Day 4: A ‘Short’ Day Of 22 miles In Torridon
Today’s runners enjoyed the second shortest day of the Cape Wrath Ultra 2018, although the accumulative effect of 160km (100 miles) – and 4,700m of ascent – over the past three days was felt by everyone.
Of the original 177 starters, there were still 150 runners who started day 4 this morning from Achnashellach headed for Kinlochewe in Torridon.
The stats at halfway (end of day 4)
- Still 'competitive': 140 (109 men, 31 women - 177 started on Day 1)
- Non-competitive (still travelling with the event to run future days): 17
- Retired (left or leaving event): 20
As the runners left the campsite in a steady stream from around 7am, many looked stiff and sore. Most runners started with a walk or slow jog to warm up.
Runners amid the spectacular Torridon scenery. Credit: Jimmy Hyland/JHPvisuals.co.uk
Day 4: Achnashellach to Kinlochewe
Distance: 35km (22 miles)
Total ascent: 1,400m
- Trackless (XT): 22%
- Singletrack (ST): 69%
- Double track (DT): 6%
- Road/tarmac (RT): 3%
Coire Mhie Fhearchair and Ruadh-stac Mor in the background. Credit: Jimmy Hyland/JHPvisuals.co.uk
The fabulous scenery of Torridon surrounded the runners today. As far as the eye can see, there are spectacular mountain peaks, including the craggy ridge of Liathach.
Two big climbs and descents tested the legs, although there was also a lot of very runnable singletrack.
Many runners were stunned by the scenery. Credit: Jimmy Hyland/JHPvisuals.co.uk
An easier day as runners race to halfway point
Few “normal” people would call 35km on stone singletrack through remote Torridon landscape and over two mountain passes, rising up to 600m, easy, but this is how many of the Cape Wrath Ultra participants were describing today’s route.
Jono Simpson (153), England, said: “I have picked up a few injuries so I am taking it easy today. It’s a good day to take it easy. I will just keep trucking on.”
Filippo Farella (55), South Africa, said: “This is so fantastic today. It is beautiful single-track and the scenery is amazing.”
Pilar Sanchez (148), Mexico, said: “I have sore shins and I need to walk quite a bit but I have time to do that today. I am walking and running where I can but mostly I am enjoying the scenery.”
Thomas Staun (160), Denmark, “I am loving the views. They are so beautiful, especially from the high point looking down towards Torridon.”
Mark Crawford (34), Scotland: “I am hanging on and making the most of an easier day but a blister has just burst on my foot and that is sore.”
American runner Katherine Welch (184) is delighted that she is feeling fine, although generally fatigued. She said: “I can’t believe how good I am feeling. I am tired and have tight muscles but I have no injuries or blisters. This scenery is so fantastic.”
Rebecca and Ricky have been running together. Credit. www.fionaoutdoors.co.uk
Rebecca Ash (4) has been running every day with boyfriend Ricky Jeffrey (81), both of England. He said: “This race and the terrain has opened my eyes to how good some of the runners are. It has been so hard for us and I think it is pure stubbornness that has kept us going.”
Rebecca said: “This race is brutal and also humbling. Today feels like a turning point for me though. Yesterday almost broke me and I felt lucky to have Ricky with me to keep me going.”
Colin Egan (52), of Scotland, and Darren Drew (47), England, were also running together today. Colin said: “We are taking it easy today because it is a shorter day.”
Colin and Darren taking it easy. Credit: www.fionaoutdoors.co.uk
Darren, who is raising money for the MS Society in memory of his godmother Christine Phillips, said: “It has been a very tough race so far and I am hoping I will be fine by the end of today if I take it easy.
“I have been thinking about my godmother a lot. She had MS but then died after battle with pancreatic cancer. Since 2011 I have raised £25,000 and I hope to raise even more through this challenge.” See his fund-raising page.
Julie and Claire were running together this morning. Credit: www.fionaoutdoors.co.uk
After a late finish yesterday, two runners, Claire Maxted (115) and Julie Pritchard (142), both English, were keen to keep moving today. They met on the course yesterday and planned to stay together today, too.
Claire said: “I only made the cut-off by 15 minutes last night and it had been a hard day. I am so proud of what I have achieved so far. I just need to keep moving.”
Julie said: “Yes I am still going and that is good but it is hard. Today the sun is out and it is a much shorter day so that is good.”
Emile de Leeuw (38), of France, has been forced to become a non-competitive runner due to injury. Yesterday, he lost a toenail and much of the nail bed. He said: “I felt it pop when I was running downhill yesterday and it is so sore that I hardly slept last night.
“I have decided to take it easy for the rest of the event and I will only go to CP1 today. My toe has been taped by the race medics but it is still sore. However, I can now enjoy the rest of the week as a vacation. I am very much enjoying the walk through this fantastic landscape today. I am happy enough.”
Warm sunshine on day 4. Credit: Jimmy Hyland/JHPvisuals.co.uk
An "easier" day for most runners. Credit: Jimmy Hyland/JHPvisuals.co.uk
The race at the front
At the front of the field, Paul Ainsworth, who now sits in fourth place, seemed to be flying as he descended towards CP1 at a road crossing in the middle of spectacular Torridonian landscape.
Jim Mann looked to be enduring another hard shift. Although he finished after Day 3 and 4 in second place, he lost his day 2 lead to Robert Barnes. Jamie Ramsay, a Gore ambassador, now sits in third place.
Carol Morgan, who has been the female leader since day 1, came through CP1 with a bloody knee. Forever upbeat, she said: “Oh it is nothing. I took a tumble and my knees always get it. I am fine.”
Current top three men:
- Robert Barnes (7), England, 23:18:26
- Jim Mann (112), England, 24:26:57
- Jamie Ramsay (32), Gore ambassador, 24:43:33
Carol Morgan, of Ireland, has remained the female leader from the outset. A veteran of ultra and endurance challenges, she also won the last Berghaus Dragon's Back Race® in 2017. For the past two days the top three females have remained the same.
Current top three females:
- Carol Morgan (124) of Ireland, 26:26:48
- Sarah Witte ((187) England, 28:38:31
- Karoline Hanks (68) South Africa 29:53:20
Please check back for day-to-day Cape Wrath Ultra 2018 reports on this website.
A tame deer at the Beinn Eighe car park. Credit: Jimmy Hyland/JHPvisuals.co.uk
Event team enjoying the sunshine
Warm sunshine came as a blessing to the team of staff and volunteers today. While they have all remained resolutely cheerful through wet, mud and two evenings of the Scottish midge, better weather is always welcomed.
The tents are easier to put up when they are dry and manoeuvring in the campsite field with vehicles and kit is nowhere near as challenging in dry conditions.
This is work! Andy with the tame deer. Credit: www.fionaoutdoors.co.uk
Andy Brooks, who was part of the CP1 team today, said: “It is perfect today. It is great to be outside and in lovely weather. The views do not get more spectacular than here.” He was also taken by a friendly deer that appears to have taken up residence next to the car park at the foot of the mountain Beinn Eighe.
Colin and Louise on car park duty. Credit: www.fionaoutdoors.co.uk
Colin and Louise were on car parking duty. Louise, said: “I have the best job today. Outside in sunshine showing people where to park.”
Serving food in the Kinlochewe Village Hall as the participants finished their day’s running, Ali and Tammy, said: “It’s a good day. It is great to see the sun although it would be better if we could be outside rather than indoors!”
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