News - Thu 26th Sep 2019 - 2019 Race Director's Report - Salomon Skyline Scotland

2019 Race Director's Report

26th Sep 2019

The rise of Salomon Skyline Scotland™ is unprecedented. After hosting the hugely successful Skyrunning World Championships in 2018 we set ourselves an almost impossible challenge to improve the event again in 2019.

2019 Salomon Skyline Scotland Highlights

3 days, 7 races | Watch >2000 runners tackling some of the world's most technical sky- & trail running on some of the world's finest mountain terrain; the Scottish Highlands That was @Salomon #SkylineScotland 2019 Salomon Running | Red Bull Adventure | Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports | VisitScotland See you in September 2020? Summit Fever Media | Steve Ashworth | Calum Maclean

Posted by Salomon Glen Coe Skyline on Tuesday, 24 September 2019


The strength of the event has always been it’s incredibly tough and authentic mountain running races, which have garnered international acclaim; they are the key ingredient to the global reputation that Salomon Skyline Scotland™ has earnt. On reflection during the winter of 2018/19 it occurred to us that the strength of these races also spotlighted the future direction for the event with a more encompassing atmosphere and achievable set of trail races as a counterbalance. Throughout 2019, and in conjunction with Event Scotland, we have worked incredibly hard to develop the format of Salomon Skyline Scotland™ so that it becomes the defining mountain running festival in the UK. The addition of the brand village, the free to attend Skyline Sessions, and three awesome new Trail Races have combined perfectly to see this dream a reality. 


Salomon Glen Coe Skyline - Start Line - Copyright No Limits Photography

The start of the iconic Salomon Glen Coe Skyline ©No Limits Photography 


With the continued growth in the event it is only right and proper that we are held to high standards in all our planning and delivery. With this in mind we inaugurated a new working group earlier this year to ensure that there was a forum for all the event stakeholders to engage with us. This is of course in addition to the considerable individual liaison we do with the stakeholders year-round. Whether we are dealing directly with local residents, the Kinlochleven Community Trust, Kinlochleven Community Council, Scottish Natural Heritage, Highland Council, John Muir Trust, National Trust for Scotland and JAHAMA Highland Estates among many many others, we want to be seen to be acting with integrity and respect at all times as we collaborate with the event stakeholders. 

On a personal note, I am well aware of the potential ecological impact of the event and we have worked closely with the various landowners, Scottish Natural Heritage and our event ecologist to assess, measure and document the passage of runners at the event over the years. Mostly, the rocky ridges and/or trails bear up to the impact of the runners exceptionally well, and whilst other sections of course may become trampled, they recover quickly so that there is no evidence of the runners within months. However, some of the trails are more susceptible to long term damage and we are working hard to mitigate this and develop a sustainability plan that will work for many years to come. It is early days in this process, but we are focused on this being of critical long-term importance for the event. 


Salomon Ring of Steall - Third Male - Max King - Devils Ridge - Copyright No Limits Photography

 Working with local organisations to develop a sustainability plan is key for the future of the event ©No Limits Photography


Thank You – Ourea Events Management Team

“It always seems impossible until it’s done” Earlier this year the Ourea Events permanent staff were exchanging quotes that we each felt best summed up our events and how we worked. Helen suggested the quote above, and I really cannot think of a more adept and succinct summary of Salomon Skyline Scotland™ this year. The office team have worked incredibly hard over the months building up to the event, with late finishes and early starts aplenty to ensure everything ran smoothly over the weekend. Each of the team has their own responsibilities within the event, and as the event has grown, I find myself less knowledgeable about the details of their ‘thing’. The funny thing is, the less I know the better and bigger the event gets with each of the team taking real ownership to develop and deliver key elements of the event. Thank you. You are an awesome team and I am very proud and honoured to work with you all:

  • Alex Chesters 
  • Graham Gristwood
  • Helen Samson
  • Janie Oates
  • Lucy Scrase
  • Shane Ohly
  • Sue Dowker
  • Tom Hecht


Thank You – Event Team

The heartbeat of the event is the huge ‘Event Team’, which consisted of nearly 150 people this year. Almost entirely made up of volunteers and with some roles supported by professional staff, the Event Team are the ones taking charge of Salomon Skyline Scotland™ over the weekend. When I do the Event Team briefing at the beginning of the event, I share a fantastic anecdote from one of our Response Team members recalls when she joined a mountain rescue team, “You might volunteer to join the mountain rescue team, but once you are a member of the team, you are part of an organisation working to professional standards”.



The event team briefing in Kinlochleven where long serving volunteers were presented with a special award to say thanks for their contribution ©No Limits Photography


It is just the same when someone volunteers to work at one of our events. We are a professional organisation, with high standards and high expectations of our Event Team. My almost universal experience is that when we provide a clear briefing, a support structure (the team leaders and other professional staff) and delegate true responsibility to the Event Team to lead and deliver many elements of the event, that they rise to the occasion and help us realise our event dreams.

With their smiles, enthusiasm and dedication, once again the Event Team pulled it all together for us. I cannot thank them enough for the priceless contributions to the success of Salomon Skyline Scotland™ and I am certain that I can also extend the sincere thanks of all the participants to the Event Team. The 2019 Salomon Skyline Scotland™ were:


Course Management & Planning

  • Gary Tompsett


Event Team Leaders 

  • Becky Tate
  • Matt Harmon
  • Paul Aitken
  • Dave Taylor
  • Phil Wilkinson
  • Ian Cowie



The event team heading out into the mountains to place course waymarking ©No Limits Photography


Event Safety Team 

  • Andy Hogarth
  • Gillian Parker
  • Ian Stewart
  • Joe Faulkner
  • Ken Applegate
  • Rob Brown
  • Zac Poulton
  • Dave Anderson


Response Team 

  • Abbi Forsyth
  • Dave Howarth
  • Kate Worthington
  • Katie Cole
  • Natalya Kennedy
  • Stuart Smith


Medical Team 

  • Charlotte Hattersley
  • Hannah Phelan
  • Helen Mercer
  • John Hayes
  • Kevin Maclellan
  • Morag Bowie
  • Nikki Sommers


Race Control 

  • Matt Gemmell
  • Stewart Caithness


Media Team 

  • Calum Maclean 
  • Christiaan Le Roux
  • Ellie Green 
  • Fiona Russell
  • Harriet D'Allesio Le Roux
  • Mark Bullock
  • Matt Green
  • Steve Ashworth



The event team working hard to register 2,000 participants over the weekend ©No Limits Photography


Event Team

  • Alexander Major
  • Alexis Dole
  • Alun Wood
  • Andrew Hastie
  • Andrew Robertson
  • Andy Ross
  • Ann Perry
  • Becki Vale
  • Bill Whitfield
  • Brian Jamieson
  • Brian Melia
  • Calum Maclean
  • Carwyn Phillips
  • Charlie Sproson
  • Chloe Lumsdon
  • Christine Glass
  • Claude Goodfield
  • Dave Anderson
  • David Broom
  • Debbie McCart
  • Dougie Harvey
  • Duncan Anderson
  • Duncan Kendrick
  • Ellen Thomson
  • Emma Dent
  • Emma Hazeldine
  • Emma Phillips
  • Gordon Gillespie
  • Guido Althausen
  • Hannah Francis
  • Ian Brandreth
  • Ian Grimshaw
  • Jacob Hayes
  • Jacqueline Cooper
  • James Gray
  • Josie McGee
  • John Bennie
  • John Fox
  • John Iacobucci
  • John Irvine
  • John Kynaston
  • John Minta
  • John O'Sullivan
  • Jon Peatman
  • Jonas Paulius Rekertas
  • Jonathan Aylward
  • Joss Abel
  • Karen Kemish
  • Kaspars Pocs
  • Kerry King
  • Kevin Nairn
  • Lawrie Brand
  • Lenny Hughes
  • Liam Allen
  • Louis MacMillan
  • Lucy Behney
  • Lyndsay Cameron
  • Mark Warner
  • Marina McCallum
  • Megan Williams
  • Meryl Cooper
  • Mick Cooper
  • Neville Shortt
  • Nick Stafford
  • Paul Beeson
  • Paul Dickens
  • Paul Frith
  • Paul Hadley
  • Paul Imrie
  • Peter Huzan
  • Ruth Howie
  • Scott Evans-Brahim
  • Shan Jones
  • Sharon Dickson
  • Sharon Taylor
  • Stephen Smithies
  • Susan Nash
  • Susanne Muhlen
  • Tammy Ruvino
  • Terry Addison
  • Tim Cox
  • Tom Withers
  • Tricia Stevenson


Catering Team 

  • Sandra Williams 
  • Hilary Malyon
  • Katie Williams
  • Tim Glasby



The event team working hard to set up the site in the preparation for a very busy weekend! ©No Limits Photography


Thank You – Event Stakeholders

Key Stakeholders like JAHAMA Highland Estates, National Trust for Scotland, John Muir Trust, Scottish Natural Heritage, Police Scotland and the Kinlochleven community have been instrumental in their support to the event. I would like to sincerely thank them for their attention during the consultation process and support throughout the year and especially over the event weekend. Event Scotland continue to be an important stakeholder in the event, and it has been a pleasure to work together to build the UK’s biggest mountain running festival… perfectly staged in the stunning Scottish Highlands!

Salomon are totally instrumental in the success of the event and deservedly get a special mention here. We have a shared vision for where the event is going and we are both very excited to work together to build such a remarkable festival of mountain running in the UK. 

There are many stakeholders in the event who make a valued contribution and I’d like to thank the following:

  • A Line in the Sky
  • Bidwells Land & Estate Agents, and their tenants, especially Cameron Loudoun
  • Blackwater Hostel
  • Coffee Rescue Scotland
  • David Broom, Ecologist
  • Ellis Brigham
  • Event Scotland
  • Forestry and Land Scotland
  • Glen Nevis Estate
  • Glen Nevis Visitor Centre
  • Harvey Maps
  • Heilan Loos
  • Highland Council
  • Highland Getaway
  • Ice Factor
  • JAHAMA Highland Estates
  • John Muir Trust
  • Kinlochleven Community Council
  • Kinlochleven Community Trust
  • Kinlochleven High School
  • Kinlochleven Salvation Army 
  • Lochaber Chamber of Commerce
  • National Trust for Scotland
  • No Fuss Events
  • Open Tracking
  • Ortlieb
  • Petzl
  • Police Scotland
  • Results Base
  • Salomon
  • Scottish Natural Heritage
  • The Leven Centre
  • West Highland Way Rangers


Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra - Third Female - Katie Sloane - Carn Mor Dearg Arete 1 - Copyright No Limits Photography

Participants climbing to the top of Ben Nevis ©No Limits Photography


Festival Village

This year saw the launch of the Festival Village and it was hugely exciting to see the wide support from the UK outdoor and running brands. There were actually about a dozen other brands who wanted to attend the event, and our expectation is that the Festival Village will increase considerably in size and scope in 2020 and that this will develop to be an exciting and interactive element of the event in the future. In the meantime, I would like to thank our 2019 exhibitors: Petzl, Gore Wear, La Sportiva, inov-8, Girls on Hills, Comfyballs, Harvey Map, Voom, The Birch Syrup Company, Grangers, Dynafit, Trail Running Scotland and Ellis Brigham. 



Brands such as Voom had a great time exhibiting and meeting runners in our new and improved Event Village! ©No Limits Photography


Skyline Sessions 

Expertly presented by Becki Vale, the free to attend Skyline Sessions were a popular addition to the event and contributed greatly to the festival atmosphere. This is something we will definitely expand upon in 2020 and I’d like to thank our 2019 speakers:

Holly Page, Hamish Frost, Sarah McCormack, Ian Stewart, Paul Tierney, James Elson, Ben Mounsey, Kirsty Reade, Donnie Campbell, Es Tresidder, Megan Wilson, Keri Wallace, Victoria Wilkinson, Sarah MacDonald, Tim Morgan, Charlie Ramsay, Pete Duggan.



Donnie Campbell speaking at the free to attend Skyline Sessions ©No Limits Photography 


In the sections below, I am not going to rehash the excellent reporting already available on the event website, but reflect on each race as the Race Director.  


Day 1

Race Report: Murray and Katie impress in Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra
Race Report: VK first timers Zak and Vic triumph
More: Results | Photos 



Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra: 

Finally, we have been able to witness the unabridged brutal beauty of our full course! With a DNF rate of ~35% there is no doubt that the race is very tough indeed; and that is exactly how we intended it to be. The route is designed to really embrace the full Scottish mountain running experience with an ultra-distance course including rock, scree, ridges, tussocks, river crossings, just a little bog (it is Scotland after all) and some of the most stunning and inspiring landscapes in the UK. It is quintessentially a Scottish mountain race in character and must never be confused with, just another ultra. It is clear from the participant’s feedback this year that they don’t want to see any changes to the course and that on the whole, participants appreciate that the Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra™ is one hell of mountain race.


Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra - Second Male - Francisco Javier Cabrera Valdes - Carn Mor Dearg Arete 1 - Copyright No Limits Photography

Participants enjoyed perfect views and plenty of sunshine for the Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra ©No Limits Photography


Salomon Mamores VK:

Last year the very testing weather made a difficult finish to the Salomon Mamores VK™ with many cold and wet runners requiring assistance to make their way off the mountain as darkness fell. As a result, we moved the first start time from 14:00, to 11:00 in 2019 so that everyone should have descended from the summit finish on Na Gruagaichean back to Kinlochleven before nightfall. It worked well and despite having the Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra™ taking place simultaneously we were able to manage, marshal and deliver two really excellent races at the same time: one of the reasons we need such a huge Event Team!


Salomon Mamores VK - Third Male - Tom Owens - Copyright No Limits Photography

Tom Owens enjoying the steep climb to the top of the VK on the Friday! ©No Limits Photography


Day 2

Race Report: Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace 2019: Judith Wyder smashes course record | Nadir Maguet runs to victory
Race Report: 14-year-old wins Grey Mare’s Trail Race 5k  
More: Results | Photos 

Day 2 at Salomon Skyline Scotland 2019

Catch up with all the action from Salomon Skyline Scotland 2019 including the epic Ring of Steall Skyrace, the new Trail Races and the Event Village #skylinescotland #goldentrailseries Summit Fever Media Steve Ashworth & Calum Maclean

Posted by Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace on Saturday, 21 September 2019


Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace:

Featuring the Golden Trail World Series, the Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace™ has been incredibly popular and sold out within days of opening earlier this year. There is near universal acclaim about the quality of the mountain running and the balance of technical sections like the Devils Ridge and An Gaeranach Ridge with the general runablity of the route have combined into one of the best 29km of mountain running in the UK. As we look forward to the future of the race, one of biggest challenges is likely to be managing the demand for entries and developing a sustainability plan to minimise and mitigate the ecological impact of the runners.


Salomon Ring of Steall - Second Female - Holly Page - Devils Ridge - Copyright No Limits Photography

Holly Page put in a great performance on the Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace to finish 2nd female ©No Limits Photography 


Day 3

Race Report: Smiles and elation for Salomon Glen Coe Skyline winners
Race Report: Ben Mounsey wins Three Mealls Trail 18k
Race Report: Louis swaps pipes for running shorts to win Loch Eilde Mor Race 10k
More: Results | Photos

Day 3 at Salomon Skyline Scotland 2019

Enjoy all the highlights from the final day at Salomon Skyline Scotland 2019. Including the iconic Salomon Glen Coe Skyline, the new 10km and 18km Trail Races and all the goings-on in the Event Village. Credit: Summit Fever Media, Steve Ashworth and Calum Maclean #skylinescotland

Posted by Salomon Glen Coe Skyline on Sunday, 22 September 2019


The new Trail Races: 

The first time I ran the Loch Elide Mòr 10k I knew instantly we had a classic mountain trail race in the making. I already knew most of the Three Mealls 18k from previous visits to the area, but again as I descended back into Kinlochleven having run the complete route in one earlier this year, I was equally impressed at the quality of the running. Just like our Salomon Mamores VK route, when it came to developing these trail races, we didn’t want to just take the easy (dare I say bland) option of following the most logical and well-established trail around Kinlochleven. I also didn’t want to restrict these trail races to the well-groomed trails that typify so many generic trail races. Rather, I wanted to create something that was special, challenging, authentic and really embraced the wild and tough terrain that the Scottish Highlands is justifiably famous for… And three very tough trail races were born!


Skyline Scotland Trail Race - Runners 7 - Copyright No Limits Photography

Our NEW Trail Races gave spectacular views and were enjoyed by all! ©No Limits Photography 


Salomon Glen Coe Skyline:  

After two perfect days of weather, the cloud rolled in for Sunday and the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline®. In many respects the cloud billowing off the Aonach Eagach, and the squalls of rain blowing through Glencoe just added to the atmosphere in Scotland’s most famous glen as the runners took on the formidable challenge of the race. I view the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline® as the crown jewel of our Skyline Scotland™ races and whilst we will never have the same numbers of participants willing (or able) to race this route as we do for our other races, there remains something very special and unique about the uncompromising mix of running and scrambling.


Salomon Glen Coe Skyline - Runners 2 - Stob Dearg - Copyright No Limits Photography

The iconic Salomon Glen Coe Skyline saw slightly more misty conditions on the Sunday ©No Limits Photography



Sadly, there was one significant breach of our event rules. Pierre Michaud from Switzerland failed kit check at the start of the VK, and then circumvented the start to join the race route further along. He was still captured in our timing system whilst ascending and at the summit finish. Failing kit check alone is a serious issue but joining the race as an unregistered runner is more serious. There is no valid excuse for either action and therefore we are banning him from any of our events for two years. 

Community Support

Directly supporting the interests of the local Kinlochleven community is important to the event. We have previously written about this earlier in 2019, and we are delighted to confirm now that we raised almost £2,000 in car parking fees for the Kinlochleven Community Fund at Salomon Skyline Scotland™ in 2019. This donation to the community is in addition to the various facility fees we pay directly to the Kinlochleven Community Trust, Kinlochleven High School, the Leven Centre, Ice Factor and Salvation Army. Supporting the local community isn’t just about money though and we were delighted to offer various opportunities for young local people to get involved with the event, and we are looking forward to returning to Kinlochleven High School this autumn to present a film and talk about the 2019 event to the pupils.



The local RocksKool band playing on the big stage before the prize ceremonies ©No Limits Photography


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 2020. We will give away two places. 



Coffee Rescue Scotland on hand to supply refreshments over the event weekend ©No Limits Photography


If you were racing, chances are that you've been captured en route - search by your race number on MyBibNumber. Remember that your 'Finish Board' photo can be downloaded for FREE.



Finish Board photo for the winner of the Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra Katie Kaars Sijpesteijn ©My Bib Number Photography 


1% For The Planet Donations

Since the launch of Ourea Events, we have been 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 2019 donations will be confirmed early in 2020, and you can see our track record on the Ourea Events website.


Salomon Ring of Steall - Jan Margarit - Stob Coire a Chairn - Copyright No Limits Photography

Our aim is to work with organisations to help protect the local environment where our races take place ©No Limits Photography 


Salomon Skyline Scotland™ 2020

We shall confirm the dates for Salomon Skyline Scotland™ 2020 this Autumn. It is likely that we will remain on the third weekend of September in 2020, but please hold off booking any accommodation or making travel arrangements until we have finalised the 2020 date. Please ensure you are signed up to our email database to be first to know!

We look forward to welcoming you back to Scotland next year.

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), and the incredible 400km, 8-day Cape Wrath Ultra® - do you dare?



Chilling out after a busy day of racing at Salomon Skyline Scotland 2019! See you in 2020? ©No Limits Photography

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