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New ultra marathon for Scotland: The Highland Ultra

Written by Fiona

October 30 2020

A new Highland Ultra is set to take place on October 21, 2021, in one of Scotland’s most remote and dramatic regions. Beyond the Ultimate Race Series will stage the three-day 125km ultra-marathon amid the coastal mountains of Scotland’s spectacular Knoydart Peninsula and Kinloch Hourn areas.

Runners can compete solo or as a pair or as part of a five-person team. It’s a self-sufficient race, which means runners will be responsible for carrying all the kit they need to get through each stage, including food, safety equipment and a minimum of 1.5 litres of water.

Accommodation each night is provided by way of a managed campsite with designated tents for all.

In addition to the daily runs, competitors will be able to take part in workshops and talks from prominent ultra-runners and coaches, as well as a festival after-party.

Course director Nick Watson said: “This is our chance to bring to the UK a taste of what Beyond the Ultimate has been doing for years in uniquely challenging and remote corners of the world.

“Knoydart, Kinloch Hourn and the surrounding areas were the obvious regions to fit with this approach having the perfect combination of remoteness, spectacular scenery and very challenging terrain.

“As well as great and varied running each day, competitors can hope to see a variety of wildlife. This will be a wild race, managed by a team used to dealing with some of the most challenging climates in the world. It is a unique opportunity to showcase what Scotland can offer.”

The Knoydart wilderness

The Knoydart Peninsula in north-west Scotland cannot be reached by road. It’s reachable only by sea or on foot via a challenging hike over a mountainous area known as the “rough bounds”.

The Knoydart Foundation, who are helping in the development of the event, describe the area as “a haven for hill walkers, mountaineers, wildlife enthusiasts and those who just want to get away from the hurly-burly of urban life”.

Beyond the Ultimate co-owner Kris King said: “It’s an area locked away and protected by nature and we aim to ensure that it remains that way. No single-use plastics will be allowed, which has led the team to devise a sustainable water provisioning system for runners.

“A partnership with the Knoydart Forest Trust means the race will contribute to rewilding and conservation efforts in the area too.

“Part of our ethos is to always leave the areas we race in better than we found them by working with and investing in local organisations who care for them, and this will be no different. This race will seriously challenge runners but also show our commitment to managing races in an ethical and sustainable way.”

See Highland Ultra.

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