Top ultra runners Beth Pascall and Damian Hall are attempting to set a fastest running time for the 230-mile Cape Wrath Trail, in north-west Scotland. It’s regarded as the toughest long-distance trail in the UK and to make it harder, the running pals will make their self-supported bid in winter. They start on December 8.
Running the Cape Wrath Trail
I watched in awe this May as the runners of the Cape Wrath Ultra 2018 ran day after day through some of the most remote areas of Scotland to complete the 230-mile route. It took them eight days to run from Fort William to Cape Wrath, the most north-westerly tip of mainland Britain, and for once Scotland’s weather was mostly beautiful.
They also had the support of the race team, with overnight camps set up for them, as much food as they could eat and medical staff on hand.
Yet it was still an enormous challenge.
Just a month earlier, Przemek Szapar, of Poland, clocked a fastest known time (FKY) for a self-supported run of the Cape Wrath Trail in seven days, nine hours and 31 minutes. See more info of the CWT FKT.
Most walkers take 20 days to complete the Cape Wrath Way. See Walk Highlands route details.
Beth and Damian’s audacious Cape Wrath Trail bid
Damian Hall, an inov-8 ambassador, will be known to many who follow the sport of ultra running. A 42-year-old journalist from England, he took an impressive fifth place at this year’s Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB). A film about him, the Underdog, by Ellie and Matt Green of Summit Fever Media won the Kendal Mountain Festival People’s Choice this year.
Beth Pascall is also a fantastic ultra runner. She lives in the Peak District and was fourth woman at the 2018 UTMB.
Starting this Saturday (December 8th), ultra running friends Damian Hall and Beth Pascall hope to do it in less than seven days!
What is the Cape Wrath Trail?
Starting at Fort William the Cape Wrath Trail heads north to the northwestern tip of Scotland. It is 230 miles long with around 12,000m of ascent. It’s not waymarked and it does not feature as an official route on OS maps.
Beth and Damian plan to follow the route suggested by Iain Harper in his Cicerone guidebook, Walking The Cape Wrath Trail.
The route is often remote and includes some major river crossings.
In winter, daylight will be reduced to about six hours per 24 hours. It will be cold and could possibly snow.
Damian explains: Why the Cape Wrath Trail?
In a blog for inov-8, Damian writes: “We’re primarily running the Cape Wrath Trail to have an adventure, to explore somewhere new, to get our wildness hit (even if much of it will be in the dark). To spice things up a bit, we’ll also be trying to set a new FKT.”
Summit Fever will be filming their Cape Wrath Trail record-breaking bid. You can follow a live tracker.