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3 GB Ultras wins in a row for Scott Brown

Written by Fiona

June 14 2024

Ultra runner Scott Brown has added a third win to a list of Scotland’s GB Ultras races. In 2022, the 41-year-old Scot triumphed in the 215-mile Race Across Scotland  and set a new course record in a time of 58 hours, 7 minutes.

The following year, he also won the Ultra Scotland 100, when he ran the 106-mile race in 24:22.  Then, this month, Scott finished first in the Ultra Scotland 50 race, completing the 56 miles in 9:53.

Scott, from Dundonald, Ayrshire, said: “I didn’t have a plan at the start of the GB Ultras Race Across Scotland to do all three races, but I am really happy to have won the three races of different distances and in consecutive years.”

In the 2024 Ultra Scotland 50, Ollie Goddard was second in 10:14, while Gary Pawson was third in 10: 43.

In the women’s race, Jill Mykura set a new female record in 10:40, which gave her third place overall.  Second female was Kelly Marie Staunton in 11:35 and third was Tanya Shields in 12:24.

Scott during this year’s race. Credit: @gbultras
Credit: @gbultras

What are the GB Ultras in Scotland?

The annual Race Across Scotland takes place amid the rolling hills and mountains of scenic southern Scotland.

The route journeys 215 miles, with a total elevation of 7200m, along the Southern Upland Way, from Portpatrick, on the west coast of Dumfries & Galloway, to Cockburnspath, on the east coast of the Scottish Borders.

The Ultra Scotland 100 – actually 106 miles – follows the same way-marked trail from St John’s Town of Dalry to Melrose. It has a total ascent of 4600m. 

The Ultra Scotland 50 – actually 56 miles – is from St John’s Town of Dalry to Moffat and includes 2447m of ascent.

Top three runners in Ultra Scotland 50. Credit: @gbultras
Top three men. Credit: @gbultras

Scott’s triple win

Scott reveals that the toughest of the three races for him was the Ultra Scotland 100. He said: “I didn’t prepare as well as I could for the Ultra 100. It was also a hot day. Not as hot as the year before for the Race Across Scotland, but still around 29C.

“I was much better prepared for the 215-mile race and also for this year’s 56-mile race, but last year there was a lot going on for me.

“I had been training for the HYROX World Champs, as well as doing  longer distance running. Plus I had a couple of event at my gym and we were due to be going on a family holiday. I was stressed with everything so I was not as prepared as I could have been.

“I needed to get gritty to win that race and I was really pleased that I managed it.”

Scott had not planned to do the Scotland Ultra 50. He said: “It was someone in my gym community that suggested I should try to win the third race in the series. Until then, I was thinking, ‘What shall I do next? Maybe I will go back to one of the races I have done before and try to run faster, such as the West Highland Race.’

“But this person planted a seed and I decided to give the Ultra 50 a go.”

Scott enjoys the support of his gym community.
Scott tries to eat during the race. Credit: @gbultras

Scott’s Ultra 50 win

This time, Scott was focused with his training. He said: “I knew I’d need to be faster because it’s a shorter distance. So I prepared with plenty of faster running sessions and strength training. I felt really good as I went into the race.

“However, unexpectedly, I also felt a lot of pressure to perform in this race. People started asking me if I was going for the record and this piled on pressure.

“I never talk much about my races before I do them and it was hard feeling the pressure of expectation.

“On the day, it didn’t go totally to plan although I did feel comfortable for a lot of the race.”

Scott had to deal with a bull in a field close to the start of the Ultra 50 and then, later on, he suffered some stomach issues. 

He said: “I had a lead of about 20 to 25 minutes over the next runner, which was lucky because I had to stop a couple of times due to my stomach. 

“I had thought I might be able to set a new record but the stomach problems meant I ended up off the pace.

“I didn’t mind though because I am not bothered about setting records. I do like to win, however, and it was awesome to take a third win in this series of races.”

One of the highlights for Scott was having plenty of support. He said: “The races are quite local for me and there are usually plenty of people I know there, especially from my gym and coaching community giving me support. This time, I also felt the support of other ultra runners. It was a great race and a really good atmosphere.”

Scott’s love of ultra races

I met Scott when he was taking part in the Dragon’s Back Race. In 2021, the Irvine gym owner came 11th in what is billed as one of the world’s toughest mountain races. 

Scott, who is married with children, has also been successful in a number of other races. He won the St Cuthbert’s Was Ultra 100km and set a new course record. He has won the Peak District Ultra 100k and Ultra Tour of Arran.  Previously, he was seventh in the West Highland Way Race.

Scott, who runs Scott Brown Fitness, said: “I like ultra running because I like being able to escape and explore new places relying only on myself. I like how these races require you to problem solve as you race.

“I also like that there will be some kind of hurt at some point and that I know I will need to work through this.

“I think I am good at getting through the tough times and overcoming obstacles.”

Not every race goes to plan, however. Earlier this year, Scott suffered disappointment in the Spine Race. He said: “I had done well in training but before the race I got a bad cold and a chest infection.

“I thought, two days before,  I’d be fine and so I decided to do the race anyway. Then, only 25 miles in, I got shin splints. I have never had these before.

“My right leg swelled up and it was painful but I dug deep and kept going. I don’t like to give up.

“Sadly, I didn’t perform as well as I should have. That’s just how things go sometimes.”

In other news: Ultra Scotland 100 2024

In the 100-mile race, both the male and female records were broken. Richard Goldsworthy won in 20:20, taking two hours off the previous course record. 

In the women’s race, Rebecca Hormann beat the previous women’s record by five hours, finishing in 24:19.

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