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Skyline races for Glen Coe and Mamores

Friday 5th August 2016, 1:45pm

Last year the Glen Coe Skyline race proved a major hit with elite hill runners. This year it’s being run again – along with two other challenging events, all sponsored by Salomon.

Scotland’s first ‘Vertical Kilometer’ race – the Salomon Mamores VK – will take a five-kilometre course rising 1000 metres to the summit of Na Gruagaichean, on Friday 16th September.

The following day the Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace will tackle a 25km course with over 2,500m of ascent, following a variation on the classic Ring of Steall ridge walk. It’s designed to be a less serious alternative to the main event, the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline, which takes place on the Sunday, along a course including an ascent of Buachaille Etive Mor via Curved Ridge, a traverse of the Wee Buachaille and the Bidean massif, and a traverse of the Aonach Eagach.

The Glen Coe Skyline is already full, with only a few places left for the two new races, and it is expected over 1000 participants from 26 countries will compete, with many more spectators – not to mention all the online ‘viewers’ who will be able to follow live GPS tracking and social media updates.

Spectator opportunities for the three races will be plentiful: organisers will be offering professionally guided walking groups, led by local mountain guides, to strategic viewpoints on the courses.

As last year, organisers have stressed to contestants in all three races that they will not be the only ones on the route and have no right of way over other walkers and climbers – although, realistically, walkers seeking a bit of peace on these already very popular hill areas might prefer to go somewhere quieter over the race weekend.

For those who want to join in the excitement of the weekend event, the Skyline Scotland supporting programme will feature a number of events, including to speaker and film nights which will be held on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th September at Kinlochleven High School. Jasmin Paris, Tom Owens, and last year’s winner Joe Symonds are to feature. There will also be screenings of the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival (ShAFF) winner, The Barkley Marathons, and further Salomon and ‘best of’ ShAFF films.

Each evening there will be a collection for the Lochaber and Glencoe Mountain Rescue Teams, who will be on hand during the weekend. Organisers,Ourea Events, have pledges to match the amount collectedover the two nightsto add to the total raised.

Ourea Events is also committed to supporting the Kinlochleven community with a ‘What is Skyrunning’ presentation to both the pupils of Kinlochleven High School and other interested parties one month before the event.

The Adventure Show will be filming the 2016 event for BBC Scotland.

Competitor from last year's Glen Coe Skyline Race. ©iancorless.com