The First Cape Wrath Ultra Participants
95 participants are now gathered in Fort William for the Cape Wrath Ultra™ and as you might expect this trail blazing group have mixed sporting backgrounds.
All have some trail running experience, and most have a great deal, though few have experience of racing or expeditioning over 8 days. That’s 8 really tough days in what is to them uncharted territory, as this will be a race like no other.
Their experience includes many outings on the UTMB, The Wall, The Spine, The Himalayan 100 mile Stage Race and many of the UK’s classic long distance races and mountain marathons. There are numerous other Alpine races listed in their bios too, and as you might expect for a race of this nature, many with a lot of hill walking and munro bagging experience. That’s going to be invaluable on this route.
Their ages range from 26 to 68, with the majority in their 30’s and 40’s, in fact 41 are in the veterans category – almost half the field. The youngest is Alex Reilly, who works for Rat Race Adventure Sports and says he has been training for this race hard since he entered 8 months ago. The oldest competitor is one of the international visitors, Gene Dykes from the USA, and of the total entry 18 are female.
It is hard to know who may or may not do well in this race, it’s all new territory and most of the runners here are unknown to me, but a few are. One race favourite must be Pavel Paloncy from the Czech Republic, a previous Spine Race winner (the Pennine Way in winter) and an accomplished and well travelled adventure racer. He certainly has the experience, stamina and mountain skills to do well.
Marcus Scotney is a well known long distance fell racer – an exceptionally fast mountain runner, Mick Cooper is another very well travelled endurance runners, and perhaps Alex Reilly who could surprise some. Among the women runners Lorna Sinclair and Louise Staples are among the most experienced.
There is a good international mix with participants from Germany, Canada, South Africa, Sweden, Holland, Belgium, Ireland, America, Italy, the Czech Republic, Denmark and Australia.
Over the next 8 days they will all come together to take on this extraordinary challenge, getting to know each other and building a camaraderie unique to these long distance, multi-day races. They will all be camping and eating together each night, sharing this unique experience.
Words by Rob Howard @ Sleepmonsters