News - Tue 30th Dec 2014 - Date, Price and 8-Day Format Confirmed - Cape Wrath Ultra

Date, Price and 8-Day Format Confirmed

30th Dec 2014

As 2014 draws to a close, we are delighted to be able to bring you some important updates about the 2016 Cape Wrath Ultra™ that will enable you to consider your registration and entry for this stunning new expedition ultra. These include:

  • Date: Sunday 22nd May to Sunday 29th May 2016
  • Price: £1,250
  • Duration: 8 Days Racing (10 Days in Total)
  • Entries: Open June 2015

Since we published our last update (in June 2014, available HERE) on the preparation for the 2016 Cape Wrath Ultra™, Race Planner/Director Gary Tompsett and Event Director Shane Ohly have been very busy refining and confirming the key elements of the Cape Wrath Ultra™ race design.

Hard at work! Shane Ohly making detailed course notes at the Shenevall Bothy. © Heather Ohly


In September, Shane Ohly and his wife Heather walked the Cape Wrath Trail over 15 days (Video Diary HERE). We anticipate that much of the Cape Wrath Ultra™ route will be similar but with some important differences. (The Trail itself is actually a matrix of trail options). It is knowledge of these options that Gary Tompsett excels at, having organised events in the Scottish Highlands for years. So, between Gary and Shane, they now have a very comprehensive picture of the route options and how these can be joined together in a logistically robust manner that will provide the competitors with a World-class mountain and trail running experience in the Scottish Highlands.

If you would like to get any sense of the trail conditions, an inkling of the incredible remote wilderness offered by the Scottish Highlands or simply want to be inspired for adventure, please check out the photos, video diary and report from Shane and Heather’s Cape Wrath Trail experience HERE.

At this stage we are able to confirm the 2016 date, the price and an 8-day format whilst providing some provisional information about the stage distances of those days. 

Cape Wrath Trail - Day 7 - Coire Fionnaraich Bothy to Kinlochewe (please note: this is day 7 of the Cape Wrath Trail, not the Cape Wrath Ultra)  © Shane Ohly


The race dates will be Sunday 22nd May to Sunday 29th May 2016. We have our HQ venue booked in Fort William, and we are already visualising your assembly for this incredible journey.

Originally we had planned to hold the event in June 2016. We’ve moved it into late May to avoid event clashes and improve accommodation availability in Fort William. There are likely to be fewer midges in May than June (there is a midge forecast HERE).

The race dates will be Sunday 22nd May to Sunday 29th May 2016 but competitors will need to be in Fort William on Saturday 21st and will not be returning until Monday 30th. The schedule will break down like this:

  • Saturday 21st May – Registration, Kit Check, Advice Workshops and Briefing 
    • 1000-1200 Registration Open 
    • 1300-1800 Kit Check and Advice Workshops
    • 1900 Competitor Briefing
  • Sunday 22nd May – Day 1
  • Monday 23rd May – Day 2
  • Tuesday 24th May – Day 3
  • Wednesday 25th May – Day 4
  • Thursday 26th May – Day 5
  • Friday 27th May – Day 6
  • Saturday 28th May – Day 7
  • Sunday 29th May – Day 8
  • Monday 30th May – Return Transport

Racing starts on the Sunday morning and continues for eight days, finishing on Sunday 29th May at Cape Wrath. Transport from Cape Wrath to Durness will be provided. It is not logistically possible to return everyone to Fort William that day, so our overnight camp will be established in Durness and we will have a celebratory meal and prize ceremony there on the Sunday night. 

Monday 30th May is the Bank Holiday Monday and we will be transporting everyone back south to Fort William.

Cape Wrath Trail - Day 7 - Coire Fionnaraich Bothy to Kinlochewe (please note: this is day 7 of the Cape Wrath Trail, not the Cape Wrath Ultra) © Heather Ohly


The race will be run over eight days and the overnight camp locations have been identified. However, until all the significant permissions are confirmed we won’t announce the detailed breakdown in terms of distance and height gain. Our provisional split of each day currently looks like this:

  • Day 1 – 37km
  • Day 2 – 57km
  • Day 3 – 68km
  • Day 4 – 35km
  • Day 5 – 44km
  • Day 6 – 75km
  • Day 7 – 61km
  • Day 8 – 26km
  • Total: 403km

Each day-stage will be subject to a cut-off time, to enable us to deliver the event logistics fluently. These cut-offs will be generous as there is a fantastic amount of daylight in late May in the north of Scotland.

This route is shorter than previously stated because we now intend to actually finish at Cape Wrath, to avoid a long and tedious road run at the end of the race between Cape Wrath and Durness.

We considered a 7-day route but this would have meant combining days 4 and 5 into a stonking 79km beast and we felt that there was a good chance many of the competitors would fail to complete this. (Don’t forget that this distance may look short by modern Ultra standards but the terrain underfoot is often very challenging, and there is significant height gain to factor in as well). We feel that our 8-day route strikes the right balance of offering an extremely challenging race but one that should be achievable by the majority of the competitors. 

Entry and Vetting

Entries will open in June 2015 and be sold on a first come, first served basis until the event is full. At this stage we anticipate that the maximum number of competitors will be 200. 

Competitors will be vetted but this will be a ‘self-certification’ process. Rather than asking competitors to provide specific evidence of races completed, they will need to agree to a number of statements on the entry form such as, “I am capable of being self-sufficient and making safe decisions in the Scottish Highlands”. 

Obviously, we will make the nature of the challenge (daily distance, height gain, cut off times etc.) explicitly clear so that potential competitors can make a informed judgement about their likelihood of completing the race safely.

Cape Wrath Trail - Day 8 - Kinlochewe to Shenevall Bothy (please note: this is day 8 of the Cape Wrath Trail, not the Cape Wrath Ultra) © Shane Ohly


The cost of entering the Cape Wrath Ultra™ will be £1,250 per person. A non-refundable deposit of £250 will secure a place from June 2015 onwards when the entries open. A balance payment of £1,000 will be due before 1st January 2016. Please refer to the detailed Terms and Conditions for further information. 

The cost of the entry will include:

  • Participation in one of the toughest and most iconic footraces on Earth
  • A well planned and professionally organised event
  • Tented accommodation throughout the race
  • Transportation of competitors’ overnight bags to each overnight campsite
  • Unlimited breakfast, finishing snacks and dinner each day
  • Unlimited tea, coffee and hot and cold water for drinking
  • SPORTident digital race timing
  • Satellite tracking of competitors (friends and family will be able to follow you in real time!)
  • Accurate, waterproof, pre-marked Harvey maps  (one for each day)
  • A detailed description of the route (one for each day)
  • A GPX file of the route and checkpoint locations (available in advance)
  • Safety, Medical and Marshal support during the race
  • Transport from Cape Wrath to Durness on Day 8
  • Celebratory meal on the last night of the race and breakfast the following morning
  • Return transport to Fort William on Monday 30th May

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