After its unfortunate cancellation last year due to severe snow conditions, The Mighty Deerstalker, with its energy-sapping natural and manmade obstacles and lung-busting ascents, is back next week (Saturday 16 March).
With 2018 entries automatically deferred to the 2019 event, organisers are looking forward to welcoming at least 3000 elite athletes, weekend warriors and first timers – half of whom will be travelling to the Scottish Borders from outwith Scotland to take part – to Traquair House, Innerleithen.
This year, Scotland's original endurance adventure challenge, established in 2006, offers the Half Stalker (half distance), the Full Stalker (full distance) and the bonkers new Double Stalker – a character-building two-lap option (double distance, double obstacles and double 1824ft ascent). Limited entries
for all events are still available.
While the exact distance of the ‘most outlandish trail running event in the British calendar’ is a closely guarded secret, runners are certain to be sent to wade across freezing cold rivers, navigate through dense woodland, vault over straw bales, contend with gloopy super-suction mud covered banks, balance along log beams, scramble up a vertical scree slope and jog up and over a mountain or two – all in the pitch dark of a chilly March night, and in tweed.
‘Bravehearts’ who take on the new Double Deerstalker will set off with their own special start wave at 15.30, running lap one in the relative comfort of at least some daylight. At the end of their warm-up lap they will not re-enter the event village, but instead access a dedicated snack and tea stop before heading out into the dark night of the Scottish wilderness for lap two and the ‘most intense test of mental and physical character’.
Jim Mee, MD of Rat Race Adventure Sports, told runABC Scotland online: "We're thrilled to be back for 2019. With our biggest field ever, it is clear that the event is much loved and cherished.
“When we set out to create the legend of the 'Stalker back in '06, we never thought it would become quite as legendary as it has. Long live the notorious Mighty Deerstalker!"