Posted on: 12 Jun 2015

I'm starting another highly original series of countdown blog titles !


In 50 weeks time I will be about to start what will be the biggest physical challenge of my life to date. I mentioned it a month or two ago on here and since then I haven’t been able to shake it, everyday my thoughts drift towards risk and reward of attempting something bigger that I feel Im currently unable to achieve. 50 weeks to prepare for the Cape Wrath Ultra.


It’s a brand new race and takes place 22nd May 2016 lasting 8 days. The course begins in Fort William on the west coast of Scotland and roughly follows the Cape Wrath Trail up to Cape Wrath itself the most north–westerly point of the British Isles. This is what sold it to me:


The Cape Wrath Ultra™ is a once in a lifetime, 8-day expedition race weaving 400km through the Highlands of Scotland. Starting in Fort William, the race will take competitors on an incredible journey linking ancient footpaths and remote tracks to the furthest north-westerly point of the British Isles, Cape Wrath. With towering mountains on one side and the crashing ocean on the other, the Cape Wrath Ultra™ travels through stunning scenery and remote wilderness with every step north.

Winding through the beautiful lochs, glens and mountains of the Scottish Highlands, the Cape Wrath Ultra™ is an ultra-running expedition through some of the World's most inspirational landscapes, including Morar, Knoydart, Kintail, Torridon, Assynt and Sutherland.


The race director says:

“I genuinely believe that the Cape Wrath Ultra™ can become the European equivalent to races like the Marathon de Sables, such is the quality of the challenge and the Scottish landscape. To complete our route over 8 days offers a massive, but attainable, challenge for experienced runners and adventurers.”


So there’s my challenge – a massive but attainable one. It works out at over a marathon a day for 8 straight days covering terrain which will often be far from easy, over munro’s and down steep rocky descents.

At night there won’t be comfy beds and hot baths, there will be 8 man tents and streams to wash in.

The cost of all this put me off initially ( surely you should be paid to do this some might say ) , its an expensive event but my wife encouraged me to do it because she realised that I kept talking about it. I do see it as a once in a lifetime experience. If I make it to the end I will have given myself a gift to be proud of and memories that I hope will live with me forever. That is worth saving up for.


When I first ran a marathon only 6 years ago it was a challenge in itself. A daunting adventure into unknown territory. It opened up the next challenge to me of running a fast marathon but again this threw up new obstacles and barriers, these are what motivated me. I feel in need to ask these questions of myself when I run and the Cape Wrath Ultra may well be the biggest question yet. One thing is absolutely certain, I would not have even considered it if I hadn’t decided to join this community. Realbuzz and more specifically a group of people who blog here have opened up bigger horizons for me, taught me to believe that we are all capable of more than we think we are and given me a sense or purpose and direction in running that I hope stays with me for many more years.  


As this countdown begins I know that I will have help and encouragement, I know that I am accountable to people whom I respect and I know that many of you will be following my satellite tracker as it moves North through Scottish wilderness next May. 

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