Day 7: ‘One of The Best Days Yet’
Many runners raved about the scenery and runnable terrain on Day 7 of the Cape Wrath Ultra 2018. I met them as they descended from high moorland on a wide track that felt soft and forgiving underfoot towards the road crossing at CP3.
As always, the first person to reach the checkpoint was Jim Masters (113), England: He said: “I always leave early and today was lovely. I was out in the countryside on my own and I enjoyed navigating through the moorland. That suits me. I have to say I found the long stretch of tarmac at the end a slog though. But we’re nearly there now and that feels good.”
Lee Parker (135), England, said: “This is a gem of a route with great scenery and a nice track after the boggy moorland. I have a sore knee but in my opinion this is one of the best running days yet.”
After the finish, he remarked: “That road later on was outrageous!”
High points... Credit: Jimmy Hyland/JHPvisuals.co.uk
Tommaso de Mottoni (39), of Italy, said: “I feel good and the scenery is so beautiful.”
Ian Stewart (61), Scotland, said: “This is a totally amazing place with mind blowing views. It is taking my mind off the pain for a bit.”
Steven Burnside (25), Scotland, came skipping down the hill. He said: “I feel good and the scenery is beautiful.”
Barry Awan (5), England, said: “This is the nicest day for scenery of the whole race and while I am a bit hot I am okay.”
Richard Lander stow (97), England, said: “This is such a lovey day. It’s really cool scenery. I’m loving it!”
Great views and runnable terrain. Credit: Jimmy Hyland/JHPvisuals.co.uk
Dominik Graf (63), Canada, said: “Well, I am still going, which is good and today the countryside is lovely.”
Giovanni Bryssinckx (23), a Belgian living in The Netherlands, said: “I am trying to spend more time looking around today. I look at my feet a lot because of the terrain but it is so beautiful here with the rolling moorland and all the small lochs. I am reminding myself to look up more.”
Running toward today's finish line. Credit: Jimmy Hyland/JHPvisuals.co.uk
Upbeat and focused on the end
Thomas Staun (160), Denmark, had been hoping for a top 10 finish and today he sits in 10th exactly. He overtook race leader Robert Barnes on the way up one of the hills. He said: “I felt strong today. I want to get into top 10 so I had to give it all I had. Robert did overtake me later on but I had a good day overall.”
Filippo Faralla (55), South Africa, who had a night of being sick after day 5 and then struggled though Day 6, seemed to be feeling a lot better today. He said: “I had all sorts of drama yesterday but I am feeling much better today. I would like to regain my fifth placing from previous days and I am looking forward to the finish.”
A sing cheers on one of the participants. Credit: Jimmy Hyland/JHPvisuals.co.uk
John Knapp (92), England, is forever cheerful. He said: “I am on my holidays and I am having a great time.” He is in fifth position after day 7.
Kajetan Cyganik (36), Poland, said: “Today is so enjoyable. I have sore feet after so many days but it’s perfect. Gorgeous.”
A happy runner.
Henrik Ortman (132), Sweden, said: “It is a really runnable route today and my legs feel speedy. This is one of my best days of the race.”
Mike Lester (103), England, said: “This is one of the best days for me and very much looking forward to the finish section on the road!”
Robert Gittins (60) ,England, said: “I am having an up day. I think it might be the prospect of finishing tomorrow that is keeping me going today.”
Steven Burnside (25), Scotland, and Bert Scharpenberg (149), Gerany, were running together. Bert said: “It is a good day. Tired is for Monday not today!”
The slog of the up. Credit: Jimmy Hyland/JHPvisuals.co.uk
Even the beautiful days can be tough
For some, the day was challenging. It is a constant flow of this race that people’s moods and pain change on a daily, if not hourly, basis. Today, some were having a bit of a low point.
Jan Nouwens (129), The Netherlands, was not feeling so good today. He said: “My feet are wet and too warm from the boggy terrain up there. This section has been tough for me.
More ups... Credit: Jimmy Hyland/JHPvisuals.co.uk
Mark Crawford (34), Scotland, was forced to pull out again at CP3 today. He said: “I have done four days in total and I am disappointed not to be able to complete today either. It is because I have a very painful problem with my shin.
Jakob Ljungberg (107), Denmark, said: “The terrain is tough for me today. It has been rough and trackless. We do not have the hills and mountains to train on in Denmark so I am not used to it. But Scotland does have stunning scenery with both the mountains and the sea. It might be tough but it is beautiful.”
Jonathan Miller (118), a Brit living in Ausralia, said: “It has been long and hot and tough but gorgeous... You get the real feeling of being so far north now.”
Alasdair Moffett (122), Scotland, said: “I am getting it done. It is tough in many ways and although we are close to the end it is almost harder because I know how many miles I still have to do and how many I have done and they have been hard. But we are almost there now.”
Katherine Welch (184), American, said; "That was such a long and hard day today. But it was the most beautiful. I found yesterday easier although it was longer because, for me, it was more runnable." Katherine is recovering from a broken leg only a year ago. In tears, she said: "I just can't believe I have come this far. This is my comeback race and I am so happy. But, it has been so tough both physically and emotionally. I can't wait for the finish tomorrow."
After raving about the views earlier in the day, Ian Stewart (161), Scotland, said it had turned out to be a hot and tough day. He said: “Any idea that day 7 would be easier was overturned today. It was hot and the terrain was hard in places. That final section of road was brutal.”
For Alex Berry (12), of Scotland, the race came to a sad end today. She is in a lot of pain form an ankle injury and decided not to push herself on and risk major damage.
She was very emotional but said: “It has been an amazing experience and I am very proud of what I have achieved. I had only ever run a marathon before and on day 2, then day 3 and then yesterday I pushed my self to run further than I have ever run before. I have to accept it is what it is.”
Reflecting on another day gone by at the Cape Wrath Ultra ©Tom Hecht
Work and play for the events team
The logistics of supporting 177 runners through some of the remotest areas of the UK requires a great team of staff and volunteers. Every day, they collapse the tented village in one location and re-build it at the next destination. It seems like magic that this happens each day and so smoothly.
Here is a round up of a few of today’s volunteers and staff.
Morag and Laura at CP3.
A CP3, physiotherapist Morag and Dr Laura were preparing for the runners who might need attention as they reach the checkpoint. While they waited, they enjoyed a very civilised cup of coffee and rocky road cooked up by the volunteers back at base.
Volunteer Julia has a couple of roles as part of the race support team.
Julia manned the start looking after trackers, which are handed out to each runner every day, this morning and then helped with the catering this afternoon. She said: “I helped make the rocky roads, which seem to be popular.”
Dave is often seen being busy with a map...
While 'Philkinson" told me his news: "I must be on at least my 20th apple this week!"
Edward carried Alex Berry’s bag to her tent for her.
Lunchtime, and the event team can sit back and admire their morning’s work building camp over a bite to eat.