Cape Wrath Ultra

  • UK (GBR)
  • Off-Road Running

Day 2. Sunshine, Mountain Views, Wilderness Trails ... and Bracken!

Press Release / 03.08.2021See All Event Posts Follow Event
Andrew Richardson on Day 2
Andrew Richardson on Day 2 / © No Limits Photography

There were many hours between the front runners and other competitors as they crossed the finish line in Kinloch Hourn today, but no matter their pace the atmosphere among the 86 competitors was overwhelmingly up-beat.

The 35-mile (57km) route, with 1800m of ascent, headed along remote trails and through wild terrain as the participants enjoyed blue skies and magnificent scenery. As the day went on, temperatures soared and some suffered.

First came a run north through the tree-lined track of Glen Finnan and into Glenn a Chaoruinn, following the waterway of All a’Chaoruinn, surrounded on both sides by high mountains. 

At Strathan, close to the head of picturesque Loch Arkaig, the route turned west and into spectacular Glen Dessary. Runners followed close to the winding River Dessary, making numerous water crossings and passing through the welcome shade of forested sections. 

Sunshine brought out dragonflies, butterflies and myriad brightly coloured wild flowers. Some lucky runners may have been fortunate to see red deer crossing their path. 

At a small beach at the eastern end of Loch Nevis, the runners turned  north once again and then headed in a north-easterly direction into Knoydart, an area famed as one of the last places of true wilderness in the UK.

Situated between lochs Nevis and Hourn, Knoydart is designated one of Scotland’s National Scenic Areas and is a place of fabulous beauty. Passing below more great mountains, the participants were required to navigate carefully while also keeping an eye on the ticking clock.

Final cut-off today was 10pm and the final stage of the day, from Barrisdale beach on Loch Hourn proved a hard test. The rocky and technical trail is unforgiving as it undulates along the loch shore, plus there was thick bracken and other vegetation to battle through.

The finish point was the tiny settlement of Kinloch Hourn. The road to reach here is the longest dead-end road in the UK at 22 miles.

Top Runners For Day 2

The two fastest females, Sally Fawcett and Lisa Watson, ran across the finish line together and as joint leaders, having taken 8 hours 08 minutes to complete the route. Sally and Lisa ran together for the day.

Sally said: “We enjoy running together and we are a similar pace.”

Lisa added: “It was good to be able to chat as we ran.”

Sally described the terrain as very varied. She said: “There was a lot of hills and descents and some great technical trail. At times, there was thick bracken and prickly bracken, too, and it was a struggle to find the path through the vegetation.”

Lisa added: “There were also lots of ticks, too.”

Sally continued: “We had a great day. We had a dunk in a pool at some point and we enjoyed ourselves. I liked the more technical route along the shore of the loch towards the end.”

Lisa agreed: “It was hard later on from Barrisdale and technical but I knew it would be like that and so I saved all my sweet treats for then. It was a touch on the warm side but we drank lots of water and ate salty snacks. It was a great day.”

The fastest male was Ian Stewart, for the second day in a row. He finished in 7.26.

Ian said: “It was a really good day. Everything about it was awesome. It is a stunning route and it was amazing to get the views and weather. It had good running terrain and good technical descents. Plus there was the wee extra bonus of coming in first. I am surprised how well I have done both days. I am enjoying it.”

See All Stories On This Race

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