Ultra 35-mile test for Kirkcaldy Wizards and Fife Athletic Club runners amidst beautiful Hebridean scenery
The course is 11 miles long and six miles wide, with a location famed for its white sandy beaches, blue skies, unspoiled landscape and mercifully, no midgies!
The coastline of Tiree is rugged, beautifully carved and adorned with long stretches of firm sandy beach. The complete circumference takes in 35 miles of the finest Hebridean scenery.
Alison Sutherland, competing in her first ultra, opted to share her race experience with running buddies Laura Muir, Kevin Wallace and Andrew Neenan, as the quartet opted to run together.
It was also a first ultra for Kevin and Andrew; the group benefitted greatly from Laura's previous ultra experience, having conquered the Glen Ogle 33 Ultra in 2018.
They produced a fantastic performance, crossing the finish line in 6 hours, 29 minutes and 32 seconds, showing the value of teamwork and comraderie over such a daunting distance on challenging terrain.
There were also fantastic performances by ultra specialists Rob Justice and Michelle Johnstone, who crossed the finish line in a time of 6 hours, 46 minutes and 1 second. This was also a course PB for Michelle.
There were also strong performances by Paul Frape (7:01:48) and Maggie Justice (7:03:35).
Karen Richards, a lady who bags of Tiree Ultra running experience, crossed the line in 7:32:44.
were also superb debuts for another pair of newbie ultra runners, Dorota Park and Carol Kirk, who crossed the finish line together in 8:11:26. Both ladies also scooped a prize for completing their first ultra, in recognition of what an immense accomplishment it was.
Full Wizards/Fife AC runners’ results were: 21 Stephen Dickson 5:41:45, 53 Alison Sutherland 6:29:31, 55 Laura Muir 6:29:32, 56 Kevin Wallace 6:29:32, 57 Andrew Neenan 6:29:32, 74 Rob Justice 6:46:01, 77 Michelle Johnstone 6:46:01, 92 Paul Frape 7:01:48, 94 Maggie Justice 7:03:35, 113 Karen Richards 7:32:44, 132 Dorota Park 8:11:26, 133 Carol Kirk 8:11:26.
Three local runners also took part in the General Sosabowski 5k race in Falkland. The race follows in the footsteps of General Stanislaw Sosabowski, who trained in Falkland and around Fife prior to Operation Market Garden and other battles of the Second World War.
At the end of 1940, Colonel Stanisław Franciszek Sosabowski created a special Polish military unit, 4th Cadre Rifle Brigade in Fife, which was transformed into the 1st Independent Parachute Brigade on October 9, 1941, by the order of the Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Armed Forces, General Władysław Sikorski.
The brigade trained in Fife before their operations on the continent. To this day there are many visible signs of their presence in Scotland.
The adult race saw participants start and finish in Cross Wynd at the East Loan. Runners followed the trail and wooden steps up a challenging climb up to the top of East Lomond Hill, before descending down the same way.
Kirkcaldy Wizard Vikki Laing produced an impressive performance to complete the course in a time of 36:59, which also saw her finish as first female and ranked in 15th place overall.
There were also superb showings by Greg Wilson and Kasia Szafarz, who finished 21st and 30th respectively, with times of 38:37 and 40:25.
And clubmate Colin McMorrin competed at the Scottish National Standard Distance Triathlon Championships, taking place on the site of Knockburn Loch in Aberdeenshire.
McMorrin completed the 1.5km open water swim in 25:29, where he ranked 15th overall and second in his category.
He next completed the cycle in 1 hour, 11 minutes and 38 seconds, to again be second in his age category and eighth overall.
Despite a slight wrong turn and competing on heavy legs from the swim and cycle, McMorrin then completed the 10km run in 52 minutes and 34 seconds. This saw him fifth in his age category for the run and 51st overall.
In total, Colin completed the triathlon in a superb time of 2 hours, 32 minutes and 12 seconds. This saw him earn a very well deserved bronze Scottish Athletics triathlon medal, for finishing third in the 35-39 Open Age category. He also placed 19th out of 113 athletes competing.