Love was in the air at the inaugural Heb – Race on the Edge on 3–4 September with one couple getting engaged and another celebrating their honeymoon at the mountain bike, off-road running and kayaking event. 81 competitors took on the challenge, held on the Uist Island chain off the west coast of Scotland.
Polly and Steve Lock, raced The Heb as part of their honeymoon, having flown over from Australia to get married the weekend before. They managed to cross the finish line as first mixed pair. Another mixed pair, Vikki Morgan and Tom Jefferson, got engaged during the race with Tom proposing on the white sands of a South Uist beach. The ring was carried in the 'spare hats and gloves bag' for the whole race.
Athletes covered approximately 15,000km over two days of endurance racing – with each competitor averaging 125km on day one and 60km on day two. The race saw participants traverse Benbecula, the uninhabited tidal island of Vallay, North Uist and South Uist, taking in beautiful desolate sandy beaches, magnificent mountains, hidden coves, and wild Hebridean landscapes.
There was rain and high winds to contend with and the temperatures ranged from relatively mild to blisteringly hot on the Sunday.
Sean McFarlane led the field for the majority of day one. However on day two Craig Mattocks mounted a solid challenge turning a nine-minute overnight deficit into a 15-minute lead when he crossed the finish line in an overall time of 16 hours and 25 minutes. Amy Goodill from Glenrothes took the female solo crown with an overall time of 20 hours and 53 minutes.
Former double Duathlon World Champion, double Long Distance Duathlon World Champion and multiple Ironman and Ironman 70.3 winner, Catriona Morrison, and PE teacher Caroline Wallace were overall pairs winners in a combined time of 18 hours and 13 minutes.
Catriona Morrison, MBE, said afterwards: “The Heb was a great challenge. Travelling the length and breadth of the Uists with the wind at your back and the sun in the sky, and then two seconds later biking or running into a headwind with horizontal rain lashing at your face. What an amazing incredible experience.”