Covid19 and the Ultra

Once it became clear that the Ultra could not proceed on its usual date, we negotiated with our partners to find a later date which suited everyone and this has been identified as the 29th of August.

As you can imagine, we will have to put in place a number of special measures to protect athletes, volunteers and indeed the whole of the local community. The most significant of these will be abandoning the mass start and introducing 30 second interval starts, as will be familiar to orienteers. This means that the start will last for around 90 minutes but the wonders of modern timing systems will ensure fair and accurate results.

Many details are being discussed and we will update this page as and when these are finalised. Please, keep washing your hands, keep 2m apart, and let’s all not bend the rules thinking it’s only me.

We are cautiously optimistic at the moment but not counting our chickens.

23/07/20 UPDATE

Guidelines have now been published by Scottish Athletics – you can download them from the website if you’re interested. We’ll be attending a webinair tonight to go over things and hope to be able to set out more details next week.

Your attention is drawn to the following:
6. Health, Safety and Hygiene Reinforce good hygiene practices.

These will be ‘The Covid Questions that we will be asking you prior to and at the event:
– Have you been in contact with someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
– Have you been overseas to a country on the quarantine list in the last 14 days?
– Do you have COVID-19 symptoms (self-isolate for 7 days) or are feeling unwell?
– Have you been told to self-isolate as part of the contact tracing measures in place?
– Do you agree to your details being provided to relevant tracking and tracing teams, should this be necessary?

This will apply to volunteers as well!
If, as a result of things changing and you have to withdraw, just let us know and we will refund or carry over to next year.

01/08/20 UPDATE

We are delighted to be able to tell you that we have Ann Murray CMIOSH (Ret)  helping us out. Ann is a retired chartered member of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health so will be a great asset.


The recommendation for runners is 2m side by side and 5m in single file.  For much of the race (the beach, the forestry roads, the open moor) this doesn’t present a problem for overtaking but there are sections on the verge and at the Finish where you can’t maintain this distance and overtake.

In order to maintain social distancing and minimise overtaking, therefore, we will start you at approximately 30 second intervals with the fastest runner first.   It’s rather unfortunate that the slowest people will be out latest and it makes it a long stretch for our marshals, but this is really the safest way to do it (and means that the first 3 winners should be able to have a mini prizegiving without hanging around). (We’ll be making a wee video of the start procedure for you once we’ve agreed where the loos go.)

Relay runners will have a slightly different process.
Relay runners will set off after all the others. This is because we need you all to come to Tayinloan to check in and collect your trackers and it would be too much of a ‘gathering’ otherwise. To avoid passing on kit, each member will have their own tracker but there will only be one timing chip. This will be carried by the third leg runner, who will go through the start with the first leg runner to ‘start the clock’. then drop out.


This applies runner to runner and where encountering volunteers and members of the public.

We ask you to wear face coverings when interacting with other people and will be supplying a Kintyre Way Ultra buff for you to use. If you find yourself in a position to overtake someone, please try to do it where there is sufficient width. If you are in a narrow spot and need to stop (to tie your shoe lace for example) please step off the path to allow others to pass safely. Whenever you meet someone else, if at all possible, you can use your face covering (buff) but if not, you can use your hand and turn away. Start, Checkpoints and Finish are face covering zones except when eating and drinking(!) – just remember to maintain your distance.

Our communities have had a very quiet time Covid-wise and your presence at speed, sweating and breathing heavily, will seem quite alarming. You’re unlikely to meet members of the public in a narrow place until the walkway round the harbour at the end. Please be nice!

There will be hand sanitiser at the Start, Finish, Checkpoints and Water Points and instructions on how to use and sanitise the loos.


We will shortly be issuing Final Details for the event and a date for a Zoom meeting to clarify anything you aren’t sure of. In particular there is bound to be concern about how we maintain social distancing in areas like Registration, the Start, Checkpoints and Finish.

There will be a 2-stage process of registration. Slightly more than half of you will be registering in the car/bus park in Tarbert but as there are 3 buses, half an hour apart, as long as you don’t arrive too early there will be plenty of room to maintain social distancing. You will be asked the Covid Questions above and can collect your runner’s number and face covering/buff.

Slightly less than half of you will go through this process at Tayinloan over a period of one and a half hours which, if you don’t arrive too early, should prevent anything like a gathering.

You will then have access to the playing fields and portaloos at Tayinloan. You will be called up to the Start at 30 second intervals, fastest person first and can go on to the stations where you pick up your timing chip and tracker and cross the Start line (all 5 metres apart) . (Orienteers will be used to this procedure.)

There can be absolutely no spectators or supporters at the checkpoints. As you know, we can have 15 people from 5 households. 1 or 2 of these households will be taken up by the volunteers and others by relay team members changing over, so your family and fans will have to content themselves by watching your tracker online at home.

At the Finish, because you will be arriving over a period of some 5-6 hours, you should be able to collect your things, including a takeaway meal, and use toilets, without feeling rushed. This can be a popular area but there may be room for supporters who can watch your tracker and arrive just in time for the final sprint. However, if it ever looks like getting ‘busy’ please move on before we have to ask.

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Roll On 2020

Saturday 29th of August will be the (revised due to Covid19 restrictions) big day in 2020, when we look forward to welcoming you back to the Kintyre Way.

The 2019 route from Tayinloan to Tarbert proved very popular and we’re repeating it for 2020.

We’ll be Watching You…
We are very excited to be introducing GPS trackers in 2020. This is becoming very popular in the ultra and mountain running world, both as a safety feature and for its entertainment value. Communications in Kintyre are notoriously difficult and this will be a great help to everyone. The tracker is a wee device about the size of a small mobile phone and it means that volunteers at checkpoints and race HQ will know where you are 99% of the time. – very helpful should you fail to be recorded, for whatever reason, at a checkpoint. It also means that friends and supporters [family at home] will be able to follow you in real time on the map, encouraging you up the hills and cheering you along the final run-in. And should anyone require medical assistance, we will be able to pinpoint your position precisely.

As previously, a bus will run from Tarbert to the start at Tayinloan, picking up en route. Owing to Covid19 restrictions, we will now have to have more than one bus.

Start time: Start times will be at approximately 30 second intervals after 9 0'clock with the anticipated fastest runners starting first to minimise overtaking. Max. 10 hours 
Check-in at Tayinloan   15 minutes before your start time.
Once entries close, we will ask for your anticipated time and create a start list from that. You'll then be allocated to an appropriate bus.

It’s worth mentioning that this will be an English Bank Holiday weekend. You might like to think about your accommodation requirements sooner rather than later.

What’s Included?
Drop bags will be taken from Tayinloan to checkpoints at Clachan and Skipness and finish bags will be taken to the Finish. This year, we are unable to offer anything other than water at the checkpoints but soup, sandwiches, cake and tea or coffee will be waiting for you at the Finish. Please mention any dietary requirements.

Toilets and showers will be available at the Finish, courtesy of Tarbert Harbour Board.

Costs will be:
Ultra £45 up to 31 March, then £50 up to 21 April (closing date)
Relay £39 per person up to 31 March, then £44 up to 21 April
SAL reduction £2
Bus option £5

Here’s your entry link.

Further details will be announced as things fall into place so keep an eye out for the latest posts and chat on Facebook.

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That Was 2019 That Was

Many congratulations to the 114 finishers (and three sweepers, especially Richard who just couldn’t stop and completed the whole lot in the end).

First of all, we are indebted to our sponsors Kilkerran Single Malt, Kintyre Gin, Loch Fyne Whiskies and Fyne Ales for prizes and this year to SSE who not only provided financial sponsorship but a great set of willing helpers. Without them there would either have been no prizes, no food or else the entry fee would have been significantly higher.

This was a new course, so the race winners are also record holders and given that we will only be running this course every three years, you could hold the record for many years to come!

We were delighted that the weather played its part in showcasing our beautiful Kintyre scenery – not sure who to thank for that – and it’s clear that for the majority of you, the experience wasn’t just about racing but about loving being out there in wild and beautiful places.

We were fortunate that Raymond Hosie was able to reschedule things to come along and take some stunning photographs. There’s an album here and if you would like copies, he’ll be happy to help.

There were many comments about our helpful, efficient, understanding team, who looked after you in all sorts of ways, from keeping you on track, recording your arrivals, the massage at the Finish, the food all day etc. etc.

And lastly, but never leastly, there’s YOU. Thank you all for coming, thank you for running, jogging, walking, leaping, laughing and smiling all the way from Tayinloan to Tarbert this year.

Here are the final results, courtesy of Keep it Simple Timing.


Male Ultra
1 Paul Monaghan 04:21:54
2 Duncan Steen 04:23:39
3 Willy Mamy 04:37:48

Female Ultra
1 Elaine Somerville 05:21:29
2 Katharine Sims 05:32:57
3 Elly Gaunt 05:51:18

1  Seagreen Supersonics   04:52:10
(Martha Lovatt, Bruce Henry and Mark Timmons)
2 The SSE Seconds 05:11:24
(Michael Blair, Craig Cunningham and Derek Belford)
3 Thompson Twins 05:28:00
( Mary-jo Coffield ,  Ferg Sim ,  Juliet Loudon )

Oh and make sure you like our facebook page so that you don’t miss out when we announce next year’s event.

And here’s a link to a video made by Jon Shatford

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Ready for 2019?

We’re very excited to announce 2019 as the beginning of a new phase in the Kintyre Ultra.

The whole Kintyre Way was extended three years ago to be  100 miles long, but until now, we have ignored the most recent addition down south. That’s going to change.  In future, the race will circulate between  Tayinloan to Tarbert, Tayinloan to Campbeltown and Machrihanish to Campbeltown. Thus you will be able to run the entire Kintyre Way over 3 years!

For 2019, you’ll be running the shortest section of 33 miles from Tayinloan to Tarbert.

As previously announced, the date will be Saturday 11th May, giving us the use of the large marquees at Tarbert Harbour.  This date isn’t a bank holiday so we hope that accommodation will be easier to find and are also looking into budget priced floor space.

A bus will run from Tarbert to the start at Tayinloan, picking up en route. You can book and pay when entering. By the time you finish, public transport will be functioning.

Start time 08:30, max. 10 hours 
Check-in at Tayinloan   07:00 to 08:15.
Bus to leave Tarbert at 07:00

Entries open 1st November.

Costs the same as last year:

Ultra £39 up to 31 March, then 
£44 up to 21 April (closing date)
Relay £36 per person up to 31 March, then 
£41 up to 21 April
SAL reduction £2
Bus option £4

Further details will be announced as things fall into place so keep an eye out for the latest posts and chat on Facebook.

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Spring Has Sprung? Are You Springing to Kintyre in 5 Weeks?

Spring has Sprung! The clocks have gone forward  and we’re counting the days until we welcome you to Kintyre. This weekend we cycled most of the CycloSportive route and the track from Tayinloan onwards is in great condition with very little or no resistance to the MTB tyres.

Alex Samborek, who marshalled last year at the Lussa water stop, joined us for the ride. This was our first proper off road ride since last year and to be honest it was great – the route, weather, bikes and fitness, even despite limited training over the winter.

Alex managed the route well on the Giant MTB as a first timer and this was a good measuring stick for prospective CycloSportive riders. If you are thinking of riding the CycloSportive get out and do what you are comfortable with, you don’t need to climb mountains, just start getting yourself comfortable on the bike and build up from there now that the light nights are here.

If you are thinking of doing the 73 mile Cycle Race then by now you should have some miles in some form under your belt to ensure a comfortable race. If you haven’t, there is time yet so get on it!

Standard entries close on the 31st of March so save yourself some cash and get your entry in this week.

Next planned recce will be from the start of the 73 mile Cycle Race to Clachan which is pencilled in for the 15th of April. Let me know if you’re interested. This is also the day that the entries will close so don’t wait to read that blog before deciding if you are riding!

Kintyre will be busy the weekend of the event as the Kintyre Song Writers Festival is also on – great if you fancy a few tunes on the Saturday night but not so handy when looking for accommodation. If you are struggling then get in touch as we will only be too happy to help.

Ultra and relay runners don’t worry – I haven’t forgotten about you and we look forward to seeing a great line up of over 100 runners. From a running perspective, the route is also looking great. We’ll have some running blogs soon as our local Ultra runner and blogger MRS SMMF will share some of her tips for the route.

Meanwhile, Enter it, Train for it, love it!

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