There are seven races as part of the Salomon Skyline Scotland weekend. Four are challenging mountain races, including the Salomon Mamores VK, Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace, Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra and Salomon Glencoe Skyline. The other three are trail races, the 18k Three Mealls Trail Race, 10k Loch Eilde Mòr Trail Race and 5k Grey Mare’s Trail Race.
I decided to recce the longest trail race route, the 18k Three Mealls Trail Race. I wasn’t heading out to run a fast time, rather to discover what the route is like and to cheer on the runners racing the route in the opposite direction.
The route is superb with a total ascent of 779m and a high point of 575m. It’s a challenging trail course with lots of rough singletrack, boggy paths and river crossings. It was wet, rocky and stoney underfoot and I had to concentrate hard to stay on my feet.
In fact, there wasn’t a lot of the sort of trail that you might expect in a trail race.
But I loved it. The views are fantastic and the course felt brilliantly remote, although waymarked for the Salomon Scotland Skyline weekend. The route runs close to two large waterways, Loch Eilde Mòr and Blackwater Reservoir, past beautiful and breath-taking waterfalls and over hills.
It was rough and tough – but hugely rewarding. By the way, I actually ran 19km (although maybe that was because I did a lot of jumping off of the trail to let runners past).
If you are planning to enter the race, I recommend you do some training first. This is not an easy 18k run!
2021 winners: Three Mealls Trail Race – 18k
Top 3 males:
- Finn Lydon 01:35:19
- Tom Lines 01:40:08
- Matt Clark 01:43:07
Top 3 females:
- Ellen Downs 01:56:35
- Kirsty Campbell 01:59:01
- Katie Ireland 02:04:44.
Ellen Downs, who lives in Glasgow, said: “I enjoyed the race and being part of the whole weekend.
“The course was hard and more technical than I was expecting, with lots of moorland, bog and wet rock. It was very wild and there were beautiful views.
“I’m sure I’ll be back next year.”
Two more trail races
There are two other trail races, Loch Eilde Mòr Trail Race – 10K and Grey Mare’s Trail Race – 5K. Both are much gnarlier and more fun than many other races or a similar distance that I have experienced/seen.
See Salomon Skyline Scotland for more details about all the races.