Detailed maps here
Stage 1 Tayinloan to Clachan
15km 9½ miles 175m climb (approx).
Starting from the village hall, head north on the road through the village and then turn left to the ferry terminal. There is a kissing gate leading to the beach. From there you have a combination of hard sand, loose pebbles and fields (not bad running at this stage) along the edge of the beach.
Follow the beach for about 2 miles, passing a caravan park on the right, until you reach an old wartime lookout tower. Pass to the right of this tower and follow the fence, keeping on the grassy surface on right-hand side of fence. At the last blue waymarker (at end of fence), looking ahead you will see a milepost (72 miles) at the far side of a stream. Do not head for this milepost. Veer left on to a shingle bank (towards the sea) to find the best place to cross the stream.
After the stream, go a short way to the right to get onto the grass, then continue parallel to the beach. The land rises up and you continue straight ahead on the grass. After about 400m you come to a gully with a fence beyond it. Go down the gully to the beach. Running along the shingle beach is hard, but keep to the top of the beach, just below the cliffs. After the 73-mile post, keep to the beach for another mile, ignoring any turnings to the right. At the 74-mile post, come up off the beach towards the A83, but then veer left on a path through the bushes.
After about 50m you’re onto the beach again for 300m, then look out for arrows taking you slightly inland and follow the path meandering through the bushes till you get to the point where you cross the A83.
There may not be a lot of traffic but it passes here at great speed so take care and follow the marshals’ directions.
You come to some houses (Ballochroy on the map). Go right at the first house, then left at a kissing gate and across a field, keeping just below the rising ground on the right. Follow the arrows leading to an uphill path. After the 75-mile post, go through a kissing gate and bear right to go diagonally across a field. The blue waymarkers then take you back down towards the A83 and a small path with a stone wall on your left.
At a gap in the wall, you come onto a very narrow pavement along the A83. Again, take great care as vehicles often overtake on this stretch. Where the pavement ends, you then have 150m with nothing to protect you from the traffic. Keep on the right until you reach the point where you can cross and get down to the beach again. Marshals will direct you – please obey them!
Now follow a rough stony beach for 200m, then a path through the bushes for 50m, to reach a large layby next to the A83. At the far end of the layby, at the 76-mile post, go left and clamber over rocks down to the beach again. A further 3/4 mile alternating between stony beach and scrub takes you to Ronachan car park (a water station). Incidentally, Ronachan means the place of the seals and they are often seen around here.
Go along left side of A83 for 50m, then left on a “private” driveway till you see a stile on the right leading to a small path, muddy in parts, and across a footbridge. When you get near the large mansion (Ronachan House), cross the driveway at right angles on to a small path on the left side of a stream. This path takes you up to the A83 at a small lodge house. Turn left on to the pavement alongside the A83 and follow it for about 1 mile to Clachan, turning left into the village and following the arrows leading to the checkpoint at the village hall. (see detailed map of Clachan in Final Briefing).
Clachan to Skipness
20km 12½ miles 415 m climb (approx).
From the Village Hall, a specially-made crossing over a small river takes you to the A83. Cross with care and follow the vehicle track uphill for about 100 metres
A left turn takes you onto a narrow path and boardwalk through meadow and then woodland, full of bluebells just now, gradually climbing.
Shortly after passing the 79-mile post, you leave the woodland, passing through a gate onto open moorland and then follow a path along the left side of the river valley before rising northwards towards the forests.
After the 80-mile post, cross a stile over a fence, then after 200m, turn right at the forestry track and continue with Loch Ciaran on your right. Keep straight on at the junction with a well-used timber track. About 3/4 mile later, watch out for a sharp right turn, which will be clearly signed. A quick peek behind will reward you with a magnificent view of the Paps of Jura.
After a further 1 mile, turn left off the forestry track on a small path with a picnic table above Lochan a Chreimh.
The path now zigzags, passing the 83-mile post, then circling Lochan Fraoich, until it emerges from the forest. Take care at the stile here (or climb over the gate). You then cross a boggy patch to reach another stile which may be slippy. About 300m after that stile, the path is crossed at an angle by a quadbike track – ignore that track and continue straight ahead.
The path now leads across open moorland, past the 84 and 85-mile posts, and gradually down to a bridge across Larachmor Burn. The path then goes uphill for a short distance and after the 86-mile post, becomes a forestry track heading down towards the B842 (aka The Long and Winding Way). On this side of the peninsula you get great views across to Arran.
Turn left on to the single-track tarmac road. Run on the right to face the traffic, which may be moving quite fast.
After about 1 mile, turn right at a road junction, following signs for the Claonaig ferry terminal and Skipness. Take care if the Arran ferry is either due or recently arrived as there will be nervous drivers around who are not used to single track roads with passing places.
The B842 continues along the side of the shore to Skipness and the Village Hall is on your left not long after entering the Village.
Timing Point, Refreshments and Toilets, Relay changeover.
Skipness to Tarbert
16 km 10 miles 480 m of climb (approx).
From Skipness Village Hall follow the B842 for a few hundred metres then take a sharp left at the village store (blue KW sign).
Begin a steady climb on an obvious track with initially, the Skipness River on the right and thereafter a distinctive sheep fank. Ignore any left turns until the track changes into a grassy footpath after approx 5.5 km.
Cross a recently constructed forestry road where there will be a water station, and continue on the footpath (above) until turning right onto the forestry road just mentioned. (8.5km approx.) It’s pretty well all downhill from here so enjoy the views.
Follow the road through the forest, mostly downhill until a marked, sharp right turn (13.5 km approx) for the final, way-marked descent into Tarbert.
Watch for the large Millenium Cairn approx 150 m after the turn.
On reaching Tarbert Castle use the two kissing gates to enter and leave the site. If you look ahead across the bay, you can see the big marquee at the Finish.
Turn left along Brucehill and follow signs down a lane then right right down Castle Street. Beware of cars and pedestrians when crossing Harbour Street and when following the harbour edge to the finish line at the marina. Marshals will help you.