Ladies impress at Salomon Skyline Scotland 2019
No disrespect to the men at Salomon Skyline Scotland this weekend as many were awesome… but what most impressed me was the ladies. In all but one of the seven races there was a female runner in the top 10.
While reporting from the finish line, my focus during the event was the top finishers. (Of course, there were some great performances and achievements throughout the field, such as my friend Cat Morrison and 1st lady vet and 14th place female finish in the Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace, but my remit was the front of the field.)
- In the Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra, Katie Kaars Sijpesteijn was first woman and third overall.
- The Salomon Mamores VK saw Vic Wilkinson claim first lady and eighth overall.
- Judith Wyder, the record-breaking winner of the Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace, also came 10th overall.
- And in the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline winning lady, Georgia Tindley, was eighth overall.
- There were three new trail races this year. In the Grey Mare’s 5k, Rickie Cotter was first female and eighth overall.
- And in the Loch Eilde Mor 10k, Sarah Attwood and Juliette Linford placed 8th and 9th overall.
I don’t recall so many high ranking women last year and a quick check of the results reveals the men dominated the top of the field.
I should point out that there have been some amazing female results at this event before, such as Emelie Forsberg’s second place overall in 2015 in the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline and Mira Rae taking fifth place overall in the 2017 Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra race.
But it seemed that this year, the women were particularly strong.
Women of speed and endurance
It feels like it has been a great year for the women. Earlier in the year, Jasmin Paris won the Montane Spine Race outright. In the Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race, Lisa Watson came ninth overall. And then Sabrina Verjee won the Montane Spine Fusion Race outright, too.
In the Glenmore 24 rail Race 2019, second place overall was taken by Christine Caldwell. In fourth overall was Erin Rendall and Karen Leslie was eighth overall. Outstanding ladies!
These are just a few of the examples of female runners at the front of the races but I think there is a growing strength in the women’s field of runners.
Strength in recent years
If we look back just a few years, there have been some other impressive female results, such as Debbie Martin-Consani winning outright the Grand Union Canal Race in 2012. The Scottish runner also came sixth overall in two races in 2016, the South Downs Way and the North Downs Way. She was fourth overall in the Thames Path 100 in 2013.
Joasia Zakrzewski won the Lofoten 50 with a big margin ahead of the first placed man and also she won the Race to the King.
Jasmin Paris was also second runner overall in the Berghaus Dragon’s Back 2015 with two more women, Beth Pascall and Lizzie Wraith, in the top 10.
Scotland-based super athlete Jamie Aarons has scored many top 10s: The West Highland Way Race in 2015 and 2018, the Cateran Ultra in 2017, the Ultra Trail Snowdonia in 2018 and 2019 and as a pair with Carrie Craig, in the S1 Ipertrail in Italy.
There are other examples of strong female ultra runners overseas, too, such as Courtney Dawalter in the US.
When I speak to the women who place high in the longer races, I hear the same comment. The longer the race – and the gnarlier – the more even the playing field is between men and women.
After coming third overall in the Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra, Katie said: “I knew I was in sixth place, then fifth place and then some guys appeared in front of me so I chased them. It was great to chase down the boys!
“The longer the race and the more technical the course, the more even the racing is between men and women runners.”
Read all the news from the weekend at Salomon Skyline Scotland.