Date Friday 15th April to Sunday 17th April 2011 Dundonell Location Map
Start Location Car Park near Durnamuck
Weather Saturday: Overcast, windy on tops
(7.5°C, 75.5% Humidity, 18.4km/h Wind Speed)
Sunday: Sunny and Blue Skies
(11.0°C, 61.9% Humidity, 16.7km/h Wind Speed)
Accompanied by Scott
Class B
Statistics Day 1 Position: 9/13, Time: 06:49:43, Distance: 32.65km, Ascent: 1237m
Statistics Day 2 Position: 8/13, Time: 06:08:50, Distance: 24.55km, Ascent: 1274m
Overall Statistics Position: 8/13, Time: 12:58:33, Distance: 57.20km, Ascent: 2511m

Friday

Wild camping near the Allt an t-Srathain

Wild camping near the Allt an t-Srathain

I was really looking forward to this year’s Highlander Mountain Marathon. It was red hot at last year’s event (Gairloch was the sunniest location in the UK on that weekend) and with a small field, it meant you spent lots of time on your own. This year’s event centre was located in Ullapool and with no campsite arranged for you on the Friday evening we decided to just wild camp somewhere near the side of the road after we had registered.

The journey up north was uneventful and by 7pm we had arrived in Ullapool and had registered. Our coach pick up time was 7am the following morning. We drove out of the town centre and headed north for a couple of miles. Just as we crossed the Allt an t-Srathian, there was a minor road that headed towards Dhue. Parking up here we found a great place to camp right next to the Allt. I had forgotten to charge up the device that automatically blows up the inflatable bed so there was some fun and games holding it down on Scott’s car whilst we inflated it via the cigarette lighter socket. We chilled out for the rest of the evening then settled down for the night. Continue reading »
Date Saturday 10th April to Sunday 11th April 2010 Location Map
Start Location Gairloch
Weather Sunny and Blue Skies
Accompanied by Scott
Class Score
Statistics Day 1 Position: 13/37, Points: 265, Time: 05:54:16
Statistics Day 2 Position: 15/37, Points: 146, Time: 05:01:25
Overall Statistics Position: 13/37, Points: 411, Time: 10:55:41
Highlander-MM-2010 26

Refreshed and ready for action!

Although the weather was a little cooler in the morning, by the time we had eaten breakfast, packed up our gear and headed up the B8056 to the start at the intersection of the A832, the skies where blue and the sun was beginning to shine. It was definitely going be a another hot day. We dibbed in at the start, grabbed the checkpoint list and began planning our route. There was not going to be a repeat performance of yesterday where we rushed and this time we marked down the score for every checkpoint.

The checkpoints where in a more compact area for day 2 but their locations looked a little more technical and we had 5 hours rather than 6 hours on day One. Our plan was to avoid the high scoring checkpoints to the north-east and the two ’20 point’ checkpoints to the south-east. Instead we would ‘knock-off’ the three nearby 10 pointers and then head into the central band of checkpoints and work our way north-west to the finish where there was a group of six checkpoints in a 2.5km square that we could collect if we had the time.
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Date Saturday 10th April to Sunday 11th April 2010 Location Map
Start Location Gairloch
Weather Sunny and Blue Skies
Accompanied by Scott
Class Score
Statistics Day 1 Position: 13/37, Points: 265, Time: 05:54:16
Statistics Day 2 Position: 15/37, Points: 146, Time: 05:01:25
Overall Statistics Position: 13/37, Points: 411, Time: 10:55:41
Camping at Sands Caravan & Camping

The closest thing to wild camping at a camp site

This was our third mountain marathon but the first time we where running the Highlander and also the first time we had competed in a ‘Score’ class. In a linear class you navigate to a series of markers that must be visited in a specific order and the fastest time (cumulative over two days) is the winner. In the score class each checkpoint is given a value in points and the aim is to visit as many checkpoints as possible, in any order, within a specific time period. The highest score (once again, cumulative over two days) wins. Markers in difficult places are worth more points and there are heavy penalties if you over run the time limit.

The 2010 event was to be held in the area around Gairloch which was pretty exciting as I have never been that far up the west coast. An added bonus was the amazing weather forecast for the weekend (It turned out that Gairloch was the sunniest place in the UK that weekend!) Scott left his car at mine and we headed off up the A9 toward Inverness in the Mazda. We made decent progress and stopped briefly to admire the awesome Slioch before heading into Gairloch itself. We where going to spend the Friday night camping at the Sands Caravan & Camping centre which was located conveniently near the event centre. After setting up our tents, registering at the event centre and grabbing something to eat, we chilled out for a while overlooking the sea and watching the sun set over Skye to the west.
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