Day 8: A Race Finish That Everyone Will Remember
The final competitor of the Cape Wrath Ultra 2018 reached the finish line at the iconic Cape Wrath Lighthouse at 2.45pm today.
Day 8 - Kinlochbervie to Cape Wrath: "Sandwood Bay! The North Atlantic"
The final leg along the glorious beach of Sandwood Bay, to The Atlantic Sea proper and on to Cape Wrath and the Lighthouse - 110 finishers of the full 2018 course - the identical 62% finish rate from 2016! Thanks for watching these videos, and for your support on Ultra Mail™ and live GPS tracking dot watching over the past 8 days. More photos, news, video to follow - watch this space...Posted by Cape Wrath Ultra on Sunday, 27 May 2018
After eight days, 400km and 11,200m of running, 110 people completed the full race, which is described as Scotland’s answer to the Marathon Des Sables.
Another 27 runners also made it to Cape Wrath having completed some, or almost all, of the course.
Today’s route of 26km was short in comparison to many other days but offered stunning views of the coast along the Atlantic sea.
The runners left Kinlochbervie heading to Sandwood Bay, one of the UK’s most remote and beautiful sandy beaches, before crossing rough hills and moorland en route to the lighthouse.
Robert Barnes wins the Cape Wrath Ultra 2018. Credit: Jimmy Hyland/JHPvisuals.co.uk
As they spotted in the distance the landmark building, which has stood on most northwesterly point of mainland Britain since 1828, many participants were overcome with emotion.
For almost everyone, the pain, exertion, discomfort and challenges, of more than a week of running in some of Scotland’s most remote terrain, melted away in the final 100 metres.
Ian Stewart, of Scotland, said: “I had thought so many times over the last seven days why on earth am I putting myself through this race. It has been so hard and sore. But when I saw the Cape Wrath Lighthouse I suddenly realised why. It has been a magical journey.”
Mike Lester (103), of England, could not hold back the tears. He said: “It is the toughest thing I have ever done. It was so amazing.”
Kajetan Cyganik (36), Poland, said: “I have been crying since I saw the lighthouse. I signed up to this race a year ago and after every training session I thought about what it would feel like to see the lighthouse at the end. That is why it feels so emotional today.”
An iconic finish line at Cape Wrath. Credit: Jimmy Hyland/JHPvisuals.co.uk
Day 8: Kinlochbervie to Cape Wrath
Distance: 26km (16 miles)
Total ascent: 700m (2296ft)
- XT = 42%
- ST = 20%
- DT = 23%
- RT = 15%
The stats on day 8
- Still competitive: 110
- Non-competitive 27
- Retired: 40
Jamie Ramsay takes third place. Credit: Jimmy Hyland/JHPvisuals.co.uk
News from the front
The Cape Wrath Ultra winners in 2018 were Robert Barnes, of England, and Carol Morgan, of Ireland.
After strong races from both throughout the eight days, Robert finished 2 hours 6 mins ahead of second placed Jim Mann, who has previously won the Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race.
In third place, Jamie Ramsay was another 1 hour 24 mins behind Jim Mann.
After crossing the finish line, Robert, 32, of Luton, said: “I have enjoyed the race and I am pleased to win. It has been a great week.
“I did struggle on the rockier terrain because I am not used to that but I like running on grass and heather and there has been enough of that.
“The Fisherfields on day 5 was my hardest day but really I have been fine and suffered no injuries.”
Jim Mann, 41, said: “It has been a great race although tough for me. On day 3 I wasn’t sure I would be able to continue because I felt so fatigued due to illness but I have made it.
“I am tired now and relieved to have reached the finish line. I would like to go back to see all the great scenery that I didn’t fully appreciate while running.”
Jim also paid tribute to the winner. He said: “Robert ran a fantastic race. He nailed it and I am pleased for him.”
Third placed Jamie, 38, who is originally from Scotland and now lives I London, said: “I smashed out the first 10k today but then my ankle tendon started to hurt a lot again. I have been in so much pain these last few days.
“I have had a fantastic time, though, and I have been very appreciative of all my fellow runners who have supported me throughout the event.
“I feel humbled by the Cape Wrath Ultra.”
Top three runners
- Robert Barnes, England, 45:37:23
- Jim Mann, England, 47:43:25
- Jamie Ramsay, Gore ambassador, 49:07:17
Carol Morgan is first female. Credit: Jimmy Hyland/JHPvisuals.co.uk
Carol confirmed her place as one of the UK’s best ultra runners by winning the Cape Wrath Ultra 2018 by 2 hours and 42 minutes. She was a impressive 12th overall.
Last year, Carol won the Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race and the Montane Spine Race.
At the finish line today, Carol, 44, said: “I feel great. Yesterday was a hard day for me and I felt fatigued after so many days of running. I think I was also mentally tired.
“So it is great to have reached Cape Wrath. It feels like we have run to the edge of the world.”
Carol, who finished in 55:11:53, and her husband Simon Franklin have treated the race as a holiday.
Simon, who finished in 65:43:32, said: “This is our summer holiday and we have had an amazing time. I had never been further north than Fort William on the west coast and we want to come back to see many fantastic places again.”
Runner up Sarah Witte, England, said: "It has been an amazing experience. I have been through every type of emotion from tears to joy.
"The people I have shared a tent with have been brilliant. There were all kinds of people and some I would not normally mix with but I have greatly enjoyed meeting them all. It has been inspiring."
Third placed Karoline, 47, of South Africa, said: "I had no idea what to expect in this race and I really did not think I would end up in third place.
“I think Carol and Sarah are much stronger than me although I did enjoy dancing through the grass near the beach with Sarah earlier today. But then she took off because she has more power in her quads than me.
“It has been a tough race but I have enjoyed myself very much. I think the end of the Cape Wrath Ultra was the best location of any race finish I have ever done. It was fantastic.”
Top three females
- Carol Morgan, Ireland, 55:11:53
- Sarah Witte, England 57:53:27
- Karoline Hanks, South Africa, 59:03:58
Finishers rest at the lighthouse. Credit: Jimmy Hyland/JHPvisuals.co.uk
An exhausted finisher. Credit: Jimmy Hyland/JHPvisuals.co.uk
Race director Shane Ohly said: "It has been an incredible week and there are so many superlatives to describe the weather, scenery and participants.
"I have been impressed by all the competitors and I am very grateful to an amazing event team for all their support.
"What a successful week and we can’t wait until the next one.”
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