Ultra Endurance Trail Marathons
WEST HIGHLAND WAY CHALLENGE RACE
WEST HIGHLAND WAY + BEN NEVIS RACE
25th & 26th May 2024
GO THE DISTANCE
West Highland Way Start
WHW Sign at Juction A82/Glen Nevis Road Fort William
96 Miles Later
West Highland Way Finish - Milngavie
West Highland Way
WHW & Ben Nevis Race
25 & 26 May 2024
PLEASE NOTE ENTRY FORM MAY APPEAR IN YOUR DOWNLOADS FOLDER.
West Highland Way Challenge Race 2024
A welcome from the Race Committee and our dedicated race support team.
We have aimed to create an 96 mile race which encompasses a real physical and mental challenge for the entrant, in just finishing the race, is an achievement in itself.
Please note we have included lots of information in the website. This is deliberate. Hopefully any questions you might have will be answered over the following web pages. Plus, we wish to outline all necessary details for novices, experienced ultra competitors and every type of participant in between. We welcome people from all backgrounds and the diverse blend of characters who run/walk the WHW Challenge Race, and help to make it an event to be remembered.
We have tried to create a simple 'all inclusive' race that can be done with, or without outside support, by the race providing food and drink at 9 locations during the race and transporting anyone pulling out, to the finish at Milngavie. Plus, we allow for 2 entrant's 'drop bags' for use during the race and a 'finish bag' for Milngavie. Both drop bags are returned at the end of the race.
If required, the race also provides a coach on the Saturday morning from Milngavie to Fort William to allow entrants cars to be left at the finish in Milngavie.
We take your enjoyment, safety and involvement in our race very seriously, as we wish for you to have a very memorable weekend. The race is designed to be started on the Saturday morning and finished at some point during the Sunday, with only one night during the race.
The race 'cut off' times are all set at an average walking speed of 2.7mph, this is based on covering 96miles in 35 hours.
For many this will be a once in a lifetime physical and mental challenge to find your limits, with the hardest part being accepting taking on the challenge by submitting the Entry Form.
Sounds like the race atmosphere, challenge and adventure that appeals to you?
We would love to hear from you if you wish to discuss it, give me a phone on 01786 841715.
Jim Drummond – Race Director
WHW CHALLENGE RACE &
WHW CHALLENGE RACE + BEN NEVIS
WHW 'CHALLENGE' RACE 2024
The West Highland Way Challenge Race is an ultra trail marathon. It is a 96 mile 'point to point' race taking in some of Scotland's finest outdoor scenery, along with a challenging 14,700ft of ascent during the race. The race is an annual event and usually takes place in the last weekend in May. The race follows the West Highland Way long distance trail with he ultimate goal is from starting in Fort William to crossing the finish line in Milngavie within the time limit of 35 hours.
The WHWCR is open to and encourages Runners, Joggers and Steady Walkers. With giving a target to have something to aim at over the Winter, to achieve a good level of fitness come race day. Prepare well by researching the route and give the challenge your best effort. The race support team are here to support you every step of the way.
The West Highland Way Challenge Race has been designed to accommodate a wide variety of entrants from the super fit runners to steady hill walkers, who only walk. The 35 hours allowed for the course requires an average speed of 2.7mph and this defines the times of the Check Point 'cut offs.' In this race no there are silly differing section speeds like many races, which set early cut off's to deliberately disqualify the slower entrants at the beginning of the race.
The entrants range from the experienced to novices and from 18 year olds to 72 year olds. Many have never done an ultra before, or even a long distance race, but they are steady walkers with the tenacity to keep going. What all are looking for is the challenge of achievement and seeing where their boundaries lie, along with having a bit of an 'all inclusive' walking/running holiday week-end thrown in, complete with beautiful scenery and the camaraderie of meeting like minded people and no worries of where the next water is from, or how to get back if injured.
The 'West Highland Way Challenge Race' starts in Fort William and finishes in Milngavie. The race allows for competitors if the wish to complete the 96 mile race unsupported, so as not to impose on drivers and support runners, nor do the entrants require the logistics of food and drink provision. This is achieved by the race providing support at 9 locations along the route of food and drinks and transporting to the finish at Milngavie, anyone pulling out at the 9 check points, or road crossings.
Those traversing the WHW are seeking the enjoyment of seeing one of the most picturesque parts of Scotland coupled with the camaraderie, regular check point support, plus the repatriation assurance, if it does not go well on the day. To further support the entrants to the finish, at Registration the entrant can deposit two bags which the race will transport, one to Bridge of Orchy 35 miles into the race and the other to Rowardennan, 68 miles into the race, plus a Finish Bag for Milngavie. The two drop bags once used, are transported to the finish, so the entrant if they wish, can have a full change of clothing and shoes twice, during the race. The dry clothing in these bags is appreciated if it rains the whole week-end.
To remember the race, all those finishing the race receive a crystal goblet with the WHW route engraved on it. For the fast runners who complete the WHW in under 24 hours, they receive a key ring with their name engraved in one side and on the other side of the keyring is an acknowledgement they are now members of the prestigious and elite, WHW in a Day Club by having inscribed on that side:
'THE WEST HIGHLAND WAY IN A DAY CLUB'
A BRIEF NOTE OF WHW CHALLENGE RACE - TIMINGS AND LOCATIONS
For those requiring the COACH, it leaves Milngavie Train Station car park sharp at 06:45am on the Saturday morning arriving at the 'Registration' at Braxi Hall (also known as: Inverlochy Village Hall), Nevis road, Fort William. PH336LY, at approximately 09:00am. Entrants cars can be left at the station car park over the week-end, The car park does not have parking charges. Seats must be reserved for the coach prior to race day, at a costs of £25. Others not using the coach go to Fort William on the Friday, to get a full night's sleep.
Race 'REGISTRATION' will be open at Fort William from 08:30am to 09:45am on the Saturday. 'WALKERS ONLY' Registration is at 07:00 to 07:45am. At Registration the race numbers will be given out to competitors and a Race Disclaimer Form will have to be completed and signed. Also, provided to all entrants is an 'information sheet' with Check Point locations and the C.P.s marshals mobile numbers.
The 2 Drop Bags, Emergency Bag, and Finish Bags are handed in at the Registration location.
ALL COMPETITORS are required to hand in an 'Emergency Rucksack, or holdall' containing an 800gm sleeping bag, an orange survival bag and a spare torch. These safety items require to be carried as the WHW is difficult to access in this 14 mile section and for most competitors it will be during the night. This Emergency Rucksack/bag will be transported from Registration to the Beinglas, Check Point 5, at 54 miles into the race and the three items are required to be carried by the competitor for the next 14 miles to Check Point 6, at Rowardennan, along with the 'full' mandatory race equipment/clothing, which is required to be carried throughout the race. At Rowardennan the three safety Items can be left in the competitors 'drop bag'.
THE ONLY EXEMPTION TO THE CARRYING OF THE 'EMERGENCY BAG,' EQUIPMENTS ARE RUNNERS WHO REACH BEINGLAS BEFORE 21:00hrs, THEY ARE EXCUSED CARRYING THE ITEMS, AS THEY WILL BE TRAVERSING THE BEINGLAS to ROWARDENNAN SECTION, IN DAYLIGHT.
'WALKERS ONLY' will be allowed to start at 08:00am and must take 4 hours to do the first leg to Kinlochleven (14 Miles, averaging 3.5 mph). They will not be able to leave the Kinlochleven Check Point before 12:00hrs. Walkers Registration will be at Braxie Hall, at 07:00am to 07:45am. Prior approval to race day must be given to be included in the 'walking only' start, for approval, contact Jim on 01786 841715, or email him.
The main WHW Challenge Race START will be at 10:00am on Saturday 25th May 2024, in Fort William at the WHW SIGN, adjacent to the mini roundabout junction of the A82(T) and Glen Nevis roads.
The FINISH is at Milngavie Scout Hall. The hall is located is at the road junction of the Main Street (B8030) and Park Road (B8050). Unfortunately there are no showers at the Scout Hall. The Finish is on Sunday at 21:00hr, or before depending on the competitor's race speed. Although the finish is usually extended due inclement weather.
The RACE ROUTE is along the WHW in a Southerly direction. This direction, along with a morning start, allows for the mountainous section from Fort William to Bridge of Orchy 35 miles, to be completed in daylight. Also at the finish for most of the competitors they are back at their cars, or the train station, or near Glasgow Airport on the Sunday by 09:00pm, and not stuck in Fort William waiting for the coach and the last person to finish, or imposing on someone to come to Fort William to collect them. Most of the sub 24 hour runners are home for Sunday lunch.
Trophies, completion goblets and key rings are presented on completion of the race, so there is no waiting about for a Presentation Ceremony. Also, when our race used to head North, of the 35% of competitor's who pull out, then they had to go up to Fort William for to collect their 'drop bags', 'emergency bag' and 'finish bag,' only then, to go all the way back down the road they have just come up. This is why we change the direction of the race, as it works better for the competitors and is 'hassle free'.
Further, the MORNING START means the 35 hour race is more enjoyable to view the mountain scenery and is 'safer', as the race is carried out in two daylight periods and only one 4 hour period of darkness, instead of the normal 2 night periods, which occurs when our race commenced with a night start. For those thinking it will be easier going down then way, 'SORRY' the Southerly race direction is 'slightly harder', as there is an extra 40 metres of ascent, due to Fort William being 10m above sea level and Milngavie being 50m above sea level, although you know you have the satisfaction of doing the route the harder direction. On the plus side, the Southerly direction means the mountain section is completed at the beginning of the race, making for a better chance of finishing the race.
For those worried about navigation the way is route marked and in addition over 100 reflectors have been placed at junctions to assist with navigation.
WHW & Ben Nevis Race 2024
If interested in entering contact
Jim Drummond, Race Director
Phone 01786 841715
This race is open to ALL ENTRANTS who have completed the West Highland Way, or an equivalent race, in under 30 hours.
This race was added to test and extend the limits of the 'hard core' WHW runners, as Winter conditions high on the mountains are common in May with snow and ice still on the ground. Adding the Ben to the WHW increases the race distance to 107 miles and the total ascent to 19,175 feet.
Runners wishing to take on Ben Nevis will be allowed to do so weather permitting and at the race organisers discretion. Train hard. Prepare well. We welcome those competitors with the fitness and ambition to complete this extra challenge.
REGISTRATION opens, at Inverlochy Village Hall, Nevis Road, Fort William, PH33 6YL, at 06:00am to 06:40am on the morning of Saturday 25th May 2024. No coach is available for this race, due to the early start. At Registration entrants will receive their 'race number' and an 'Information Safety Sheet' and will require to sign a Disclaimer Form. At Registration entrants will drop off their: 2 Drop Bags for Bridge of Orchy and Rowardennan, Also their Emergency Rucksack/holdall for Beinglas, and their Finish Bag for Milngavie.
In addition, the Ben Nevis Race competitors can leave a 'Drop Bag' at Registration, for when they return from the Ben. Having climbed the Ben the runners will return to the 'Check Point,' at the 'WHW sign' at the junction of the A82(T) and Glen Nevis Road. Any equipment used specifically for the Ben, can be left in this drop bag, e.g. Yaxtraks, over shoes, spikes. etc, This allows for separate continuous times to be recorded for the Ben section and the WHW section of the race.
The WHW & Ben Nevis Race START is in the car park of the Ben Nevis Centre, in Glen Nevis Road, at 07:00am Saturday 25 May 2024. Entrants will be transported from Registration at 6:45am to the START POINT at the Glen Nevis Centre, one mile from Registration.
After starting the Ben Nevis competitors will cross the bridge over the River Nevis and head up to the summit of Ben Nevis (1,344m/ 4,412ft) via the tourist path, to the Trig Point and then return via the tourist path and Achintree Road, to the WHW Sign at the junction of the A82(T) and Glen Nevis Road having covered 11 miles. They will then proceed South without stopping along the WHW to Milngavie.
They will integrate into the WHW Challenge Race, without stopping, and continue down the route with the other competitors, who start their race at 08:00am, or 10:00am.
The advantages of Ben Nevis being done at the beginning of the race is that the legs are fresh and the early start allows the Ben runners to be in the main race field. Also, the WHW mountainous section can to be completed in daylight to Bridge of Orchy, thus the scenery can be appreciated.
The WHW & Ben Nevis Race, course record is 25 hours 39 minutes and was set in the 2023 by Glen McGowan. Glen also came in 3rd in the WHW Challenge Race in a time of 22hr 56min. The Ben race has a cut-off at 35 hours. A 'WARNING' THIS RACE IS ONLY FOR 'HARD CORE' EXPERIENCED RUNNERS.
CONFIRMATION OF ACCEPTANCE INTO EITHER RACE
This will be done by adding the entrant's name to the race 'ENTRY LIST' on the web site. PLEASE CHECK THE 'ENTRY LIST' TO SEE IF YOUR NAME HAS BEEN ADDED. The entrant's name may appear at any point on the Entry List as entrants may withdraw, or transfer to one of the other races. Payment must be made within 3 days of the entrants name appearing on the web site, 'ENTRY LIST,' or the entrants name will be removed from the list.
If interested in either the WHW Challenge Race, or the WHW & Ben Nevis Race, then please use the 2024 WHW 'Challenge' Race, Entry Form and mark the form accordingly if you are wishing to take part in the WHW & Ben Nevis Race.
The 'Entry Fee' for the WHW 'Challenge' Race is £120, plus if required a £25 'Coach Fee'.
The Entry Fee for the WHW & Ben Nevis Race is £130. No coach is available due to early start.
Completion of the West Highland Way CHALLENGE Race
CRYSTAL FLUTED WINE GOBLET
All Competitors who complete the entire race will receive a boxed Glencairn Crystal cut 'Skye' fluted wine goblet. The glass is engraved with the WHW route, including the main mountains which were passed along the route.
In addition competitors who complete the full WHW Challenge Race (96 miles) within 24 hours become a member of the WHW In A Day Club. Those joining this exclusive club will be presented with a personalised KEYRING, with their 'name inscribed' on one side and on the other is printed 'THE WEST HIGHLAND WAY IN A DAY CLUB' confirming they are a member of this elite club.
The race presents THREE TROPHIES, to the FIRST, SECOND and THIRD finishers of the WHW Challenge Race. Competition for the trophies ALSO INCLUDES THE WHW & BEN NEVIS RUNNERS, FOR AFTER CLIMBING THE BEN, THEY PROCEED TO THE START OF THE WHW AND BECOME PART OF THE CHALLENGE RACE.
Also, naturally if the Ben competitors complete the WHW Challenge Race in under 24 hours they are presented with a 'West Highland Way in a Day Club', keyring and a goblet. This is in line with the way our previous races have operated when going North. The competitor completed the WHW Challenge Race and then did the Ben non stop.
This is why there is only one trophy for the winner on the combined WHW & Ben Nevis Race, to recognise their combined race achievement.
NO COMPETITOR SUB-GROUP TROPHIES ARE AWARDED IN THIS RACE. DUE TO EVERY FINISHER RECEIVING A TROPHY
e.g. NO - Men only, Ladies only, Veteran's categories, Teams, etc.
The reason for not having race sub-group trophies like in many other races, is the Race Committee feel everyone who completes the WHW CHALLENGE RACE (a tough ultra) has completed a great achievement EVERY FINISHER deserves to receive a trophy they can be proud off to remember the race by, so ALL FINISHERS ARE AWARDED A TROPHY of a boxed Glencairn Crystal cut 'Skye' fluted wine glass. These race glasses are very expensive, especially with the engraving of the WHW route on the glass.