TWO mountain race runners had to be rescued from a hut after being “caught in overnight snow showers”.

The 268-mile Spine Race, widely regarded as one of the world’s toughest endurance races, takes place across the Pennine Way, finishing in Kirk Yetholm.

Rescue teams from either side of the Scotland-England border were called out shortly after 6am on Sunday to evacuate two hypothermic runners.

The race participants had been caught in “overnight snow showers blown in on a biting wind”.

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They were in the Auchope Refuge Hut, a few kilometres west of the summit of The Cheviot, according to a Border Search and Rescue Unit spokesperson.

The spokesperson added: “The casualties had been assessed by Spine Race medics and were able to walk to the waiting Land Rover for onward transport to Kirk Yetholm.

“So close to completing the 268-mile challenge, these participants were caught in overnight snow showers blown in on a biting wind as they attempted to navigate the icy slabs and snow-covered stony paths of the Pennine Way.

“Hats off to them for getting this far.”

The rescue unit has been called out to the Spine Race on a number of occasions since its launch.