We’ve been to the Cape Wrath Challenge races every year since its initiation in 2002, and usually run the marathon. With Sally’s London Marathon Good-for-Age time for 2018 in the bag from last year’s Edinburgh race , we could do the much tougher Cape Wrath marathon without time pressure. My view of marathons times has evolved. In the early 80s I was only a couple of minutes shy of sub-3. By the late 90s and early 2000s my view was that if it was sub-4 it still counted as running. By now, if I get to the finish before Sally has got bored waiting for me that’s a plus.
The Cape Wrath Marathon is a 22-mile out and back (with 2400 feet of climb) to the lighthouse on the most north-westerly tip of the mainland, followed by a timed-out ferry crossing before the final 4+ miles to the village hall in Durness. The road on the Cape has deteriorated over the years and is now a rock-strewn, pot-holed track. The out-and-back route and the staggered start times means that you see pretty much everyone else in the race in one or both directions and gives the added challenge of holding off the runners starting 20, 40 or 60 minutes behind you.
I held off virtually no one. Sally disappeared into the distance. Adam Ward passed me commenting that he wanted to hold off Angela, who started 40 minutes behind him. Sally just about held off Angela, who started 60 minutes behind her. Angela, despite just “running for fun” was first woman and 10th overall. Sally made another Good-for-Age time. I had a personal worst by a considerable margin; it just wasn’t my day.
1st – Sam O’Neil (Headington Road Runners) 2.44.44, 10th (1st F) – Angela Mudge 3.26.43, 41st – Adam Ward 4.13.56, 50th – Sally Cross 4.25.46, 75th – Ian Jackson 5.05.31
93 finishers. Full results are here: http://capewrathchallenge.co.u