Cape Wrath Ultra

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Graham Walton And Laura O’Driscoll are the Cape Wrath Ultra Champions

Press Release / 30.05.2022See All Event Posts Follow Event
Laura O Driscoll’s incredible resilience has been wonderful to observe
Laura O Driscoll’s incredible resilience has been wonderful to observe / © Cape Wrath Ultra® _ No Limits Photography

Following the most arduous weather conditions in the event’s history, 104 incredible runners have completed the epic Cape Wrath Ultra after 270 set off last Sunday.

The event has lasted eight days, but for our phenomenal participants, it has felt like a lifetime. They have battled through extreme weather, traversed some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, and managed to keep going over 400km of tough terrain.

Today was the shortest day, with only 16 miles of running before participants finally reached that long-awaited Cape Wrath lighthouse, but on tired legs it was still a challenge.

The route took participants over craggy moorland and by smaller lochs before dropping down into the picturesque Sandwood Bay. It was raining for much of the day, which felt like a fitting end to the journey, given the notoriously difficult weather conditions the participants have faced throughout the week. However, there were some drier sections of the day, when participants were able to truly appreciate the breathtaking landscape. The route finished up at the iconic Cape Wrath Lighthouse, a sight that will be forever etched in the memories of the successful runners.

While Canadian, Nick Sunderland, was the first runner to reach the iconic Cape Wrath lighthouse today, Graham Walton was the first overall, after an absolutely phenomenal performance of endurance.

He had worked extremely hard in the final few days of the event to achieve his impressive lead. After finding out a few days prior that he was in second place rather than first place as originally thought, he has since been pushing hard to gain back time.

It’s been an incredible week for Graham. He said, “It’s just tiring, but met some nice buddies. It’s been a long way – wet and cold. It’s been magical, I suppose. Bit of magic out there. I reckon I saw a white deer on the second day. It’s nice to have a little link with nature. It’s nice just moving through the environment.”

Graham’s incredible run is proof of his competitive streak, but he also enjoyed watching the other participants compete with each other for a higher spot on the leaderboard.

He said, “Magnus set off like a train this morning just trying to beat Lindsay. Then Lindsay realised what was happening and came flying past – that was quite exciting. But I just went nice and steady. Nick won the day – Canadian Nick. He was at the head first I think. He’s been super keen to win each day. The other day he chased me down for the last 4k into town.” 

Despite enduring eight whole days of incredibly tough running, Graham seemed in good spirits when we caught up with him at the final camp in Keoldale. “I feel strong. Fully charged and ready to go now. I’m going to go for a jump in the lake over there,” he said, indicating the beautiful loch next to the camp.

It was an emotional moment for Laura O Driscoll as she reached the Cape Wrath lighthouse, becoming the first woman in the race. She has had an absolutely incredible race, having bounced back from a nasty ankle injury on only the third day. 

She said, “I’m so sore, but I’m so happy. The painkillers today were helpful, but I’ll be in a world of pain for a while.”

She was welling up when we spoke to her in Keoldale. “I’m emotional. It’s one of the hardest weeks I’ve had. I’m speechless. It’s tough – mentally and physically. But the people made it.”

She was sad though to have not finished with her partner. “It’s such an epic week. I’m sorry Johnny didn’t finish with me though. That’s my only sad bit really. He fell into the river the day before yesterday. He’s good now. It would have been lovely if he finished. That’s the only sad part.”

However, this certainly spurred her on. “It puts the pressure on – if he’s not finishing I have to finish.”

Watching Laura push on despite her injury has been truly inspiring. Her resilience and determination in the face of adversity has been incredible to watch, and her win is very well-deserved.

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