The 2018 Participants: Returners And Newcomers Line Up For Registration
The first of 178 participants, arriving from 26 different countries, formed an orderly queue as registration opened at the Nevis Centre in Fort William at 2pm today. Carrying large bags of kit (many using brightly coloured super-sized ORTLIEB dry bags) and with a general look of anticipation mixed with anxiety, they checked in and picked up race numbers, maps, safety briefings and t-shirts. Marshals ensured their race rucksacks contained all the mandatory kit.
Registration begins! ©Steve Ashworth
Each participant, ages ranging from 26 to 66, in the 400km, eight-day race also chatted with the medical staff (in case they needed to offer up vital health information) and then proceeded to stand in front of a black screen for the official race mugshots taken by photographer Jimmy.
One of the first to register was Fred Coppens, who took part in the inaugural Cape Wrath Ultra in 2016. Fred, an IT consultant from Brussels, said: “I know, I must be mad to come back, but I loved this race last time. I thought it was the most beautiful race I had ever done.
Fred Coppens ©Jimmy Hyland
“I have an aim to better my time but mainly my motivation to enter again was because it’s such a great event. The organisation is brilliant and it’s not a huge race so it feels cosy; I like being with like-minded people and this race feels like it is full of people similar to me.”
Anna Morrison, 34, from Llandeilo, in west Wales, was the first female of 42 to register today. She has never raced in an ultra event before. She said: “I was a race volunteer before and I wanted to see what it is like on the other side. I have been training hard for the last six months and it has kind of taken over my life, but I am really looking forward to enjoying the journey.
Anna Morrison ©Jimmy Hyland
“It will be the biggest thing I have ever done.”
Husband and wife Vaughan and Anne Wade have travelled from Coventry to take part in the race. Veterans of long-distance events and multi-day races they chose the Cape Wrath Ultra because neither had visited the area before.
Anne & Vaughan Wade ©Jimmy Hyland
Retired teacher Anne, 58, said: “We both wanted to do the Cape Wrath Trail but we thought it seemed quite remote and wild to do it unsupported. We came across this race and thought it would be the best way to experience the route.”
The couple will participate together. Anne said: “We train and do races together and we get on well. We are not at all competitive and we are simply here for the experience and to see the landscape. We are really looking forward to the scenery.”
It will be their biggest test to date. Vaughan, 59, who has an auto-immune condition called myasthenia gravis, said: “We have never completed a race as long as eight days before and I will need to take care of myself physically but I think the toughest part will be getting enough sleep at night. We’re expecting long days on our feet and we are hoping we make the cut-off times.”
And now for a little relaxation
With registration taking three hours and then a participant briefing in the early evening, some 245 staff, volunteers and participants were looking forward to a little down time after a busy day. A communal buffet offered a chance for everyone to mingle and to get to know each other better before heading off for an early bedtime.
The final briefing ©Steve Ashworth
No doubt everyone will be hoping for a restful night’s sleep – and waking up to a day of fabulous weather and racing tomorrow.
Please do return to find out more about each day as the Cape Wrath Ultra 2018 – Scotland’s expedition race – plays out.
Follow the race live
Live GPS Tracking begins 10am Sunday 20th May: