Runner Rob Sinclair made Scottish ultra hat-trick history at the weekend when he won the 42-mile Devil o’ the Highlands race in a record-breaking time.
Earlier this year, he also won the two other so-called Triple Crown races, the 53-mile Highland Fling and the 95-mile West Highland Way Race, also in record-breaking times.
Remarkably, too, it was the first time that Rob had raced all three races.
Today, Rob, of Insch Trail Running Club, Aberdeenshire, said: “I still can’t quite believe it. It feels so crazy. I did not start the Devil thinking anything other than, ‘Get to the finish’, so to have won it as well as the other two races seems incredible. I’m really so pleased.”
Rob’s Devil o’ the Highlands race
Rob was the obvious favourite to win the 42-mile Devil o’ the Highlands Footrace, which doubled as the Scottish Ultra Trail Championships, on the West Highland Way from Tyndrum to Fort William. Yet he wasn’t confident he would do so.
He said: “I knew my legs would be tired after the two other races this year and when I set out they didn’t feel as strong as when I did the Fling and the WHW race. That was to be expected so I just hoped I’d get to the finish to claim my Triple Crown.
“I set out at an easier pace than in the other races and I enjoyed having Eoin Lennon, of Carnethy Hill Running Club, running with me. He was very close behind me for a lot of the race but it didn’t bother me, in fact I liked it as it felt like a proper race.”
Rob and Eoin, who is the Glencoe Marathon record holder, arrived in Glencoe at 19 miles in just under two hours. They were also neck-and-neck at the next checkpoint at Kinlochleven.
At this point, Eoin told Rob he wasn’t feeling so good. From there, Rob ran alone.
He said: “After Kinlochleven I kind of got into my own zone. At about 27 miles I thought, ‘Well I only have another 15 miles to run to claim my Triple Crown’ and that felt fine. I think I might have stepped the pace up a but I can’t be sure. It just felt fine and so I pushed on without once looking over my shoulder.”
Rob’s race turned out to be another record-breaker when he finished at Tyndrum in 5hrs 12 mins and 21 secs. The previous course record of 5:13:42 was held by Casey Morgan.
Eoin took silver place in 5:31:15 and Donald McPartlin (Garscube Harriers) was third in 5:40:39.
Rob says: “It’s crazy to think I have broken all three records in the Triple Crown this year and I had no idea I could do this. It has given me a lot more confidence to enter other races to see what I can achieve.
“I think I might look at some ultra in Europe next year but I will also think about other Scottish races as well. For now, I will be having a bit of a rest until the end of August.
“It has been an amazing year and really worth all the sacrifices on my time but it will be great to see more of my girlfriend and to catch up with the friends I have neglected a bit while training for the ultra races.”
Nicola wins ladies’ race
Bearsden runner Nicola Adams-Hendry (also Garscube Harriers) came home first in the Devil o’ the Highlands race for a third time and set a new PB of 6:28:16. (She won the Highland Fling as well earlier this year.)
In second place, was Fiona Ramsay (Greenock Glenpark Harriers) in 6:56:20 and third were Northern Irish sisters Angela and Kelly-Anne Speight in 7:01:08, who ran the entire race together.