Salomon Skyline Scotland 2022 – Race Director's Report
27th Sep 2022
There is a real energy to Salomon Skyline Scotland®. As a spectator in the event village, you can feel it, and as a participant on the trails, you experience it up front and personal!
My inspiration for Skyline Scotland came from racing and visiting European mountain races. I wanted to recreate that incredible buzz of excitement where the community of mountain, trail and sky runners come together. This year we had entries from 2,500 runners from 56 different countries, confirming that there really is nothing else like Skyline Scotland® in the UK.
There is a dedicated team of permanent staff at Ourea Event who work year-round to make this event happen with the support of an incredible team of professional and volunteer staff, who bring the weekend to life. I am greatly indebted to each and every one of them, and wish to express my sincere thanks and praise for their efforts. What a brilliant group of people!
The implication of Queen Elizabeth II's death may not have been immediately apparent to runners and supporters at Skyline Scotland® this year, but it did have potentially huge implications for the event (there is a longer blog post about this here should you be interested). Should the state funeral have occurred over the weekend, it would have been virtually impossible to deliver the event, with various event stakeholders expressing serious concerns about holding a large sporting event at the same time. There would have been practical implications to consider as well, with public transport and other essential services disrupted. We certainly had an anxious few days waiting until the funeral was confirmed for Monday the 19th.
After all this uncertainty, I was delighted to witness the event village coming to life, and see runners gather from all round the world for another incredible weekend of trail and sky running.
It was an exciting, action-packed weekend ©No Limits Photography
There was universal praise for the new trail races from runners this year. When we designed these courses, we wanted to capture the essence of trail running, but have a distinct difference to our sky races, which are very focused on running the skylines of Glencoe and Glen Nevis. Given the nature of the terrain in the Scottish Highlands, both the Mamores Stalker 27k and Lochaber 80 were always going to be very tough (and at times, muddy) challenges… nothing like their European and American counterparts in the Spartan Trail and Trail Ultra World Championships. I was particularly amused by Spartan’s Global Head of Trail Running saying that the Mamores Stalker 27k, was “Scottish trail running”, as he crossed the line covered in mud, but with a huge grin.
I am aware that one of the biggest challenges facing trail running is encouraging more female participation. The solution to this is complex and certainly worthy of an entire blog in itself (watch this space), but I would like to highlight Phillipa Williams’ brilliant outright win in the Loch Elide Mòr 10k in 53:34. Increasing the visibility of inspiring female role models is part of the solution to this challenge, and I was there to witness the impact Phillipa’s win had on the local school kids handing out medals on the finish line.
Finally, a little personal highlight for me was the fact that no participants’ cars were towed this year! For many years, the police have towed participant cars that have been illegally parked in residential areas of the village. Thank you so much for respecting the local community and using the official car park. This really does help us foster a good relationship with the village, allowing us to continue delivering the event in future.
Phillipa Williams had an incredible run ©No Limits Photography
Course Closure and Cut-Offs Times
There is no doubt that our established Ben Nevis Ultra™ and Glen Coe Skyline® races have tough cut-off times. The cut-off times are based on the final Course Closure time, and we work backwards through the course based on data from thousands of runners over many years to calculate these times.
Each year, we have difficult conversations with runners who feel that the cut-offs are unfair, and 2022 was no exception. The purpose of these cut-off times is all about safety, and safety is focused on BOTH the runners and the staff deployed to the hills. The intention is to have our backmarkers off the most consequential ground and heading back down towards the finish at Kinlochleven by the time darkness sets in. Please also bear in mind the time required for the remote checkpoint staff to walk into these locations, be there for the duration of the first to last runner, and then walk back out again. Some staff face an epic day in the hills, not dissimilar to that of our participants, and there is a limit to what we can feasibly ask and expect from the course marshals.
The cut-off times are also there out of respect to the community of residents in Kinlochleven. Understandably, they don’t want vehicle traffic, commentary, music, clapping and cheering very early in the morning or late at night, and therefore there will also be an earliest start time and latest finish time that each race must fit between.
The results are now available – you can view them here:
VIEW TRAIL RACE RESULTS
VIEW RESULTS FOR THE SALOMON RING OF STEALL
VIEW RESULTS FOR THE SALOMON BEN NEVIS ULTRA
VIEW RESULTS FOR THE SALOMON GLEN COE SKYLINE
Antonio Martínez Pérez had a successful run in a very competitive 27k ©No Limits Photography
Thanks to the Event Team
This event could not have happened without the hard-work and dedication of our awesome Event Team, who worked tirelessly over the weekend to deliver the event. I am, as ever, truly grateful to each and every one of you for the enormous contribution you made to this event.
It takes an awesome group of people to put on such an epic event ©No Limits Photography
Thank you to our course markers for doing such an excellent job ©No Limits Photography
Charles 'Chas' Ward
Anne Rebecca Schwarz
Douglas Fransson Lee
Seb Boulton Oliver
Christiaan Le Roux
Our registration team made sure things were running smoothly ©No Limits Photography
Jonas Paulius Rekertas
Support Point Team
Technical Services Team
Timing & Tracking
The timing and tracking is a crucial element of the event ©No Limits Photography
Thank you to all for your hard work ©No Limits Photography
Thanks to Event Sponsors and Stakeholders
I would like to thank our event sponsors – Salomon and Event Scotland. I am also grateful to our event partners: JAHAMA Highland Estates, the John Muir Trust, National Trust for Scotland, Forestry and Land Scotland, Nature Scotland, Killiechonate Estate, Corrour Estate, Black Corries Estate and Nevis Landscape Partnership, without whose support we would not be able to put on the event. I'd also like to say thank you to all the brands who came along to the event village – it really was a wonderful atmosphere.
We hope you enjoyed our live coverage of the event on social media. You can catch up with all the action on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Jimmy Hyland and Steve Ashworth were out on course shooting some incredible footage to produce the event films. These are now available to watch on our YouTube channel – relive the highlights!
No Limits Photography were also on the ground every day capturing some amazing shots for the official event photography - to be used on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, on the website, and in the press.
Bib Number Photography were also in attendance. They had a team of photographers out on course taking some excellent shots of each participant on every race. These photos are now available to view (and purchase) here:
Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace
Take a look at the epic photos ©No Limits Photography
Feedback is very important to us. Whatever you have to say, positive or negative, we are keen to hear your thoughts. Whilst we don’t promise to incorporate every piece of feedback received, we do promise to read and consider it carefully. Participant feedback has helped refine and improve the event from one edition to the next and it has been instrumental in polishing the details and the event is better for it. So, please don’t be shy and send any comments you to [email protected]
We hope you had a fantastic weekend ©No Limits Photography
Join us for the Great Lakeland 3Day
Enjoy a relaxed weekend of running, camping and cake in the beautiful Lake District. With 6 different courses to choose from, there is something for everyone. Don't miss out on your next adventure!
Join us for a weekend of running in the glorious Lake District ©Steve Ashworth
Join us on the SILVA Lakes Traverse or SILVA Northern Traverse
Enjoy the best scenery the stunning Lake District has to offer as you traverse 100km on foot. Or, if you're ready for a Coast to Coast adventure, why not tackle the full SILVA Northern Traverse route, journeying from St Bees to Robin Hood's Bay.
Embark on an adventure on Britain's newest National Trail ©No Limits Photography
Looking to explore even more of Scotland?
Venture to the most remote, stunning parts of Scotland on our 8-day expedition race, the Cape Wrath Ultra. Enjoy the true Scottish Wilderness on this journey to the iconic Cape Wrath lighthouse.
The Scottish Highlands are calling ©No Limits Photography
Are you tough enough for the epic Montane Dragon's Back Race?
Cross Snowdonia, the Elan Valley and the Brecon Beacons on the world's toughest mountain race. Push yourself to the limit with this epic 6-day journey across Wales.
Are you ready to conquer the Dragon? ©No Limits Photography
See you next year!
We hope you had an amazing weekend and are keen to come back for more.