Dunoon Ultra 2017 winner: Fiona’s race report
It was an emotional win for the first woman to finish this year’s Dunoon Ultra. Fiona Ramsay, 31, crossed the line in 4:36:19 and was sixth overall. She was almost 50 minutes ahead of second placed Katherine Ullrich in 5:26:47.
Fiona, of Beith, Ayrshire, who came second in the race last year in 5:25, said: “I had picked the ultra as my goal race for 2017 after enjoying it so much last year.
“I had invested a lot of time and focus to the race and spent a lot of time in the hills of Dunoon, working on improving my love for hills and running mainly in and around Glenkin.
“When I realised that I wasn’t only going to beat my PB from last year but smash the record and win I was elated. I was also very emotional because I had put a lot of pressure on myself to do well.”
Stepping up to long-distance
Fiona’s background is road running and shorter distances. She stepped up to ultras in 2015 after becoming comfortable with the marathon distance. She trains with her dogs and also combines Canicross into her speed sessions
Her progress has been impressive with a list of accolades including:
- 2nd female in Clydestride 2015
- 3rd female St Cuthbert’s Way Ultra
- 2nd female Devil o’ the Highlands 2017
- 1sr female Strathearn marathon (held for three years in a row and a female course record).
Race day win for Fiona
Fiona enjoyed so many things about the Dunoon Ultra. She said: “The biggest contribution to my enjoyment was the friendliness and first class organisation from the Dunoon Hill Runners, lead by Ian Marshall, and Colin Moulson, of Dunoon Presents.
“The route is also spectacular and so scenic and I like that it was A to B rather than covering the same ground twice.
“And I enjoyed running a lot of the race on my own. I do not like huge races and while I know entries were up this year it still felt like a relatively quiet event.
“After coming out of Puck’s Glen I was passed by only one runner, so for the most of the final 34 miles I was by myself, which I love.
“The finish line was great and once I finished I got a beer, massage and I just hung out and enjoyed the atmosphere until the last runner came in.”
Lows and highs
Although she was first female home it was not without challenges. She said: “The west side of Lock Eck was the hardest section. It’s a long nine miles and you can see right along the length of loch with a lot of similar trail so that was tough mentally.”
Fiona’s highlights included being able to runs the hills. She said: “I was pleased I could run all the hills that I had tackled in training. Also I didn’t really have any energy speed dips so that means I managed my nutrition well.
“I have run the race twice now and I hope to return next year to run again. It is such a great event.”
Thanks to Alan Forsyth Photography for the pictures.