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.