Leg 4 of the Montane Scottish Ultra Marathon series - Cateran Trail Ultra 55mile marathon - took place last Saturday, starting in The Spital of Glenshee at 7.00am with a field of 56 preparing for what was forecast to be a very wet day. Pre-race favourites Paul Hart and Paul Giblin led in the early stages followed closely by Mark Caldwell, Andy Johns and Mike Raffan.
Cutting across farmland and open country to the first check point at 6 miles the two Pauls were neck and neck with the trailing pack just minutes behind. The pair continued to battle it out up to the 15 mile Glenisla check point with Mark trying to claw back the front runners. Passing through marathon distance (26.2 miles) in around 3:30 it was still Paul versus Paul. Caldwell (3:43) in 3rd with Johns (3:47) and Raffan enjoying the race in joint 4th place.
At the 31 mile mark in Blairgowrie it was tragedy for Paul Hart as he had to pull out with a foot injury leaving the race to Paul Giblin for the taking. Caldwell was now in second and Raffan third. Raffan took a dramatic wrong turn 200 metres before the Bridge of Cally checkpoint adding an extra mile to his race and gifting a position to Johns. However by the time the runners had reached Enochdhu (49 miles) Raffan had regained his third place as the predicted rain arrived.
In a muggy drizzle Giblin took first place in 8:14 and Caldwell 8:50 was second. Bob Steel made late in roads on Raffin closing the gap over the 5 mile climb up the Glenshee hills. However Raffan held on to the top and held his place on the 1.5 mile muddy downhill finish. Maja Rysnik (9:31) was first female, Jamie Aarons, second and Helen Johnson, third.
Unfortunately the majority of the 49 finishers who came home in 9:35 plus were subjected to torrential rain. More positively all got in in under 14 hours.
Paul Giblin (1364 points) leads the series results table ahead of Frank Skachill (1311) who has taken part in all four events.