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Shorter option introduced for Cape Wrath Ultra running event

By John Davidson

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A multi-day 400km run culminating in a finish in the far north-west is offering people a – relatively – gentler experience.

The Cape Wrath Ultra sees participants running the distance through remote and mountain terrain in the Highlands over eight days.

Now organisers Ourea Events are offering a half-distance version of the challenge to give people a taste of what's on offer.

Amy Sutherland and Andrey Prihodko in action during the 2022 Cape Wrath Ultra. Picture: Cape Wrath Ultra/No Limits Photography
Amy Sutherland and Andrey Prihodko in action during the 2022 Cape Wrath Ultra. Picture: Cape Wrath Ultra/No Limits Photography

It says that runners can now choose to take on shorter courses at the Cape Wrath Ultra from May 21-28 as well as at its other event in Wales, the Montane Dragon’s Back Race, which takes place in September.

The shortened options – dubbed Explorer and Hatchling – are designed to make the races more inclusive, for those who want to experience the journeys but don’t feel able to complete the full distance, or want to build up to that in a future year, Ourea Events said.

The Cape Wrath Explorer has been pitched as a "choose-your-own adventure" in which participants can decide to tackle part of the route each day, typically either the first half or the second half. Race organisers have built in flexibility so that runners can mix and match which half they attempt on any given day.

Each participant will still benefit from the full race infrastructure and experience, including the overnight camps and the finish line at Cape Wrath Lighthouse. Each finisher of the shorter version of the race will receive an Explorer memento.

The full Cape Wrath Ultra is an eight-day, 400km running adventure through the Highlands, leading to the north-westerly point of the British Isles. Runners travel through some of Scotland’s most spectacular landscapes, including Knoydart, Kintail, Torridon, Assynt and Sutherland.

Shane Ohly of Ourea Events said: “We know that the running public’s interest in ultras is greater than ever and we’re now able to offer options that are that bit more inclusive and feasible for a lot of aspiring participants.

"The Cape Wrath Ultra Explorer and Montane Dragon’s Back Race Hatchling are both serious and significant undertakings in their own rights, so those mementoes will be well earned. At the same time, I hope that they will entice a few more people to test themselves with a multi-day ultra, and perhaps even use the events as stepping stones towards attempting the full distance races in years to come.”

Ourea Events does not use any signs or waymarking to mark the event routes and participants are required to use a combination of traditional navigational skills with a map and compass, supplemented by modern GPS technology.

The event team sets up a campsite and catering each night, removing everything the following morning as they move along the route.

Full details of the Cape Wrath Ultra and Explorer can be found at www.capewrathultra.com and entries are open now.

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