Scot & Nepali Win Inaugural Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra™
“That was typically Scottish - four seasons in one day!” said Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra™ winner Donnie Campbell from Edinburgh after running the inaugural 120k race with 4,000m ascent in 12 hours 20 mins this Saturday. “Rain, wind, snow on top of Ben Nevis and glorious sunshine to finish. I’m happy to get the win on home turf,” said the Team Salomon runner at the finish amongst a sea of cheering crowds and clanging cow-bells at the Ice Factor in Kinlochleven.
Donnie Campbell confirms adds victory at the Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra™ to his impressive and growing ultra running CV © Guillem Casanova
In the dark two hours later, Nepali runner Mira Rai (also team Salomon, recently seen on BBC2’s recent Mountain programme) crossed the finish line 1st for the ladies and 5th overall. She said, “It was super tough!” But her 14 hours 24 minutes through the Scottish glens and over Britain’s highest summit didn’t dilute her famous energy. She magicked her country’s flag from her tiny backpack and proudly raised it to the cheering spectators, lit by headtorches and camera flashes.
The inaugural Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra proved to be a massive test of runner’s determination with the unusually wet summer making conditions tough under foot, for the ~120km race through Scottish Glens, and over the UK’s highest mountain; Ben Nevis. The route is a long, technical Ultra with airy scrambling ridges, remote Highland Glens, multiple river crossings and inevitably, challenging weather conditions.
A highlight for many participants was the airy traverse of the one Scotland’s most famous ridges, the Carn Mor Dearg Arete, leading to the summit of Ben Nevis. © Steve Ashworth
It was an all British podium with second male Casper Kaars Sijpesteijn finishing in 12:39, and third male Michael Jones completing in the course in 13:03. Second female (and 7th overall) was Switzerland's Andrea Huser 14:49, who came 2nd at UTMB just two weeks ago). Third female Moreda Gabaldon Eva Maria from Spain in 15:12.
In keeping with the ethos of the Salomon Skyline Scotland™ races, the route was very challenging with considerable height gain, great variability in the terrain, and multiple river crossings. © Steve Ashworth
The finish rate was less than the organisers expected and this will be discussed in the Race Directors report in due course.