who finished fifth at this year’s Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB), and is the subject of a forthcoming documentary called Underdog. Spinks and Hall are both sponsored by the British company Inov-8, which launched three new  trail shoes featuring the revolutionary material graphene in the outsole earlier this year.

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A few days later, Spinks was the first woman to cross the finish line at Ultra Tour Monte Rosa, a 105-mile race in the Italian Alps that includes a shocking 11,278m of ascent.

Spinks defeated breast cancer in 2006. She has raised more than $28,000 for cancer research.