Wednesday, 18 May 2022 08:42

Ultra-runners from around the world prepare for race to the far north west of Scotland

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Ultra-runners from around the world are making their final preparations for a race to the far north west of Scotland.

Over 300 competitors have signed up for the Cape Wrath Ultra®, an eight-day journey from Fort William to Cape Wrath. Leading ultra-runners representing 25 different nations will tackle 400km of challenging terrain that links ancient footpaths and remote tracks that lead to the north-westerly point of the British Isles, starting on Sunday 22 May.

Ultra-runners in the 2022 Cape Wrath Ultra® will travel through some of Scotland’s most spectacular landscapes, including Knoydart, Kintail, Torridon, Assynt and Sutherland. The race is organised by Ourea Events and does not use any signs or waymarking to mark the route. Participants are required to use a combination of traditional navigational skills with a map and compass, supplemented by modern GPS technology if they wish, to follow the race route. Ourea Events and its team of volunteers will set up a campsite and catering each night, removing everything the following morning as they move along the route.

Cape Wrath Ultra 2021 eventual winner Ian Stewart makes his way through a grand landscape copyright No Limits Photography 126 002Cape Wrath Ultra 2021 - eventual winner Ian Stewart makes his way through a grand landscape - © No Limits Photography

Of the 304 ultra-runners who have signed up for the 2022 Cape Wrath Ultra®, 78 are women, which is higher than average for the event. Among the leading competitors in the men’s race are Howard Dracup, who earlier this year finished third in the Montane Spine Challenger North, and Simon Roberts, who won the 2021 Montane Dragon’s Back Race®. The women’s race is also expected to be very competitive, featuring Laura O’Driscoll, twice Irish national champion over 50km and winner of numerous ultras, and Lake District based Megan James, who completed the 2019 Dragon’s Back Race. This year’s Cape Wrath Ultra® will feature 16 athletes who have taken part before, including Paul Ainsworth, who finished fourth in 2018. Of the 169 participants from the UK, 17 are Scottish, and among the international athletes is Andrey Prihodko, representing Ukraine.

Cape Wrath Ultra 2021 Lisa Watson left and third overall and Sally Fawcett second overall enjoyed racing each other copyright No Limits Photography 118 002Cape Wrath Ultra 2021 - Lisa Watson (left and third overall) and Sally Fawcett (second overall) enjoyed racing each other - © No Limits Photography

Race director Shane Ohly comments: “Last year’s event was smaller than usual due to pandemic related travel restrictions, so we’re really excited to welcome such a big and international field of ultra-runners in 2022, for what will be a spectacular and unforgettable journey through an incredible landscape. Putting the onus on the participants to self-navigate the route is a key part of the challenge and adventure offered by the Cape Wrath Ultra, and is also entirely in keeping with the sustainability strategy of Ourea Events and our goal to leave no trace.”

The race will begin in Fort William at 11:00am on Sunday 22 May and the runners’ progress will be available to view through live tracking at https://live.opentracking.co.uk/capewrathultra22. To find out more about the Cape Wrath Ultra® visit www.capewrathultra.com.