Well done to the 85 ultra finishers who rolled in the magnificent setting of the Glengyle courtyard on Saturday afternoon. Times for the slightly revised route were longer than anticipated with everyone claiming the route had been extremely tough.
Starting at 8.00 a.m. in thick mist at Tayinloan, the climb through the wind farm sorted out a few of the runners and many found the humidity, despite the cool air, energy sapping. As someone said, “When we were in the trees, it was as though all the previous runners had used up all the oxygen!”
As far as the race went, spectators were excited to see Kevin Craig and Stuart Miller renew last year’s rivalry, both of them reaching Carradale in under 2 hours. Craig’s 4 minute lead had reduced to 1 by the Lussa checkpoint with the middle third, proving particularly energy sapping, but neither could do anything to stop Daniel Bond from cruising past after a perfectly paced race to finish in 05:14:19.
First lady, Nicola Duncan, also paced her race well to finish in 4th place overall in an impressive 05:23:46. Starting strongly Nicola gradually extended her lead over Niamh Cooper and Marlene Baillie who finished 8th and 11th overall, Marlene also being first lady over 50.
First across the line, however was Stuart Oates of relay favourites Frigate Bound in 05:12:53. A solid first leg from Colin Macfarlane and a strong second leg from Tom Carbro set up Stuart for the glory leg. Stuart made straight for the massage table as he was heading off to run the Leeds marathon on Sunday.
The regulars faced strong competition this year from The McMillan A’s, Kirsty, Duncan and Archie, who were just 5 minutes behind and Sunshine on Leith a further 6 minutes back, after their first leg runner, Esther Weil, had taken an initial lead.
Courtesy of Keep It Simple Timing,
Full solo results and splits are here
Full relay results and splits are here.
Kenny Craig’s photographs are here
The Central Organising team would like to thank our brilliant sponsors, Kilkerran for prizes, miniatures and the fantastic finish area, SSE for drop bag transport and management, prizes, financial help and marshalling, Kintyre Gin for prizes, route maintenance and signage, Fyne Ales for prizes, East Kintyre Community Fund for financial support and West Kintyre Windfarm Trust for financial support. Also huge thanks to over 50 volunteers who helped behind the scenes and on the day, including Oban Mountain Rescue who enjoyed a quiet time in Kintyre while their colleagues were on a more serious call-out.
Profits from the race are used to maintain the Kintyre Way.
We look forward to seeing you again on the 11th of May 2024, when we will be running the northern third from Tayinloan to Tarbert.
All You Need to Know about 2023
Saturday 13th May 2023 will see a return to the Tayinloan to Campbeltown section. The 35 mile route with 1351m climb is mainly on forest tracks and is described in detail here. There are two options, solo and three part relay with changeovers at Carradale and the south end of Lussa Loch.
Drop bags will be conveyed to these two checkpoints and a larger bag to the Finish at the Glengyle Distillery in Campbeltown where everything except showers will be available. For showers you’ll have to go over to the playing fields on the Green again.
Electronic timing and GPS tracking will be in operation and safety cover will again be provided by Oban Mountain Rescue.
Please read the rules here.
Registration (from 07.00) and Start (at 08.00) will be at the village hall in Tayinloan. There will be a race bus which must be booked and paid for when entering. The bus leaves Campbeltown at 06.45. Update: this is now fully booked but you can catch the service bus at 6.30.
Entries (solo £53, relay £49) will open on 1st January with a closing date of April 20th. When entering the relay, please remember to include your team name so that we can match you with the right people. Don’t forget to reserve your place on the bus (£7.50) if required. Please also mention dietary requirements for the refreshments (soup, sandwich cake and tea) at the end.
If you have previously completed Tayinloan to Tarbert and Machrihanish to Campbeltown and would like to purchase a frame for your set of 3 coasters (as above) at the subsidised cost of £10, please add this to your order as well.
Up to 28 Feb, full refund less £10 handling fee.
Up to 31 March, 50% refund.
After 31 March, no refund unless exceptional circumstances, at the discretion of the organisers.
Live results will be here: ( Start list will be there as a place holder )
Note solo runners’ numbers are in the three hundreds. Relay team numbers start at 1. There is also a QR code
It has been the plan for a long time to continue the KIntyre Way Ultra round the corner to cover the southern third but covid has prevented this for the last two years. With parts of the route more exposed than usual, we saw a programme of volunteer work that involved 16 new posts and a lot of paint, then invited Oban Mountain Rescue to provide safety cover on the day.
We were somewhat twitchy on Friday due to marshal call-offs and non-delivery of race numbers but with replacements in place and magic with markers on leftover bibs from previous years, we were all set.
There is usually a bit of a buzz when a new race is announced but numbers were disappointing – due to a combination of reasons including the amount of tarmac involved, runners catching up with deferred entries and people still not back to their previous levels of activity. Even on the day, relay teams were combining at registration.
But what a race it turned out to be. The field spread out to the extent that the winner had arrived in Campbeltown before the sweeper had reached Southend. Unfortunately, the leaders at Dunaverty, Deason, Millar and Harris were sent on a shortcut by a quickly replaced marshal. This was spotted by Rob who was monitoring the GPS trackers – mainly for safety reasons – so the time we’re seeing for their split at Southend has had 5 minutes added on. On the second section, Millar fell back and Goddard moved up from 4th to 2nd, Deason and Goddard being the only two to beat four hours. It was Millar’s birthday and we can’t help wondering if he is kicking himself for spending longer at the Southend checkpoint. ‘If only I hadn’t had that third piece of birthday cake…’
Second leg times include time spent at the checkpoint at Southend, where a new KWU team of volunteers stepped up to provide refreshments, encouragement and, for those who had had the foresight to read the race profile, a change to road shoes. The involvement of SSE volunteers to bring the drop bags to Southend and back to the finish was greatly appreciated.
Meanwhile, in the ladies race, Southend saw only two minutes separating Helen Falconer and Alice Prodger with third lady and first 50+F Leonie Palmer twenty minutes back. The order didn’t change over the second half though the gaps lengthened.
There was never any doubt about the relay winners, Kintyre Way favourites Frigate Bound, consisting of Tom Carbro and Stuart Oates, mixing it with the best of the ultra runners. Their usual third member Colin MacFarlane entered the solo race but decided that 16 miles was quite enough. Second and third were almost an hour and two hours behind. Both second leg runners were allowed to start early from Southend when it became clear how long their first leg runners were taking and times have been adjusted.
We have been blown away by the positive feedback for this gruelling option which looks as though it will now join the other two in rotation. We look forward to welcoming you back on the 13th of May 2023 to take on the ‘middle third’.
Men’s record: Michael Deason 02:25 02:19 04:44
Women’s record: Helen Falconer 02:58 02:49 05:47
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.
With all permissions in place now, we must emphasise that several special measures will be in place to protect athletes, volunteers and indeed the whole of the local community and any breach of these conditions may at worst make you and the race organiser liable to a fine and at best, bring the event into disrepute. We therefore respectfully ask you to read carefully all the directions and requests and in particular the final details which will not be published until a couple of days before the race to ensure they are up to date. Assume nothing!
Start times, Tracker Number and Bus Times will be issued earlier that week
to enable you to make travel plans.
In particular we have been asked to provide details of how we avoid gatherings and maintain social distancing at REGISTRATION, the START, CHECKPOINTS and at the FINISH
There will be a 2-stage process of registration. About half of you will be registering in the car/bus park in Tarbert where you will be asked the Covid Questions and can collect your bib with premarked medical details. There will be an opportunity to leave Finish Bags here. If you change your mind and want to go straight to Tayinloan, please tell us before Friday 7th May, otherwise you will still have to call in to Tarbert to collect your bib.
The rest 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. If you need to leave your car, please park at the Ferry terminal. Do not park in the village where buses have to pass through, nor on the single track road to the ferry terminal, even “just for five minutes”.
As you approach the playing fields and portable toilets at Tayinloan, you will see the three vehicles which will take your drop bags to Clachan, Skipness and the Finish.
There will be a timed start with fastest first to avoid overtaking. The first start will be at 9.05. Runners will be separated by 30 seconds though you may run in a bubble with someone if you let us know by the 17th April.
You will be called up to the Start, 3 minutes before your start time, at 30 second intervals, fastest person first, and move through the stations where you pick up your timing chip and tracker en route to the Start line.
Relay runners will have set start times this year because there are more of you. You will set off in between the two buses, i.e. between 9.30 and 10.06, not at the end as last year. We need you all to come to Tayinloan to check in and collect your trackers. 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. Please note: Relay runners have to carry all the same kit as solo runners.
There can be absolutely no spectators or supporters at the checkpoints. There will be a limit on the number of households who can meet (hopefully more than the 2 allowed at the moment) and this allocation will be needed for the volunteers and relay team members. Your family and fans will be
able to watch your tracker online at home. Please be careful to maintain social distancing and don’t ask marshals to do anything that involves
At the Finish, because you will be arriving over a period of 5 hours, you should be able to move through the one way system, collect your things, including a takeaway meal, and use toilets and showers, without feeling rushed. However, if it ever looks like getting ‘busy’ please move on before we have to ask.
ETIQUETTE & HYGEINE
There will be hand sanitiser at the Start, Finish and Checkpoints and instructions on how to use and sanitise the portable toilets.
The recommendation for social distancing 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. 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.
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?
– Have you come from somewhere with restrictions on travel?
– 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 track and trace measures in place?
– Do you agree to your details being provided to relevant track and trace teams, should this be necessary?
This will apply to volunteers as well!
As we don’t have access to village halls, you will be outside all the time. With precautions in place, we will be able to take your dropbags, including water, to checkpoints. Please note – We don’t have access to water supplies at the Start or at checkpoints so you will have to bring your own.
There will be portable toilets and hand sanitiser at the Start and at both checkpoints. Courtesy of Tarbert Harbour, you can use their toilets and showers at the Finish.
A takeaway meal will be provided from the marquee at the Finish by the owners of the Tarbert Hotel.
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.
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