We promised you the southern third and here it comes. Mark the 14th of May in your diary NOW. Mainly for safety reasons, the race will run from west to east, which means you will be climbing out of Machrihanish and finishing along the scenic coast road into Campbeltown.
There will therefore only be two sections in the Ultra itself, of seventeen and sixteen miles with support and relay changeover at Southend. The relay will be for teams of two, with each section much tougher than in previous years.
Kintyre Festival of Running
We are also excited to announce that the Ultra will form the heart of a new Kintyre Festival of Running – three races over the weekend of 13th – 15th May. We had considered a third leg through the airbase and down the beach but that will now take the form of an 8 mile fun run on Friday evening by way of a warm-up.
In conjunction with the organisers of the Carradale Canter, you can also enjoy a 5km or 10km Carradale Canter warm down on Sunday thus providing something for everyone in the family.
Make sure you have liked the Facebook page to see further updates as they come along.
As race day approached we watched the weather forecast change almost hourly. One thing was clear – you were going to get wet and cold at some point during the day. It was just a question of where and when.
The first section along the various beaches proved extraordinarily tough with headwinds and heavy rain. Never has the climb up to Clachan caused so much pain!
The normally glorious views of Arran from the middle section were hidden today with some runners experiencing very low visibility and just having to slog it out, while the Col de Skipness broke a few hearts but not spirits with a high percentage of finishers, considering the conditions.
Congratulations to everyone who toughed it out and especially to the men’s winner Nicholas Gemmell on his birthday. A new women’s record was set by Alex Kane who pronounced the race ‘so much fun’ and the prizes ‘all my favourite things!’.
Pictured are Nicholas Gemmell and Mark Webster, both sharing a birthday today.
Men’s Solo Sponsored by Kilkerran Single Malt
1 Nicholas Gemmell 04:15:36
2 Stephen Ross 04:35:00
3 Alasdair Maciver 04:42:08
Women’s Solo sponsored by Beinn an Tuirc
1 Alexandra Kane 05:08:26
2 Laura MacDonald 05:19:20
3 Maria Mott 05:46:01
vet50+ sponsored by Loch Fyne Whiskies
1 MSV Angus Robertson 04:57:12
1 FSV Lesley McKerral07:02:47
Relay Teams sponsored by Fyne Ales
1 Relay Short Shorts (Frances Wardle, Tim Martin, Allan Waters) 04:20:26
2 Frigate Bound (Colin MacFarlane, Tom Carbro, Stuart Oates) 04:29:39
3 Auld Alliance (Benjamin Cottin, Steven Alexander, Sean Reid) 05:09:58
You can still access the Geotracks site to replay your route here.
We are pleased to pass on thanks to the over 60 people behind the scenes who made the event possible.
Well, who would have thought we would still be dealing with such uncertainties, coming towards 2021! 2020 taught us how to be flexible if nothing else, so we are happy to share our thoughts with you at the moment. Given the way lockdowns and travel restrictions are coming and going, we want everyone to be able to hold off booking until the last possible moment, while still knowing that everything can be ready to go.
Almost certainly we will be employing the various measures to maintain social distancing and hygiene that were used in 2020, with limited or no access to indoor facilities en route. With this in mind, we will open entries on 2nd of January as promised but only in waiting-list format, so that you won’t be paying anything at this stage. Entries will close on 17th April at which point payment will be taken. You should complete everything as though it is a full booking, including your place on the bus, estimated time, who you want to run with, if required. Don’t be deterred by the fact that Entry Central will tell you the event is full!
We can also tell you that, should the event have to be postponed from the 8th of May, the new date will be the 24th of July. We hope this will help with any other holiday plans you and your families have.
Meanwhile, we wish you a very happy and healthy New Year and hope that you will be able to join us in wonderful Kintyre once more.
You may wish to refer to the following pages from last year’s race
We will update them when the crystal ball clears.
This page should give you all the information about this year’s Ultra in one place.
First of all, because we won’t be able to give you a live briefing at the event, we put together this wee video which we hope will tell you most of what you want to know.
And we’ll have a Zoom meeting on Tuesday 25th at 7.30 to enable you to ask any further questions.
Meeting ID: 483 382 0244
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.
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.
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.
ETIQUETTE & HYGEINE
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.
AVOIDING GATHERINGS 17/08/20
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.
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.
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!