Ultra runners Jamie Pallister and Erin Rendall triumphed in the inaugural Moray Way 100. Jamie, 26, finished in 18:01:46, 11 minutes ahead of the runner up. Erin, 28, crossed the line in 22:14:04 and in 10th place overall. She was almost two hours ahead of the second placed female.
The Moray Way 100 route
The race took place on October 2 and started at Grant Park in Forres. Runners headed for the coast at Findhorn, before progressing towards Kinloss, Roseisle Forest, Burghead and Hopeman.
From Hopeman to Covesea, the route takes runners along clifftop trails, then, provided the tide is out, they run along the beach with the lighthouse to their right.
Lossiemouth acts as aid station 1, before runners head into Lossie Forest and on to a huge expanse of beach before Kingston, then Garmouth & Kingston Golf Course. After crossing an old railway bridge, runners turn south towards Fochabers and aid station 2.
Continuing south, the route passes Boat o’ Brig and starts to climb Ben Aigen, which is then followed by a descent into Craigellachie in Speyside.
Next runners follow the Speyside Way to Aberlour and aid station 3 before progressing to Grantown-on-Spey and aid station 4. Next is the Dava Way for the final marathon.
Organisers says it’s all downhill to the finish, as runners head back to Forres with views of the Cairngorms all around and the Moray Firth ahead. The finish is back in Grant Park.
Erin’s Moray Way 100 race report
Winning female Erin Rendall is a fellow member of the Highland Hill Runners. The Moray Way 100 was only her third ultra running race. In 2018, she ran the Speyside Way Ultra (37 miles) and, in 2019, she was second female in the Glenmore 24. She ran 114 miles during the 24-hour non-stop race.
Erin, of Marybank, Ross-shire, was keen to try a 100-mile race and the Moray Way is “fairly close to home, so it seemed like an obvious choice,” she said.
She added: “I also liked the idea of a mix of terrain, including trail, beach, forest and some hills. I felt like the route would be in my comfort zone.”
Training included back-to-back 20-mile training runs. She did one run of more than 30 miles. She also included speed sessions on the flat and hills once or twice each week.
She said: “Basically I did lots of miles, although you always feel you could have done more. I am not sure my training was the best it could have been but I think the most important part was the longer back-to-back days and also the speed sessions.”
Erin, who had a goal of 20 hours to complete the race, revealed it was an enjoyable race with “lots to learn”. She started at 5am on the Saturday and finished at 3am the following day.
She said: “The course is really nice with the expected mix of terrain, which I enjoyed. The sun-rise was also lovely.
“I enjoyed the section along the old railway line, when I was able to switch off and not worry about my footing, but simply run. I got into a real flow on that section. There were some nice hills, too, which I like.”
However, on the day, a few things didn’t go to plan for Erin. She explained: “To start with I had some GI [gastrointestinal] issues from the off, which meant I felt nauseous for a lot of the race.
“I am not sure why this was and I am having to think back over what I ate and why my stomach played up. I’ll need to unpick the fuelling and see what went wrong.
“I also took a few wrong turns although the race is waymarked. Annoyingly, my watch died so I didn’t have the route to follow and there were parts of the race, especially when it was dark, where I wasn’t quite sure about the waymarking. I am sure I ran more than 100 miles overall.
“Because my watch stopped, I also couldn’t keep track of my pace and time so easily.
“It was my first ever 100-mile race and so I knew there would be a lot to learn. And you can’t predict how a long race like this will go because there are so many variables. I have learned a lot to take to other races.”
Although Erin was slower than she has hoped she was still very happy to be the first lady. She said: “I was quite surprised to be the fastest but it was good to be first lady. In a race of 100 miles, everyone is winner.
“I think my time will be easy to beat and I look forward to seeing someone else running faster next time.”
Erin has the Loch Ness 360 Challenge as her next goal in May 2022. She said: “That race will have more hills, which I enjoy.
“I really like the challenge of longer distance races and I find them less stressful than 5ks and 10ks. I think that ultras are more chill and because there is a smaller number of runners there is a friendly environment. I hope to do more of them.”
Other Moray Way Ultra races
November 13, 2021, Dava Way 50k
June 18, 2022 Moray Coastal Trail 50 (50 miles)
August 20, 2022 Speyside way Ultras (35 and 65 miles)