Ian Stewart completed victory in the Cape Wrath Ultra yesterday, while Sally Fawcett was top woman in second.
Stewart completed the eight-day 400km race in 50 hours, 39 minutes and 44 seconds, having led from the start at Fort William to the finish at Cape Wrath Lighthouse.
Having finished the race in 2018 but felt he did not do himself justice, he said: “I am really pleased. It was never about racing anyone else but about just having a good eight days of running. That was my best eight days of running ever. Last time, I was broken at the Torridon stage of the race and had to limp to the end. I am very pleased with how the race has gone this time."
Fawcett, who ran some of the way with friend Lisa Watson, who was third, came home in a time of 52:56. Both members of Dark Peak Fell Runners, they held these positions for most of the race, with Watson timed at 53:25:10.
Fawcett said: “I’ve had a brilliant week. It has been more ‘felly’ than I thought it would be and that has suited me. It’s a proper fell runner’s course, is this.
“It is the hardest thing I have done. It’s the tiredness that has been compounded day after day throughout the week. Last night, the lactate I had in my legs was like nothing I have ever had before.
“I never expected to be first lady and second overall. I think it helped that Lisa and I ran together a lot, we motivated each other."
The race covers the Cape Wrath Trail, considered to be the toughest long distance hiking trail in the UK, situated in the north west tip of Scotland. Tough cut-off points each day mean participants had to run at least some of the way. Only 52 - just over half of the starters - reached the finish.
Race director Shane Ohly said of this year's race: “I think it has been special because we are geared up logistically for 300-plus runners and, while the numbers have been reduced due to the pandemic, we can’t really reduce the support for it when you have a vision of what we want the race to be.
“As a result, participants this year have had a very special experience and they have been incredibly well supported from the operational side.
“I also think that the coming-out-of-Covid spirit has really shone through and people have needed that time in the hills and the chance to connect back with the outdoors and ultra running community. It has been tangible.”
Pics: Winner Ian Stewart on day seven and Sally Fawcett at the finish (credit: No Limits Photography)