Competitive ultra marathon runners in Scotland have enjoyed a great spring and summer of top events as part of the Montane Scottish Ultra Marathon Series (SUMS). With two events left including Saturday's Speyside Way, the leaderboard for both the male and female competition is tightly contested.
Current leaders are Paul Giblin and Debbie Martin-Consani, who sit on 1793.07 and 1818.82 respectively, closely followed by Mark Caldwell (1655.59) and Fiona Ross (1618.33). The competitive scoring system, however, which calculates the highest aggregate of the four highest race points achieved, means that a number of runners are in contention for the overall prizes.
The penultimate event takes place next Saturday (August 27) with competitors visiting the most northerly point in the series circuit at Ballindalloch, on the River Spey. Around 110 athletes will take part in the gruelling 36.5-mile course, which follows the Speyside Way from Ballindalloch to the town centre in Buckie.
Race director Sarah Louise Grigor is delighted that so many runners have decided to return and is hoping to build on the success of last year, commenting: "We had really good feedback after last year's event, and I think this is why we have so many people coming back as well as new entrants encouraged by word of mouth."
The concluding race on Saturday, September 24, will see runners taking part in the River Ayr Way Challenge, a 41-mile long 'source to sea' footpath that extends from Glenbuck to Ayr. A prize-giving ceremony will take place at Ayr Town Hall after the race, which, on current form, will prove to be an exciting final leg to a tremendous series.
For a full breakdown of this year's Montane Scottish Ultra Marathon series leaderboard results visit the SUMS website.