This is Episode 113 of Talk Ultra and We have a show with a selection of audio from participants who took part in the 8-day, 400km Cape Wrath Ultra (Ita Marzotto, Jenny Davis, Louise Watson, Luke Robertson, Richard Beard and Ted Kristensson)and the 190-mile, single stage, Northern Traverse (Angela White, Clare Turton and Eoin Keith). We have the news and Niandi Carmont co-hosts.
David Gatebe 5:18:18 new record
Ludic Mamabolo 5:24:05
Bongmusa Mthembu 5:26:39
notable 8th – Max King 5:37:27
Charge Bosman 6:25:55
Caroline Wostmann 6:30:44
Kajsa Berg 6:39:04
2 Americans in the top-10, Sarah Bard 4th in 6:42 and Colleen De Reuck (aged 50) 7th 6:50:21
The Cape Wrath Ultra™ brought to you by Ourea Events, the team who revived the Dragon’s Back Race are in the countdown days to a once in a lifetime multi-day journey that will test mind and body over 8-days weaving a 400km journey through the Highlands of Scotland.
Starting at Fort William on May 22nd, the race will take runners on an incredible journey in a magnificent and remote part of the world that will culminate in the most northwesterly point of the British Isles, Cape Wrath on May 29th.
Stunning scenery, remote wilderness, beautiful lochs, glens, towering mountains and the crashing ocean, the Cape Wrath Ultra™ is arguably one of the most stunning multi-day journeys in the world.
A supported expedition, equipment for the competitor’s will be transported day-by-day, tented accommodation and meals will be provided.
In a nutshell, 400km (250-miles) over and through the Scottish Highlands will be the ultimate test for the runners as they navigate via map and compass (GPS are allowed with GPX routes provided by Ourea Events) over 8-days over multiple distances with a variety of terrain and elevation gain. Shane Ohly, race director for the race says:
“The route is not marked in any way and participants must use the event map and/or GPS device to follow the prescribed route. As organisers, we (and friends, family, members of the public and landowners) will be tracking participants in real time using the satellite trackers. We expect participants to stay within 200m of our advised route at all times. In practical terms, for the majority of the time this is very easy as our route generally follows the only path or track on the ground: it is the only logical way. At other times, where there is no visible path on the ground, you will have flexibility to range within 200m of the route so that you should feel little pressure to follow our route precisely at all times and can enjoy the incredible wilderness experience to the full.”
Day 1 starts with a short ferry trip across Loch Linnhe sea loch onto the shore opposite Fort William. The running opens with a straight-forward warm up on a lovely road, headed South! But this is the key to accessing the remote western sea-board of Scotland, and on this day-end, the famous sights of Glenfinnan.
Day 2: 35 miles 1,800m ascent
From the very start of Day 2 the route ascends into remote territory, and clips the end of Scotland’s two longest dead-ends roads, both at remote sea loch heads. Even when you reach the overnight, you will be far, far away from civilization.
Day 3: 42 miles 2,400m ascent
This day is likely to be the hardest – though it is not the longest. It departs from the edge of Knoydart, passes through the large mountain and glen groups of Kintail, and reaches the wide strath’s (flat glens with big rivers) characteristic of Wester Ross. The Falls of Glomach are the most voluminous waterfalls in the Highlands.
Day 4: 22 miles 1,400m ascent
On this Day 4 you will experience the mountains at their loftiest – all around you, with high rocky passes, and rough underfoot in the latter third. It is one of the only days where you will not be close to the sea.
Day 5: 27 miles 1,400m ascent
Despite the previous days of remote territory, climbing up out of Kinlochewe on Day 5 will not prepare you for the qualities of what lies ahead. Fisherfield’s mountains will steadily reveal themselves to you! And then you will work through great isolated mountain glens, eventually overnighting just short of the port of Ullapool.
Day 6: 45 miles 1,400m ascent
This day escalates into some very remote and rough high ground, but is preceded by significant distances on double-tracks in the glens, and through prime Salmon-fishing country. Day 6 is the longest day, but for all those that have made it this far, this day will unlikely defeat you. (Inchnadamph is the highest overnight camp, at 80m, and one of the few that are noticeably not near sea level).
Day 7: 38 miles 1,600m ascent
One of the longer days, Day 7 gives a great contrast of moor, mountain, and deep inaccessible sea lochs. Eas a Chual Aluinn is the highest waterfall in the UK. At the end of this day is a rare section of road for this journey – but you will remember it as a road that is taking you somewhere amazing, due to the achingly beautiful seaward views.
Day 8: 16 miles 700m ascent
This is the day that takes you along the glorious beach of Sandwood Bay, to The Atlantic Sea proper and on to Cape Wrath and the Lighthouse, the most north-westerly point in the UK: A day to savor. It’s a deliberately shorter day. After finishing here, there will be a gradual minibus and ferry evacuation back to civilization in the village of Durness, 15 miles away, and a fitting sea loch coastal symmetry with the start, 8 days earlier. Once based in Durness, we hope that you have time to visit the beautiful beach just below the campsite, and nearby Smoo cave. In the evening, it’s time to celebrate, and in the morning, time to climb onto coaches and wave goodbye to the far north of Scotland.
Like the Dragon’s Back Race, the Cape Wrath Ultra™ is designed to provide a challenge for experienced runners. The Dragon’s Back Race has gained a reputation for its severity and drop out rate, although the Cape Wrath Ultra™ is a first edition, participants can expect an event of equal difficulty, especially when one considers the additional days and additional length of 100km.
Cape Wrath Ultra™ has gained worldwide interest with runners travelling to the UK from as far as Australia, Netherlands, South Africa, America, Sweden, Italy, Germany and more. An entry list is available to view HERE
Runners will travel to Scotland this coming Friday and arrive at Fort William in readiness to register on Saturday morning.
Racing starts on Sunday May 22nd and it will be possible to follow via live tracking HERE.
Daily images and reports will be posted on this website and all relevant social media channels as and when communications allow – we are in a remote part of the world!
From the team that revived the inspirational Dragon’s Back Race™, an extraordinary new adventure has just been announced for June 2016 called the Cape Wrath Ultra™.
Billed as a once in a lifetime ultra-running expedition race, the Cape Wrath Ultra™ will weave 400km through the Highlands of Scotland. Starting in Fort William, the race promises to take competitors on an incredible journey linking ancient footpaths and remote tracks to the furthest northwesterly point of the British Isles, Cape Wrath.
Race organiser, Shane Ohly from Ourea Events, describes the route. “Winding through the beautiful lochs, glens and mountains of the Scottish Highlands, the Cape Wrath Ultra™ is an ultra-running expedition through some of the World’s most inspirational landscapes, including Morar, Knoydart, Kintail, Torridon, Assynt and Sutherland”.
The new race is based on the Cape Wrath Trail, which is considered to be the toughest long distance backpacking trail in the UK. It crosses rugged landscapes, genuine wilderness and has great distances between support points. Hikers usually take at least 20 days to complete the trail and a new Cicerone guidebook published in 2013 has sparked renewed interested in this unofficial long distance footpath.
Shane Ohly continued. “Our Cape Wrath Ultra™ route will be similar to the Cape Wrath Trail but with some important variations as we mold the journey for an ultra-running perspective. Detailed planning has begun and Gary Tompsett has been appointed as the Race Director and Planner”.
Gary Tompsett is the logical choice for the role, having planned the 2007 Adventure Race World Championships in the same area and having previously worked with Shane Ohly at Rat Race Adventure. Shane Ohly explained, “Living near the Highlands of Scotland, Gary has a deep knowledge of various route options, the terrain, the weather, and the endless possibilities for a rich experience”.
The race is described as a supported ultra-running expedition, in which competitors’ equipment will be transported each day and tented accommodation and all meals provided. This is the same successful formula that Ohly employed when he revived the Dragon’s Back Race™ in 2012.
Ourea Events claim that the Cape Wrath Ultra™ will be the supreme ultra-running trail race. With a 400km canvas through the Scottish Highlands and Ohly and Tompsett’s pedigree – they are both former winter Ramsay Round record holders – in delivering iconic, adventurous and challenging events, who would want to argue!