Marcus Scotney Wins The First Cape Wrath Ultra
Marcus Scotney (UK), ran down the track towards the Cape Wrath lighthouse at 11:05 this morning and was cheered into the finish of the first Cape Wrath Ultra™ by a small group of other runners, media, and race staff. With today being a short day, just 16 cross-country miles, he was not the first to finish which meant he had a welcome reception from some of those who can best appreciate what he has accomplished. Running strongly he arrived in the lighthouse compound high on the cliffs and was directed into the tiny yet welcoming Ozone Cafe to punch in for his finish time (yes, there is a cafe here! In fact it is the only reason anyone is here normally as the lighthouse is automated).
Marcus Scotney heading along the shoreline of Loch Hourn on the way to Kinloch Hourn, day 2 of the Cape Wrath Ultra™ - Photo ©iancorless.com
That important duty done he received a big hug from his wife who had made the journey out to see him finish and only just arrived in time. Scotney took around 2 hours 30 minutes today and was a bit disappointed to have made a navigational mistake, though not as big as some others made as the final run across the army bombardment range was tricky and most were on compass bearings. "I think my total time is around 41 hours 50 minutes" he said (Final times will be confirmed later). He told me earlier, "Originally i was thinking it would be nice to do 48 hours then when i studied the route maybe 45, but I managed to be quicker so I'm pleased with that".
He was clearly struggling to take in the past 8 days and his accomplishments and found it hard put them into words: "I didn't know what would happen" he said. "This is my first multiday race and could all have gone wrong and broken me".
"I trained so hard for it, always long slow runs over rough terrain where I could and it paid off". His wife said he has been "just a bit obsessive" with lots of planning spreadsheets and work on lightweight kit, not just for running, but also to keep his kit bag weight down so he could bring a lot of specialist food. He put in a lot of dietary research but still left room in the bag for some real coffee and a small filter to set him up for each day! "It was an amazing route" he said "No two days were the same and each one offered something different". "I always loved the area and the race has made me want to come back and explore even more. I think the day around Beinn Eighe was the most stunning. I always wanted to run around that mountain".
"I discovered a lot about myself on the run and will definitely want to try more multi-day runs. I don't know if any would compare to this, it really is unique, totally incomparable".
'Row, row, row your boat...' - the ferry crossing over Kyle of Durness. Event team en route to Cape Wrath ©Gary Tompsett
Having finished at the lighthouse the plan is for participants to take the regular minibus back to the ferry, and onto Durness where the post race camp is set up for tonight's prize giving and celebration meal. There are 2 buses on the peninsula and they are the only way to get back the 11 miles to the ferry but it's a slow and very bumpy ride on a rough road. Well I say the only way, you could walk or if you are Marcus Scotney you could run .... yes having just completed a 400 kilometre ultra he set off with his wife to run back to the ferry!