Dunoon Ultra 2017: Donald’s race report
Glasgow runner Donald McPartlin broke the record for the 55km Dunoon Ultra in its second year. In his first attempt at the race, he came home in 3:53, which was 16 minutes faster than last year’s winner and this year’s runner up Michael Tweedley.
Donald, 35, said: “I was absolutely delighted to win. I had been looking forward to this race because I like the course and always enjoy a trip over to Dunoon, so I was really pleased to put in a good performance, too.
“I was surprised by my time and it was great to break the record but it’s only the second year of the event so it might not last very long.”
Donald reports that he spent long periods of the race trying to keep up with Michael. He said: “Michael was flying out in front so that probably helped as I went a bit quicker than I would have running by myself.
“I thought I might fade a bit in the last few miles but thankfully I still felt quite good and when I realised a sub-four hours was possible, I pushed hard to try and get it.”
Donald finished 17 minutes ahead of Michael in the end.
The Glasgow Harriers runner only started racing ultras last year. He began with the Highland Fling in 2016 and since then he has enjoyed a number of accolades. He won the Kielder 80km ultra in April, took third place at the Scott Snowdonia Trail Marathon in July and was also third at the Devil o’ the Highlands Ultra in August.
The Dunoon Ultra was his sixth ultra-distance race to date. He described it as a great route. He said: “There’s some stunning scenery as well as a good mixture of hilly sections with some fast downhills and flat parts.”
For Donald the hardest section was the hill before the descent into Dunoon. He said: “It was a toughie and I was digging deep at that point.
“There is also quite a tough climb up to a radio mast, which is the highest point of the route, but once you get to the top there’s a great view back down Loch Eck. That was one of the highlights for me.
“Also, I thought that organisation of the race was very good. Everything ran smoothly and with a friendly atmosphere. The finish line on the pier, with homemade food, beer, massages, music, it another great addition to this event.”
Read the Dunoon Ultra 2017 race report and Fiona Ramsay’s triumph.