Congratulations to 20 year old St Andrews University Chemistry Student Kieran Cooper who didn’t just win the 2020 race, he bettered Paul Monaghan’s 2019 time by almost 20 minutes.
Confidently talking to the German film crew who pounced on him at the Finish Kieran produced ID to prove he was old enough to win the bottle of gin supplied by Beinn an Tuirc .
Although he made it look easy, Kieran confessed that he found the hill out of Skipness ‘horrendous’ but once over that, he enjoyed the downhill. Starting 30 seconds in front of Kevin Craig, the gap didn’t change for the first 10 kilometres along the beach but the more technical terrain after that showed Kieran’s strength and he began to pull away.
The staggered start based on estimated Finish time is not what runners are used to and while some might have preferred the company, Kieran and several others enjoyed having the space and freedom to run their own race and enjoy everything that this part of Kintyre has to offer.
The women’s race proved extremely close with less than 5 minutes separating the first four ladies, who had estimated times of between 5.30 and 6.10! Because of the staggered start times it was a little while before we could be sure of the winner and the post race chat discovered that they had hardly seen each other all day. Despite the good conditions, Elaine Somerville’s 2019 record of 5.21.59 was never seriously challenged.
Several people, having had no other races this year, were attempting their first Ultra and loved it. The variety of terrain and scenery, from the dramatic Paps of Jura to the soothing purple heather of the middle section, the deadly road into Skipness, the horrendous climb out and the welcome sight of the descent to Tarbert marina past the Castle made it highly technical and never boring.
We are once again extremely grateful to Tarbert Harbour for the use of their showers and toilets which are presently only available to residents at the marina. Huge thanks to Lyndsey and family from the Tarbert Hotel for the welcome soup, sandwich and cake at the end.
Thank you to all our sponsors and thank you to our wonderful volunteer teams who carried your bags, made sure you were safe and well and encouraged you along the way, saved you from cars and swept up behind you. Special thanks to Ted and Val from KitST who are so much more than a timing team. Their advice and support, not just on the day but very much in the lead up to the race has been invaluable.
And finally thank you to you, for coming, for trusting us, for complying with all requests to act considerately and for showing that we can get back out there doing the things we love.
Men’s Solo sponsored by Beinn an Tuirc
1 Kieran Cooper 04.02.36
2 Calum Oates 04.28.42
3 Nicholas Gemmell 04.31.25
Women’s Solo Sponsored by Kilkerran Single Malt
1 Aoife Ni Mhaoileoin 05:48:04
2 Nina Farmer 05:49:13
3 Nicola Dawson05:51:19
vet50+ sponsored by Loch Fyne Whiskies
Male GarethMcKenna 06:04:21
Female MaryKerr 07:16:16
Relay Teams sponsored by Fyne Ales
1 Frigate Bound (MacFarlane, Carbro, Oates) 4.35.08
2 Marydolls (Clark, Clark, Coulter) 4.52.19
3 Point Sands Plodders (McAuslan, Clark, Smith) 6.04.13
Full solo results