Skyrunner World Series – Ben Nevis Ultra (120k) & Ring of Steall Skyrace (29k):
Northern Ireland internationals Justin Maxwell (East Coast AC) and Megan Wilson (Dark Peak Fell Runners) continued what has been an excellent weekend for local athletes at the Skyrunner World Series events in the famous Glencoe region of Scotland.
Following on from fellow NI athlete Ryan Stewart’s top performance in the VK less than 24 hours earlier, Justin secured an outstanding 16th place in the inaugural Ben Nevis Ultra and Megan claimed 10th place in the Salomon ‘Ring of Steall’ Skyrace (Saturday 16th September 2017); both faced world class opposition.
The Ben Nevis Ultra kicked off the day’s proceedings at 6am. Starting in Fort Augustus, the 120k route, incorporating 4,000 metres of ascent, weaved it’s way through remote glens, crosses high mountain passes and takes in some of the best Scottish Highland scenery and wilderness. At 90k, participants encountered Ben Nevis Mountain itself, ascending the UK’s tallest peak from the technical Carn Mor Dearg ridge before descending to Fortwilliam and continuing their journey along the West Highland Way to the Kinlochleven finish line. The fact that only just over a quarter of the field made it to the finish line shows just how brutal this event was.
After dealing with some rough boggy terrain in the opening 50k, Justin Maxwell made his way through the field impressively. By half way, he was just outside the top twenty – he reached Ben Nevis in 19th place. A strong final stretch (in the dark) saw the East Coast AC athlete secure an excellent 16th place in 16:09:21; his top twenty finish means that the Justin picks up the associated Skyrunner World Series points.
The Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace covering 29k in distance and 2,500 metres of accumulative ascent and saw the NI competitors encounter plenty of steep climbing/descending and short stretches of scrambling. Megan Wilson led the local contingent home with a stunning performance.
The up and coming star secured 10th place in an excellent time of 4:56:35 – this was enough to take 58th place overall! Like Justin in the Ben Nevis Ultra, Megan’s placing will see her collect Skyrunner World Series points.
BARF’s Brian Linton crossed the Kinlochlevin finish line in 6:19:17 (188th place), a mere twenty seven seconds ahead of Ballymena Runners’ Tim Lowry who recorded 6:19:44 for 189th place.
Provisional results for the Skyline Scotland Skyrunner World Series events are available HERE.