I headed up to Skye last weekend for the third installment of the ridiculously scenic Trotternish Ridge run. The race is establishing a tradition of alternating extreme conditions. Weather the first year was so bad that only half the starting field made it to the finish. Last year was run in cloudless skies. This year was blowy enough to see several other hill races cancelled. Given the carnage of 2013, the organisers decided to run a shortened route. However, given the nature of the terrain, this meant cutting off almost half the ridge.
The race starts at the Quirang, with some delicious trail running before meeting the first checkpoint at the only road crossing. It then climbs up and along the exposed ridge, leaving us to enjoy the full force of the gale. Fortunately, the cloud stayed high all the way to Beinn Edra, at which point a series of squalls with horizontal hail made progress “tortuous” at times. After a descent into the Bealach we left the ridge to follow a stream to the finish in Glenuachdarach farm. As always, the organisers put on a superb spread of soup and home baking.
I rather expect I’ll be back again for this one next year.