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Trotternish Ridge Race
21 May 2013
The day of the inaugural Trotternish ridge race didn’t dawn bright and sunny as the organisers had hoped, but at least it wasn’t raining as the competitors began to assemble at Portree High School.
So it was that 40 hardy souls boarded the bus for the 45 minute trip to Flodigarry. Disgorging in the layby on the side of the road where the race would start, the weather didn’t seem too bad. At 11am the runners set off at a steady pace along the track past Lochs Langaig and Hasco and into the mist. It soon became clear (!) that the weather was going to have a huge impact on the race. Low cloud, which reduced visibility to 50m at best and was often nearer 10m, with a strong north-easterly wind blowing made it a difficult day for all competitors.
The field soon spread out, with the lead runners crossing the Quiraing road after only 35 minutes followed by a succession of others over the next hour. This was always going to be a challenging race, and in the conditions on the day it was to prove even more so: only half of those who started managed to battle their way to the finish.
The race was won by Alec Keith in 3 hours, 19 minutes and 42 seconds, an excellent time given the conditions. In second place, almost an hour later, was Graeme Campbell , with joint third place taken by Alex Glasgow and Ross Creber in just under 5 hours. First lady home was local runner Sarah Stephenson in 5 hours, 38 minutes and 20 seconds. Joint second place was taken by Lizzie Westman and Katie Boocock, closely followed by another local lady, Vicki Dunkel who finished together with Kyla Orr.
The race was a test not only for the runners but also for the organisers and, apart from the weather, it seemed to go without a hitch. Thanks are due to the landowner and Crofters who allowed us to run over their ground, and to Scottish Natural Heritage who issued consent for us to run the race over the Trotternish Ridge Site of Special Scientific Interest. There were many people involved in organising the race, with special thanks to the sweep team and marshals who battled the elements to ensure the safety of the competitors, and to Portree Angling Association who let us have the use of their shed to provide shelter and food at the finish.
The prize giving was held in the Tongadale Hotel in Portree, with prizes donated by Talisker Distillery, and were presented by Skye & Lochalsh Running Club Chairman Phil Dewar. This was followed by a most welcome meal and time to relax and talk of next years’ race...
Trotternish Ridge Race Results:
1. Alec Keith (3 hrs: 19 min: 42 sec);
2. Graeme Campbell (4:14:17);
3= Alex Glasgow & Ross Creber (4:57:20);
5. John Mitchell (5:16:07);
6. Eddie Balfour (5:36:19);
7. Neil MacRury (5:36:40);
8. Jack Scannell (5:36:49);
9. Sarah Stephenson (5:38:20);
10. Niall Till (5:38:41);
11. Neil Turner (5:44:44);
12. Robin Pratt (5:52:44);
13. Eric Gillies (6:05:30);
14= Lizzy Westman & Katie Boocock (6:11:27);
16= Linda MacEwan, Vicki Dunkel & Bryan Johnson (6:11:47);
19= Alexander MacKenzie & Kyla Orr (6:12:20).