Race Director's Report - Salomon Skyline Scotland™ 2017
28th Sep 2017
“What a cool race! Glen Coe Skyline is absolutely one (the one) to do!” - Kilian Jornet, 2017 Salomon Glen Coe Skyline™ winner - ©guillemcasanova.com
As many of you will know, I always write an honest and thoughtful Race Director’s report in the week after each event that I organise. Unusually, my Race Director’s report for Salomon Skyline Scotland™ has been delayed until now. Truth be told, my team and I have been exhausted after organising three large events spread over three weekends, i.e. within two weeks of each other! It was a stretch for us, but by far, the sequence of events has been highly successful and the time since Salomon Skyline Scotland™ has given me some more time to read feedback and reflect.
Salomon Skyline Scotland™ is an incredibly complex and dynamic event, the planning of which began immediately after the 2016 edition. Likewise, the planning for 2018 began many months ago. I don’t believe that there have ever been two Skyrunner World Series™ races held simultaneously before, so holding the Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra™ and Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace™ on the same day was always going to test us. I’ll admit that in the weeks leading up to the event, I wondered if we had bitten off more than we could chew!
A large, international event does not happen without considerable support. Salomon Skyline Scotland™ has received fantastic support from the local community in Kinlochleven and surrounding areas, and from runners/enthusiasts across Europe who signed up to join our Event Team.
Friday morning's event team briefing in the Ice Factor - ©guillemcasanova.com
The event was only possible thanks to the sterling efforts of an incredibly dedicated Event Team of over 100 people. As the organiser, I owe them a huge debt, as do the participants. Like many sporting events, we are dependent on the goodwill of a large volunteer team, and they contributed enormously to the successful weekend. Event Team roles were highly varied, from long shifts on remote Munro summits, to catering, to marshalling the kids' race, marking the courses and much, much more. Below is a list of everyone who helped. I hope I have not missed anyone. Please don’t hesitate to thank them directly whenever you may meet them.
|Abbi Forsyth||Joe Faulkner|
|Alan Cormack||John Irvine|
|Alex Chesters||John Mcintosh|
|Alexander Major||Kate Worthington|
|Andrea Wolfe||Kevin Nairn|
|Ann Perry||Kevin Powderly|
|Aoife Burke||Kirsty Maguire|
|Aurore Portrait||Lawrie Jones|
|Becci Leung||Liam Allen|
|Becky Tate||Lonneke Reger|
|Ben Holmes||Lorna Sinclair|
|Benjamin Portrait||Louise Watson|
|Brian Melia||Lyndsay McEwen|
|Carmine De Grandis||Lyndsay Ross|
|Caroline Crosbie||Martyn Neilson|
|Carwyn "Caz' Phillips||Matt Gemmell|
|Chris Baynham-Hughes||Matt Harmon|
|Chris Ohly||Max Hunter|
|Christine Grant||Miles Gibson|
|Colin Abercrombie||Nathan Turney|
|Colin Harding||Neal Bailey|
|Craig Collin||Nick Stafford|
|Craig Kingston||Nicola Richards|
|Dave Anderson||Paul Imrie|
|Dave Taylor||Peter Sunnucks|
|Duncan Kendrick||Philip Wilkinson|
|Duncan Tunstall||Rachel Platt|
|Elizabeth Wood||Richard Beard|
|Emily Ravenhill||Richard Lander Stow|
|Emma Dent||Rob O'Loughlin|
|Gareth Clarke||Rob Sanderson|
|Gareth Swain||Robert Ross|
|Gary Tompsett||Roger Clark|
|Geoff Cox||Ross Christie|
|Gillian Parker||Rowena McIntosh|
|Gordon Gillespie||Sarah Roscoe|
|Graham Gristwood||Shan Jones|
|Guido Althausen||Sharon Taylor|
|Heather Ohly||Simon Dixon|
|Helen Samson||Stephen Gillies|
|Iain Murrey||Steve Arden|
|Iain Simpson||Stewart Caithness|
|Ian Cowie||Stuart Smith|
|Ian Marshall||Sue Dowker|
|Jake Pidcock||Susan Nash|
|Jamie Bankhead||Susan Nichol|
|Jasmin Paris||Tim Glasby|
|Jenni Whittaker||Tom Booth|
|Jessica Ainslie||Tom Hecht|
|Jim Imber||Tom Withers|
|Jo Gibbs||Zac Poulton|
Our title sponsor Salomon had a huge impact on the event by bringing almost every member of their International Running Team, and being instrumental in inviting a larger number of other elite athletes. Without doubt this was an incredible line up of the who’s who of global mountain running. Alongside Event Scotland, their financial support also contributed to the cost of technology like our GPS Tracking, Live Race Timing and the big screen at the Event Centre. Salomon also brought a large media team to the event, and they contributed massively to the communication of the event via social media on race day and immediately afterwards (if you haven’t seen the footage of Kilian Jornet running along the Aonach Eagach and descending at speed from Stob Coire nam Beith… then you must watch it, now!). Over the coming months there will be a massive quantity of additional media coverage in print and on television, and hopefully you have found and enjoyed the numerous videos and photographs taken by the many fans and spectators of the event, shared on social media.
I would also like to thank the local community in Kinlochleven who have been very welcoming. In particular, Marian and Jayne from the Kinlochleven Community Trust. Alongside Tracey Smith’s team at the Ice Factor, they have made a big contribution to the success of the event.
The National Trust for Scotland, The John Muir Trust, Gupta Family Group, Bidwells, Scottish Natural Heritage, Police Scotland and the Highland Council must also be thanked for their considered feedback on our event plans and consent to proceed.
• Bidwells Land & Estate Agents, and their tenants
• Blackwater Hostel
• Brae Roy Estate
• Culachy Estate
• Drummin and Melgarve owner
• Ellis Brigham
• Event Scotland
• Farmers of River Spean Strath
• Forestry Commission Scotland
• Fort Augustus Community Council
• Frette Rogerson PR
• Glen Nevis Visitor Centre
• Glenshero Estate
• Gupta Family Group (SIMEC/Liberty)
• Harvey Maps
• Highland 4x4 Response
• Highland Council
• Highland Getaway
• Ice Factor
• International Skyrunning Federation
• John Muir Trust
• Kinlochleven High School
• Kinlochleven Salvation Army
• Kinlochleven Community Council
• Kinlochleven Community Trust
• Lochaber Chamber of Commerce
• National Trust for Scotland
• Nevis Partnership
• Nevis Range Mountain Experience
• Outdoor Capital of the UK Lochaber
• Police Scotland
• Scottish Mountaineering Council
• Scottish Natural Heritage
• Skyman SA
• The Leven Centre
• West Highland Way Rangers
Challenges at the Event
Overall, the event has undoubtedly been hugely successful, but it still had its general challenges, and I’ll briefly discuss these here. First, if I rewind back to 2016, we had trouble with the reliability of our radio communications, so in the early months of 2017, we returned to Scotland with team of volunteers, a new digital UHF radio system and tested the system in place. This means operating a communication hub in Kinlochleven, moving a mountain summit based repeater to multiple locations, and simultaneously visiting every checkpoint on the Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace and Salomon Glen Coe Skyline™ (and some of the latter checkpoints on the Ben Nevis Ultra™). This took a large team, many days of effort to ensure that we had reliable communications with each checkpoint ready for the 2017 event. The reason that I mention this is that we had a challenge, we invested time and effort into remedying it, and had a robust solution ready for the next edition of the event in 2017. I’ll take the same approach to the challenges that we had this year, so that each edition of the race steps up in terms of the overall quality and individual athlete experience.
Event village mid-race rejig on Saturday in preparation for the first Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra competitor ©Tom Hecht
By some measure the biggest challenge we face is just the sheer speed at which the event has grown. Despite booking significantly more accommodation for 2017 compared to 2016, we were still very tight as we tried to accommodate the Event Team, Officials, and Elite Athletes. The Event Team took the brunt of this difficulty, and a number ending up camping out on the floor of the Leven Centre (where registration was held). This was not our intention, and falls below our expectations for looking after the Event Team, and we already have a much better plan for 2018. Likewise, the athletes had a degree of uncertainty about what accommodation was available on what nights, and having travelled and raced internationally myself, I fully understand how unsettling this can be, when all you want to do is focus on your race. Again, we will be booking a significantly larger amount of accommodation for athletes in 2018. Whilst the accommodation challenge was frustrating for all concerned, it is something we can improve upon, as we get a better measure of the requirements of the event.
The Event Team in 2016 had 60 members… the Event Team in 2017 had over 100! On the Friday and Sunday, we had sufficient team members to cover the races, but on the Saturday with two races taking place simultaneously every member of the Event Team was deployed at times, and I would have preferred to have more staff working on some aspects of the event. Basically, we were stretched. It worked, but it was big ask of the Event Team, and again, I want to emphasise my thanks for their hard work and dedication to delivering a world-class event. I would prefer that our Event Team were not worked so hard, and with our other large events like the Berghaus Dragons Back Race™, it has taken several editions to really get a handle on efficient staffing systems. I can see a way forward for Salomon Skyline Scotland™, and it involves more efficient management of the team for certain, potentially growing the team and/or growing the event programme so that the event is held over 4 days with only one race per day. We will reflect on these options in the coming weeks, as we confirm the dates for the 2018 event with the International Skyrunning Federation. Your comments are welcome.
Race Director Shane Ohly pours over the event team organigram ©Tom Hecht
The bottom line for us an organisation team, is that the event has exploded from nothing, to the pinnacle mountain running event in the world in just three years. It’s a phenomenal rate of change to manage, and resourcing the growth (resources like accommodation and the Event Team) has meant that we continually revisited our planning in the lead-up to the event.
Steep doesn't even begin to cover it!
Steep doesn't even begin to cover it! The first instalment of high-octane mountain running kicked off Salomon #SkylineScotland today with the UK's only Vertical Kilometer®, part of the Vertical Kilometer World Circuit.Posted by Salomon Mamores VK on Friday, 15 September 2017
Salomon Mamores VK™
In terms of organisational complexity, the Salomon Mamores VK™ is by far the easiest of our races. However, that doesn’t mean running the course is easy! The route winds up through the Grey Mare’s Tail forest on good trails before breaking out of the tree line and tackling the flanks of Na Gruagaichean direct. This section of the route is steep, wet and trackless. There is then a wonderful rocky ridge leading to the 1056m high Munro summit with panoramic views in all directions.
Quite frankly, the speed at which the World’s best ascend this course is incredible. Salomon athlete Stian Angermund-Vik from Norway, and team mate Laura Orgué from Spain both improved the men’s and women’s 2016 records. Stian ran 42:04, beating Scott Sports athlete Alexis Sévennec’s 2016 record of 42:17, and Laura ran the 5k in 52:22, knocking two minutes off Georgia Tindley’s 2016 record of 54:34.
Time to celebrate with a summit selfie at the top of the VK; Beth Hanson (2nd women) features on the left ©guillemcasanova.com
It was great to see two Brits finish second with Sam Tosh just edging 2016 winner Alexis Sévennec into third by a few seconds. Likewise, Beth Hanson only just missed out on the overall win by a few seconds.
The 30 second to one minute start interval works well, and I like the way that runners are pulsed out onto the course, generally with the faster runners starting later, but everyone having a person to chase, and the fear of being chased.
When we created this race, we wanted the experience to be quintessentially Scottish, and the nature of the running is very different to most VK’s found in Europe, which often follow well established paths or even ski pistes. Currently, the Salomon Mamores VK™ is the UK’s only VK and whilst it is certain to attract the leading runners competing in the Vertical Kilometer World Circuit, we hope that it also remains an achievable challenge for less experienced (and speedy) runners because of the flexible start times, which leave plenty of time to ascend and descend the mountain.
- Official results for the 2017 Salomon Mamores VK
- 'Salomon Mamores VK Course Records Smashed' - 15.09.2017
Scottish ridge running at its finest
Thrilling & airy traverses + big drops = Scottish ridge running at its finest! That was the Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace, the 2nd of the Salomon #SkylineScotland weekend, part of Skyrunning's Skyrunner® World Series 2017. #SWS2017 #LessCloudMoreSkyPosted by Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace on Saturday, 16 September 2017
Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace™
The feedback from this race is universally brilliant. The route lends itself perfectly to Skyrunning with steep ascents, scree descents, rough ground and airy ridges, but remaining on trails for almost every step of the route. The course enables the best athletes to run always, whilst others, will resort to walking the uphill sections. It’s a classic Skyrunning route that has many similarities to the famous Alpine races, but with the bonus of the ‘Scottish’ experience!
There is no doubt that the route offers a world class Skyrunning challenge for the elite runners, but it is also suitable for novice mountain runners. For the elite runners, the thrill of being in 500 strong field should never be underestimated, and for everyone else, the opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder with some the best runners in the world, and see exactly how you measure up, is a fantastic and memorable experience.
“I feel quite tired but it was a fantastic weekend! It was a dream to win both races. I didn’t expect it. Today I was suffering a lot, especially on the downhill but it’s so fantastic to be back, I really love the mountains here. This race is so beautiful, amazing ridges…”.
- Stian Angermund-Vik - Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace™ winner 2016 and 2017 ©guillemcasanova.com
When a race event goes very well, it is too easy to think it was straight forward to organise. That is definitely not the case! Over the years, we have engaged the various stakeholders along the route, who are most notably the John Muir Trust, Scottish National Heritage and Bidwells (the land agents for SIMTEC/Liberty), to ensure that we have a sustainable and well managed event. A tremendous amount of work goes into the pre-event work up, like the testing of the new digital UHF radio system earlier in 2017, which I have described above. Another example would be the numerous site visits with the John Muir Trust to finalise the best possible route through the Nevis Gorge, where there have been fatal accidents over the years.
On the day, there is the large Event Team that is deployed to the course in various roles, so that the race can proceed safely and to plan. This includes the team at the Start, at each Checkpoint, at the Support Point, the Medical Team, the First Response Team, the Radio Repeater Team. Back at base there is the Safety Monitoring team watching the GPS tracking data, and live timing data. A Team coordinating from our communications HQ, and more. I could go on… I haven’t even touched on the reporting, photography, filming etc etc! The bottom-line is that huge team effort is required to deliver this race, and as I said earlier, I am hugely grateful to the Event Team who make this happen on the day.
“I loved this race, the terrain, the mountains and the challenge. It was a close race and I had to fight which is good. It feels very different to the other races on the SWS calendar and I think it may be my favourite – Ioved it!”
Laura Orgué - Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace™ winner 2017 ©guillemcasanova.com
- Official results for the 2017 Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace
- 'Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace Course Records Fall Again' - 16.09.2017
Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra 2017
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. Edinburgh athlete Donald Campbell won the men’s race, with Nepal’s Mira Rai dominating the women’s race to finish 5th overall.Posted by Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra on Wednesday, 20 September 2017
Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra™
Clearly there is much to consider for this race, and reactions are of the Marmite variety, with some people loving the race, and others disliking it, with the split almost exactly 50/50 between those that finished (liked it), and those that did not (disliked it).
If we just step back for a moment, and reflect that from the moment the race was announced it was described by us as, “almost certainly the UK’s toughest 100km+ Ultra route”, with a “provisional distance of ~110km”. The statistics show that out of 113 starters, 40 people finished the race; a completion rate of 35%.
I believe that there is real problem with so many events describing themselves as “the toughest”, “the hardest” etc. when in reality they are actually quite average in difficulty. For future reference, please note that when I say a race is “almost certainly the UK’s toughest 100km+ Ultra route” I really do mean it. We have been careful never to title or describe the race as an Ultra Trail race, yet it is clear many participants expected a continuous trail.
I could pick further choice quotes from the event website, but I felt that the nature of the challenge was clearly communicated prior to the event. However, the fact that so many participants clearly expected a continuous trail, and were surprised by the boggy sections challenges this perception. Whether this reflects a fault in our description of the course, or lack of attention to the details by the participants can be debated, but overall, it would be better for everyone if the nature of the challenge was clearly understood by all.
We always state the distance as provisional before the first edition of a race. During 2016/2017 a huge consultation process occurred with the various stakeholders, landowners, agents and agencies along the proposed route. It is usually that as access is negotiated and confirmed that the route is pushed and pulled in certain directions, usually adding and subtracting to the overall distance in equal measure. On this occasion, most finalisations of the course added distance, and the course grew to 118km. We realised that this would make the course even more challenging to complete, and consequently offered an earlier bus, earlier start time, and caressed the cut offs as much as we could within our logistical plan.
The very wet late summer clearly contributed to the difficulty of the course, with underfoot conditions being boggy in some sections of the course. As I have read the feedback and comments about the race though, I have been struck by many exaggerations about the bogginess’s of the terrain, with one participant describing “25 miles of waist deep bog”. Please remember that both Gary Tompsett (the course planner) and I know this course intimately, have run (and mountain biked) it in various seasons, in rain and snow, and these types of descriptions are not representative of the course.
"It's different beautiful. I like it, and I love it also. It's very grass and not, you know, Himalayan, but not so high. It is cold, maybe snowing, raining, it's good. I like it".
Mira Rai, Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra™ 2017 Winner ©guillemcasanova.com
I’d like to address a few more repeated inaccuracies about the race:
Drop Bags: There have been complaints that no drop bags were allowed. This was clear from the start, and we never indicated that drop bags would be allowed, and the ethos of the race is that participants must be self-sufficient, outside of the Support Points. This is what we described, and this is how it was delivered.
No Safety Briefing: There was no oral safety briefing, and we never planned to give one. However, every participant is given a printed briefing at registration with the most essential information on it, and every participant was emailed the final event information. It is the participants’ responsibility to read and understand this information.
Cut-Offs: Several runners have claimed they arrived before the cut off time but were prevented from continuing. This is incorrect and these claims are not supported by the GPS Tracking and Race Timing data, and evidence provided by the Event Team present. The cut-offs throughout the course have as much to do with logistics, and Event Team welfare as they do with participants’ ability to complete the course. It doesn’t matter who you are, the cut-offs were never flexible on a case-by-case basis, and this was crystal clear in all the information provided pre-event on the website and in our email communications.
SOS Functionality on GPS Trackers: Despite their very best intentions and preparation work behind the scenes, our supplier of GPS Trackers was unable to provide the expected number of GPS Trackers with the SOS Function button enabled. We made the decision that rather than mixing Trackers that did, and did not, have the SOS Button functionality it would be better to have the same Trackers for everyone, across all three long races. This decision was balanced against the fact that the SOS Button only works when there is mobile phone reception (i.e. if you need help you can use a mobile phone), and that there would be many Event Team members on the course (Checkpoints, Support Points, Medical Team, First Response Team and Roving), including a sweeper team for each section of the course following behind the last runner.
Support Points: We have had mixed reports about the Support Points. I’ll be honest and say we set ourselves a high target of providing excellent support at these locations: Our stated goal was to provide water, coke, tea and coffee, bananas, oranges, malt loaf, cake, flapjack, peanuts, sandwiches and soup, alongside massage, medical, and toilets. I know that each support point had these components, but this was clearly not every participant’s experience. For example, claims that hot soup was not available is just incorrect, but frustration at waiting for a hot soup to be made is subjective, expectations of “homemade soup” over instant soup are surprising. Complaints that no massage was available are incorrect, but when I checked with the massage therapists, they say that no-one asked for a massage. For the record, there was a massage therapist and medic at each Support Point. Overall, I think that more Event Staff were needed at the Support Points to deal with the peak times, and that this would have made visibility and access to the facilities and services clearer and easier for everyone. We also need to ensure that infrastructure such as shelters, tables and chairs are increased in number, and actually deployed from the vehicles! Certainly, it has been frustrating for me as the Race Director to watch some of the participant’s video footage showing a support point without the event shelters and gazebo erected, but knowing they were available and in the event vehicle close by. Let me be crystal clear on this point, this is an organisational failure of not briefing the Event Team properly, and/or expecting too much from them, on a tight time frame. This is something that as the Race Director I take ultimate responsibly for. The good news, is that a problem like this is a very easy fix for the next edition. Overall, by no means do I feel that we have failed here, but I do understand that tired competitors, after a harder than expected stage, perhaps in the dark and rain, expected it to be easier for them at the Support Points. We can do better, and we will do better.
GPS Tracking and Race Timing data: There was a problem with some participants not punching the SI Timing box at some checkpoints, and some Support Points, (especially post-Cut-Off time, when a second ‘Retiral SI Box’ was also in use). Some participants punched when they arrived, and others punched when they left. This has led to a slightly confusing picture in the results, and is basically down to human error on all sides. We can do a better job of ensuring that our Event Team are well briefed on what is required, and in the meantime we have been working with SPORTident to tidy up the results.
Signage/Waymarking: Overall the signage worked extremely well, and an enormous effort went into waymarking the race route. (These waymarking volunteers usually become the tail-end participants and signage sweepers on the race day, and for two long sections were joined by 4WD vehicles). Yes, there were occasions when people briefly lost the route, and with one exception, I think that is as much down to lack of concentration, rather than infrequent or ineffective signing. The exception was a section on Ben Nevis, where we now know that an outdoors walking group removed a section of signs. We believe this was done with the best intentions, rather than as an act of sabotage, and we have already devised a new communication plan for people on Ben Nevis who interact with the race and race signs. An obvious improvement that we can make is to include reflective material on all the signs that we place in sections where we anticipate runners will be in the dark, and participants should consider this the plan for all future (night) waymarked routes at this event.
Clearly many participants in the race were disappointed not to finish, and I would like to be clear that we do not ‘design in failure’ to the course as a few runners have suggested. Yes, we wanted the race route to be tough, but the last thing we want is to disappoint our customers. I felt that we had fairly described the course, and made the nature of the challenge clear, and certainly many participants agree with this, but a significant number do not.
One consistent comment is that a single earlier start would make the course achievable for many more participants. This would, of course, be true. Nothing beats running the event for the first time, and now we have lots of splits data for each stage, that supersedes our test data from test running the course earlier in the year, this will enable us to recalibrate the course start time and/or finish time.
However, the future of this course is currently unclear. Not because I am unhappy with the course (far from it, in fact). But because the International Skyrunning Federation standard for Ultra races is changing, with the overall distance being reduced to a maximum of 99km in 2018, and less again in 2019 for Skyrunner® World Series races. At least two options are possible. E.g.:
1) We redesign (shorten) the course to meet the new International Skyrunning Federation standard
2) We spin off this course into a standalone event, and create a brand new ‘ultra’ course for the Salomon Skyline Scotland weekend
As soon as we conclude our 2018 negotiations with the International Skyrunning Federation, we will confirm our plans with you.
"The Ben Nevis hill race is one of the oldest races in the world. It's great to now have such a massive ultra going over the top of it. It's really exciting to have so many great athletes come to Scotland and be able share these trail with them."
Donnie Campbell - Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra™ 2017 Winner ©guillemcasanova.com
It would be remiss not to mention the impressive performances of the leading runners. We all agree that ground conditions were far from optimal, and yet Donnie Campbell completed the course in 12:20 for a very impressive win. He was followed in second place by Casper Kaars Sijpesteijn in 12:39, who won the Lakeland 50 earlier this year. Then 2017 Lakeland 100 winner Michael Jones finished in third place in a time of 13:03.
In the women’s race, Nepal’s Mira Rai stormed to 5th place overall and 1st female in 14:24 and confirmed her world-class reputation as an ultra-running legend. Switzerland’s Andrea Huser came in second in 14:49, and the international top three was completed by Spain’s Eva Moreda in 15:12.
On a final note, I would like to offer my congratulations to everyone who took part in the race. It was super tough. It was never going to be easy, and although a DNF is always a bitter pill to swallow, everyone should be justifiably proud of the effort they put in to the race.
- Official results for the 2017 Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra
- 'Scot & Nepali Win Inaugural Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra' - 16.09.2017
2017 Salomon Glen Coe Skyline
Ready.. steady.. COE! The 55km/4500m finale of both #SkylineScotland and the 2017 EXTREME Skyrunner® World Series.Posted by Salomon Glen Coe Skyline on Sunday, 17 September 2017
Salomon Glen Coe Skyline™
There is absolutely no doubt that the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline has exploded onto the global mountain running scene, and is widely considered the pinnacle mountain running event in the world. As Kilian Jornet said, “Glen Coe Skyline is absolutely one (the one) to do!”
On the morning of the race, I wake from an exhausted sleep with nagging unease. I glance at my watch… Holy ****! It’s 06:45: The race starts in fifteen minutes - I’d not set my alarm correctly when I fell into bed a few hours before! I rush to the start, expecting there to be a mountain of things to organise. However, I am greeted by a friendly ‘morning’ from the Event Team, and the sight of efficient organisation of the start process. Everything is in place, and the Start Team are totally on it, and the participants have just started filing into the start pens. Wow! This is an amazing experience for me as the Race Director; the Event Team are really running the show, and they are doing a great job! All that is left for me is a short start line pep talk and to set the runners off.
"...the absolute limit of what is possible in a mountain race without ropes, harnesses and helmets."
(First Human) Jon Albon - Salomon Glen Coe Skyline™ 2017 ©guillemcasanova.com
Like the Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace, the race went extremely well; again, with universally excellent feedback. However, the yearlong process of consultations and planning is a large part of the reason for this, and it is too easy to overlook this on the day. The race runs smoothly because of all the background work beforehand, and then because of the tremendous effort of the Event Team on the day. Just like the Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace™, there was a huge mobilisation of the Event Team members into many roles both on the course and at the Event Centre to make it all happen. Thank you.
Ian Corless summed up the results perfectly, describing Jon Albon as the ‘first human’ with Kilian Jornet taking the win. Alexis Sévennec finished third.
Having made a comeback from injury this year, it was brilliant to see Emelie Forsberg win again, after she won the inaugural race in 2015, and became such a great advocate for the race with other elite runners. We really owe her a big thank you. US runner, Megan Kimmel came in second, and Holland’s Ragna Debats finished off the women’s podium in third place.
"I so love this race and Scotland. It reminds me of Norway but it is also so different, just amazing!"
Emelie Forsberg - Salomon Glen Coe Skyline 2017 Winner ©guillemcasanova.com
- Official results for the 2017 Salomon Glen Coe Skyline
- 'Kilian Jornet & Emelie Forsberg Star At The Salomon Glen Coe Skyline' - 17.09.2017
Post Event Economic Impact Survey
It is very important for us to collect economic impact data from the event. Please take 5 minutes to complete this simple online survey. This survey is for anyone who had an entry, regardless of whether they participated on race day. Everyone who completes the survey will be entered into a draw for a guaranteed free entry to the race of their choice (subject to vetting for the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline™!) in 2018.
GPS Track Downloads
Competitors can download their GPS tracker data below (these are zip files appropriate for downloading via your desktop or laptop [not mobile] sorry). Apologies, we cannot help with any technical enquiry associated with these files - perhaps ask around in the Salomon Skyline Scotland Facebook group if you're stuck.
If you were racing, chances are that you've been captured en route - search by your race number on yourepics.com
If the search turns up nothing don't despair - check through all the photos by choosing number '0000' in case yours was covered up or unreadable by the photographer.
1% For The Planet Donations
Since the launch of Ourea Events, we have be donating 1% of our turnover to environmental organisations through our 1% For The Planet membership, and we will be donating 1% of the entire event revenue from Salomon Skyline Scotland™ to local organisations involved in environmental sustainability and protection. Details of our 2017 donations will be confirmed in early 2018, and you can see our track record on the Ourea Events website.
Salomon Skyline Scotland 2018
We hope to confirm the dates for Salomon Skyline Scotland™ 2018 by the end of October 2017. However, this does depend on the finalisation of the Skyrunner® World Series, and Vertical Kilometer® World Circuit calendars. Please ensure you are signed up to our email database to be first to know!
We look forward to welcoming you back to Scotland in 2018.
Meanwhile, we'd encourage you to check out other races organised by Ourea Events, including the SILVA Great Lakeland 3Day (friendly, relaxed 3-day event), 10Peaks (24-hour ultra challenges in the Lakes and Brecon Beacons), and the incredible 400km, 8-day Cape Wrath Ultra - do you dare?