The following page outlines further details regarding:
Aims of the WHW Challenge Race - some further thoughts
Registration + Start + Check Point + Water Point + Finish Information
WHW Race Route Information
The WHW Challenge Race is designed to require no outside assistance other than that provided by the race. Accordingly the race moves drop bags, emergency rucksack and a finish bag along the route. Retired competitors from the race are also transported to the finish in Milingavie.
What is the WHW Challenge Race attempting to achieve?
Some further thoughts...
The organisers are attempting to provide a CHALLENGE to the competitor that is uncomplicated, cheap, easy and simple, in traversing the whole beautiful scenic West Highland Way route. Also to encourage new people to take part in the joys of 'long distance trail' competition. The camaraderie achieved in the West Highland Way Challenge Race can be seen in the results tables, where so many come in together in pairs or groups.
"One year I was really going through a tough spell just before taking on the Devil's Staircase climb. I grouped up with 4 other competitors. We supported each other and all made it into the check point at Kinlochleven. Thanks guys. Great team work" Runner 2018
The WHW Challenge is a 96-mile 'point to point' race in 35 hours where enjoying the scenery and having a good workout is perhaps the most important factor along with finishing the race. Several of our competitors complete the WHW Challenge Race in under 35 hours, just by steady walking they are not joggers.
We work hard to create a race structure that hopefully breeds BELIEF and CONFIDENCE in all competitors taking part in the WHW Challenge Race. Yes, you have to train well to give the challenge an honest effort. Training is key. Coupled with good fitness/training, our generous check point cut off times often give competitors the confidence and belief they can finish the course in 35 hours. The WHW Challenge Race also allows competitors to improve their endurance and sleep deprivation resilience. Hopefully competitors will dig deep into their resolve and find their inner strength, which in many cases they did not know they possessed. In one weekend you can find out more about yourself and have a real sense of epic achievement. Perhaps more so than many people will discover in the same year or maybe even a lifetime.
The WHW Challenge Race does not set or require superhuman entry requirements. As such the WHW Challenge Race is open to marathon runners, Long Distance Walking Association (LDWA) members, or any other long distance related event competitors. Even if it is your first time attempting an Ultra, you may consider entering this Challenge to see how you get on and discover how far you can walk in one continuous effort. Basically you don't know until you try. The main point is that the competitor is fit and healthy enough to undertake the 96-mile ultra endurance competition and they are sensible enough to pull out if they are having a bad day. Be fit. Be determined. Be smart.
The final decision on accepting entry for all competitors will be at the discretion of the Race Director and Race organisers.
Click here to read and learn from Mike Mattison's 2019 Race story/experience.
WHW section between Tyndrum and Bridge of Orchy. Good running/jogging/walking to be enjoyed.
THE RACE REQUIRES THAT NO SUPPORT CREWS, SPECTATORS, OR FRIENDS MEET THE COMPETITOR AT BEINGLAS FARM CAMPSITE (CP5) , or at AUCHTERTYRE CAMP SITE (CP4), AS ACCESS TO THESE TWO AREA'S IS VERY RESTRICTED. PLUS WE DO NOT WISH TO UPSET THE LAND AND BUSINESS OWNERS AT BEINGLAS or OCTERTYRE as they have been very helpful to the race and have more than enough problems with the COVID situation.
No Support vehicles, or support people have to come within 'ONE MILE' of the Check Points at Ochtertyre, or Beinglas. FALURE TO COMPLY WITH THIS WILL RESULT IN THE COMPETOR BEING 'DISQUALIFIED' FROM THE RACE.
REGISTRATION + CHECK POINTS (CP) + RACE FINISH INFORMATION
Please read and digest information carefully.
COVID SAFETY REQUIREMENTS AND PROCEDURE****NO WAITING, OR LOITERING IN THE REGISTRATION AREA JUST:-
Turn up at Registration, WEAR A MASK AT ALL TIMES at Registration.
Sanatise your hands before and after Registration.
At Registration DEPOSIT the 7 drop bags in their right locations, also the Finish Bag and Safety Rucksack.
Collect your Race Number, fill in the medical information on the back of the race number (ensure you have a pen as non will be provided),
Read and sign the 'race disclaimer form' and return the signed form.
Put on the race number. Race numbers must be displayed on the competitors front at the start and during the race.
Ensure there is at least a 2 metre distance between yourself and all other persons during Registration and during the race.
After starting the race the mask can be removed while exercising.
REMBER IF YOU TURN UP WITH ONE PAPER MASK AND IT RAINS FOR 20 HOURS THE MASK WILL BE A SOGGY MUSH IN NO TIME, SO EITHER TAKE ENOUGH MASKS IN A WATERPROOF BAG FOR THE RACE, ALTERNATIVLY ONE OR TWO THAT CAN WITHSTAND THE RAIN.
ANY 'COVID' QUERIES THEN PLEASE DIRECT THEM TO THE 'RACE COVID OFFICER' - JIM DRUMMOND
THE 5 COVID RELATED QUESTIONS ARE:-
1. Have you been overseas to a country on the quarantine list in the last 14 days.
2. Do you have COVID-19 symptoms, or are feeling unwell.
3. Have you been told to 'self isolate' as part of 'contact tracing'.
4. Do you object to your details being provided to 'Track & Trace,' if necessary.
5. Do you live in an area that has local travel restrictions imposed.
PLEASE DO NOT TURN UP AT REGISTRATION, IF YOU ARE GOING TO ANSWER 'YES' TO ANY OF THESE 5 COVID QUESTIONS AS ENTRY INTO THE RACE WILL BE REFUSED.
RACE REGISTRATION AND START TIMES and LOCATION: SATURDAY 29th MAY 2021
The 'REGISTRATION' and Drop Bags, Emergency Bag and Finish Bag, deposit location will be at the outside of the football pavilion at Claggan Football Park, 600m East of the Start (grid 119743).
For the 09:00am START Registration will be open from 08:15am to 08:45am.
For the 11:00am START Registration will be open from 09:30am to 10:45am.
Please remember and leave enough time to walk the 600m from the Registration to the Start location and we require the competitors to be at the Start at least 10 minutes before the start time to allow us to make up the groupings for going off at one minute intervals with the fastest going first.
Toilets, drinking water for bottles, will be available at the Registration area.
The 'START' will be at the mini roundabout of Glen Nevis Road and the A82(T) road (grid 113743) in Fort William.
To be there from 08:45am for an 09:00am start.
To be there from 10:45am for an 11:00am start.
IF THE THREE COACHES ARE HELD UP WITH TRAFFIC THEN NATURALLY WE WILL DELAY THE START ACCORDINGLY.
NOTE: IF AN 'UNSCHEDULED EMERGENCY OCCURS' AND AN ENTRANT IS GOING TO BE LATE FOR REGISTRATION, PLEASE PHONE JIM DRUMMOND at your earliest opportunity on 07724 576337. Take a copy of this number in case your held up in traffic.
Depending on the lateness we will try and accommodate a late start.
RACE NUMBERS AFTER STARTING
RACE NUMBERS MUST BE HANDED IN TO THE MARSHALS WHEN COMPETITORS WITHDRAW DURING THE RACE AND AT THE FINISH - FAILURE TO HAND IN THEIR RACE NUMBER WILL RESULT IN THE COMPETITOR BEING 'DISQUALIFIED' FROM THE RACE. The race numbers are required for safety reasons, to ensure everyone is accounted for.
NO RACE BRIEFING WILL BE GIVEN IN THE 2021 RACE DUE TO COVID: .
2016 Race - Jim Drummond (Race Director) briefing runners before the start. Please note the race briefings now take place in the main hall to 130+ competitors and volunteers. Jim has taken part in over 600 races and has a successful career in the military behind him. All his valuable experience is a tremendous asset to the race. Talk with Jim before the race, especially if you are attempting your first big ultra or are feeling a bit anxious about the challenge. Both Jim and the race support team can advise you accordingly. The race is all about helping you to succeed and hopefully finish the course.
THE 7 DROP BAGS:
At REGISTRATION competitors can deposit 'drop bags' for use at the 7 CHECK POINTS: Kinlochleven CP1 (14 miles), Glen Coe Chairlift car park CP2 (25 miles), Bridge of Orchy CP3 (35 miles), Auchtertyre CP4 (44 miles), Beinglas Camp Site CP 5 (54 miles), Rowardennan CP 6 (68 miles). Drymen CP7 (83 miles). Additionally the Ben Nevis race competitors can leave a 'drop bag' at the start, for when they return from Ben Nevis.
The drop bags may contain personal drinks, food, clothing, shoes, sun block, midge repellant, tissues, first aid kit, torches, batteries, vaseline, paracetaol, etc.
The Drop Bags, or contents should be of a type that can be closed again securely after use to retain the contents for transfer to Milngavie. The bags may have to lie out in the rain, so the Drop Bag, or its contents should be waterproof e.g. inside a double bin liner. Roll top closure dry bags are the best and ideal for this type of event.
If the weather forcast is for heavy rain then it is recommended a FULL SET OF DRY CLOTHES are deposited in several of the bags. Rember the Fort William area has the highest rainfall in the U.K. and even in the later stages of the race at Loch Lomond your body is not supplying as much heat.
The race is supplying 'hot water' therefore Pot Noodles, pasta Mug Shots, powder soup, etc. can be put in the bags as well as your cold food (sandwich boxes, etc). Even put a mug in the drop bag for hot foods if you use them.
Remember the 'Drop Bags' will be returned to Milngavie as the Check Point closes, or sometimes before if retireals are being taken back. If you don't want to wait for the Drymen 'drop bag' then it is advisable to have nothing in it worth waiting for e.g. a polly bag with food and fluids might suffice.
REMEMBER THE 'DROP BAGS' MUST BE CLEARLY MARKED WITH THE 'CHECK POINT LOCATION' AND 'COMPETITOR'S RACE NUMBER'.
THE FINISH BAG:
If a competitor is leaving their car at Milngavie then LEAVE the 'finish bag' in the car as there is no point in transporting it to Fort William and then having it transported back to Milngavie.
For example, the finish bag should contain a towel, a full change of clothing and shoes. The clothing in the bag requires to be in a waterproof bag, or bin liner in case the bag gets wet.
AGAIN YOUR 'FINISH BAG' MUST BE CLEARLY MARKED WITH THE 'FINISH', 'COMPETITOR'S NAME' AND 'RACE NUMBER'
THE SAFETY RUCKSACK
Is required to be handed in at Registration at Fort William. This will be returned to the competitor at Check Point 2, (GLEN COE CHAIRLIFT at 25 miles) and is required for safety reasons to be carried by all competitors to Check Point 6, (ROWARDENNAN 68 miles) in case of immobility. At CP 2 when the rucksack is issued, then any bum bags, etc. can be left and these will be transported to the Finish in Milngavie.
The 'Safety Rucksack' requires to have two mandatory items of equipment in it, plus room for the other compulsory kit required to be carried thoughout the race: eg waterproof hooded jacket and trousers, hat, gloves, etc.
ITEM 1 : A minimum 800gram sleeping bag.
ITEM 2 : A heavy duty orange type emergency Survival Bag.
The sleeping bag itself does not need to be waterproof, but should be in a waterproof bag, a simple minimum 800 gram (total bag weight) e.g. a £10 sleeping bag from Sports Direct, is sufficient as it is 85% efficient due to being 'hollow fiber' whereas expensive 'down bags' are only 10% efficient when wet. Sport's Direct also sell Survival Bags for £4.99 or £2.49 during sale. These survival bags weigh 270 grams. A lightweight rucksack weighs in at 350 grams.
The total weight is 1.42 kg or 3 lbs 2 oz. Not a lot of weight to carry to save your life if you are immobilised on Rannoch Moor. If a competitor twists a knee and can't go on, then they can climb into the sleeping bag and then into the survival bag 1m x 2m and wait untill help arrives.
AGAIN THE 'SAFETY BAG' MUST BE CLEARLY MARKED WITH THE 'SAFETY BAG', 'COMPETITOR'S NAME' AND 'RACE NUMBER'.
CONCERNED ABOUT RUNNING/WALKING 44 MILES WITH YOUR SAFETY RUCKSACK? MIGHT BE ASKING WHY? TOO MUCH WEIGHT?
Here is some reassurance from an experienced competitor who has taken part in the event for the last 4 years:
"Hello everyone, the Safety Rucksack essential requirement is nothing to worry about. It is a very smart rule the organisers of the WHW Challenge Race insist on. Please see the postives and the advantages it gives you (more on this later). When I first heard about it, I thought to myself 'mmmm that sounds a bit much, that could be heavy, could be bulky'. Then I discovered it is NONE of those things. When I arrive at Bridge Of Orchy I just switch from my (leading brand) Ultra Running Pack to my slightly larger capacity (leading brand) Multi-Sport pack. Everthing fits in no bother. Once on my back and I get running again, I hardly notice the extra weight. The switching of running packs also allows me to check on my all my essential gear, water, snacks, head torch, mobile phone etc. It gives me that extra confidence going into the final third of the challenge.
Also, and I can't stress this enough, it is a very smart ESSENTIAL requirement. If you became immobilised high in the mountains or on a remote/exposed part of the trail your lightweight sleeping bag and survival bag could save your life. At the very least these two items will keep you warm and dry until help arrives. Also having a lightweight sleeping bag is really useful if you wish to get some rest at Kinlochleven Check Point. Quite a few competitors have a 30min, or 45min, maybe even an hour quality rest at Kinlochleven. They then head back out onto the trail and finish the course in under 35 hours.
So in summary, please see the safety rucksack requirement as a great benefit. In the interests of SAFETY and FAIRNESS to all involved please ensure you follow this essential and important race rule"
PRE-RACE TRAINING ADVICE:
Plan and train for success and glory on race day. We would encourage each competitor to do at least a couple of long training runs/walks whilst wearing your Safety Rucksack. Get used to it. Get comfortable with it. Then come race day you will be best prepared.
Trail follows the east side of Loch Lomond. If we get lucky with the weather, the early morning views are wonderful.
CHECK POINTS (CP) LOCATIONS
Dist. (Toilets) Location Map Check Point
miles Grid Cut-off Times
WHW WHW & Ben
START The WHW sign at the junction of Glen Nevis Road and the A82(T) road 113742 11:00hr 11:00hr
CP1 14m (T) Kinlochleven on opposite side of road from where WHW joins the B863 road. 183622 16:00hr 19:00hr Drop Bag 1
The CP has toilets, A T THE FOOTBALL FIELD BUILDING
CP2 25m (T) Glen Coe Chairlift at bottom of car park 260546 20:00hr 22:30hr Drop Bag 2
The 'SAFETY RUCKSACK' ISSUED to be carried to ROWARDENNAN CP6
CP3 35m (T) Outside Bridge of Orchy Village Hall 50m after WHW crosses A82(T) road 298396 00:00hr 02:00hr Drop Bag 3
CP4 44m (T) Auchtertyre Camp Site (50m before crossing large river bridge at camp site) 3235290 04:00hr 05:00hr Drop Bag 4
CP5 54m (T) Beinglas Camp Site where WHW enters camp site 322186 08:00hr 08:00hr Drop Bag 5
CP6 68m (T) Rowardennan Car Park ( near the pier ) 359986 13:00hr 13:00hr Drop Bag 6
THE 'SAFETY RUCKSACKS' CAN BE LEFT AT THIS Check Point.
74m (T) Toilets in car park one mile before Balmaha 411922
75m (T) Toilets in main car park at Balmaha near Information Centre 421910
CP7 83m Drymen at WHW/A811 road crossing 482888 18:00hr 18:00hr Drop Bag 7
FINISH 95m OUTSIDE MILNGAVIE TOWN HALL 22:00hr 22:00hr Finish Bag
AN A4 INFORMATION SHEET WILL BE ISSUED TO EACH COMPETITOR AT REGISTRATION - VERY IMPORTANT
The Information Sheet will provide the Check Points information above. ALSO the name/s of those covering the various CPs including their mobile telephone numbers, in case they are needed to be contacted in an emergency. Also the names of the Race Director, searchers, sweepers, and other officials along with their mobile numbers will be provided. Emergency Services numbers will also be provided.
All competitors MUST keep this information sheet on their person and waterproofed at all times during the race. Please keep it in a safe place. A waterproof cover is also provided. It is every competitors responsibility to keep their information sheet dry, secure and on their person (or in their race pack) at all times.
We also strongly advise you photograph all the details listed on your Information Sheet and save the photographs on your mobile phone. Please complete this task at registration. By doing this you have an emergency back up file you can refer to during the race.
WHW Trail between Inveroran and Kingshouse. A tough long section with stunning views of mountains, rivers and moorland. You might get to see deer and birds of prey on this section. Take it all in. All part of the wonderful experience that is the West Highland Way Challenge Race.
Also please familiarise yourself with the route and any diversions that may be in place. You may wish to look up the route on Google Maps or Google Earth (or similar app) prior to the race. Good planning increases chances of success. Double check any last minute queries you may have with a race official whilst at Registration.
At the Finish the last thing you will be want after running/walking 96 miles is to get lost at the end of the race in Milngavie. If in doubt just head to the Train Station, the Town Hall and Finish are across the road from the entrance to the Train Station.
Please note your finish time will only be recorded once you cross the line at the WHW Challenge Race finish outside Milngavie Town Hall.
REMBER AND COLLECT YOUR 'FINISH GLASS' AND IF APPLICABLE, YOUR 'NAMED KEYRING' AT THE FINISH.
Due to the COVID situation there will be no Prize Giving Ceremony at the end of the race.
Prize Giving 2018 Race - Jim Drummond congratulates Geraldine Muller on being the first lady to cross the finish line. Well done again Geraldine on a superb achievement.
Thanks again for taking part and sharing your positive feedback. Great job!
COACH TRANSPORTATION FROM MILNGAVIE to FORT WILLIAM
Due to the number of entrants, the race will lay on 3 coaches from MILNGAVIE TRAIN STATION to FORT WILLIAM. Due to COVID restrictions, the coachs are limited to 24 occupants per 49 seater. On Friday 28th May, CHECK YOUR COACH NUMBER AND SEAT NUMBER, as they may have changed before then. This information is in the 'Entrants List' on the 'Results & Entries' page of the race web site.
FACE MASKS MUST BE WORN AT ALL TIMES IN THE COACH.
EMBARKATION OF THE COACHES WILL BE FROM 07:30am to 07:50am THE COACHES WILL LEAVE Milngavie Train Station car park SHARP AT 08:00am so DON'T BE LATE, OR YOU WILL HAVE TO GET A TAXI TO FORT WILLIAM.
The coaches will travel to the REGISTRATION at Claggan Football Field, which is approximatly 600m from the Start, which is at the WHW SIGN at the Edinburgh Woolen Mill car park in Fort William. The coaches will arrive barring road hold-ups, at approximately 10:30am on SATURDAY 29th MAY 2021. The 3 coaches are meant to have toilets.
There is NO 'early coach' for the 09:00am starters due to the small numbers.
THERE WILL BE NO ORGANISED TRANSPORT FROM THE RACE FINISH AT MILNGAVIE TO 'GLASGOW AIRPORT' DUE TO THE CHANGE IN DIRECTION OF THE RACE AND THE VARYING TIMES OF THE FINISHERS.
'CHECK POINT' RACE PROVISIONS'
CHECK POINTS WILL PROVIDE THE FOLLOWING FLUIDS:
- Water (cold)
- Water (hot)
- Diluting juice
- Milk - for tea, coffee.
ALL THE 'CHECK POINTS' HAVE: VEHICLES LOCATED AT THEM
Item at Check Points:
- Large first-aid kit
- Sleeping bag
- Stove & kettle for heating drinks
- A pot for heating solid foods
- Spare torches
- Vaseline, tissues
IN ADDITION TO WHW CHALLENGE RACE SUPPORT FACILITIES - TAKE PLENTY OF MONEY
(please note all details listed below are for information purposes only and they operate independently of the Race Organisers)
IT IS VERY ADVISABLE TO TAKE ALONG A COPY OF THE INFORMATION BELOW FOR USE DURING THE RACE
There are various hotels, shops and restaurants along the WHW route. For example:
Naturally, the competitor arrival time to these locations will determine if the local hotel, shop etc is open. The race organisation advice is always carry cash in any ultra race, remember some places don't take cards.
- FORT WILLIAM : RACE START at WHW SIGN at Glen Nevis and A82(T) road junction.
- KINLOCHLEVEN: CP 1 (14 miles) Toilets available at the CP. there is a shop in the village, a hotel, and even a chipper/take-away. (open 17:00hr - 20:00hr)
- Kingshouse Hotel (23miles): Toilets are available at the end of the 'bunkhouse' 100m after crossing the bridge. Also bar food is available in the hotel.
- GLEN COE CHAIRLIFT car park: CP 2 (25 miles) There are toilets and a cafe next to the Check Point.
- Inveroran Hotel is open at 33 miles next to WHW trail. Toilets are available if buying a drink.
- BRIDGE of ORCHY: CP 3 (35 miles) is at the Village Hall beside the Fire Station. The Hall toilet's are only available to the race for use, but not the hall due to COVID restrictions. The CP is 50 metres after the WHW trail crosses the busy main trunk road. There is a large hotel at the crossing, which serves food and drinks and is open until 22:00hrs. BE CAREFUL CROSSING THE MAIN TRUNK ROAD AS THE CARS ARE DOING 60 MPH AND THE MOTOR BIKES A GREAT DEAL FASTER AND BY THAT STAGE YOUR LEGS ARE SLOWER. ENSURE NO SUPPORT VEHICLES PARK IN THE CAR PARK IN FRONT OF THE FIRE STATION, THIS IS FOR THE PART TIME FIRE STAFF ATTENDING THE FIRE STATION IN AN EMERGENCY TO LEAVE THEIR CARS. IF THIS OCCURS THE COMPETITOR WILL BE DISQUALIFIED
- Tyndrum (42 miles) public toilets open 24/7 at South side of main road next to the chipper/take-away (open 07:30hr to 21:00hr), also Green Welly restaurant/cafe and 'Brodies' food shop are in the village.
- OCHTERTYRE Camp Site CP 4 (44 miles) Camp Site toilets open next to WHW trail. NO SUPPORT PERSONS, OR VEHICLES ARE PERMITTED WITHIN A MILE OF THIS LOCATION, OR THE COMPETITOR WILL BE DISQUALIFIED.
- BEINGLAS Camp Site CP 5 (54 miles) Camp Site toilets open, also shop and bar until 22:00hr. NO SUPPORT PERSONS OR VEHICLES ARE PERMITTED PERMITTED WITHIN A MILE OF THIS LOCATION OR THE COMPETITOR WILL BE DISQUALIFIED.
- Inversnaid ( 62 miles) at South side of hotel next to the 'WALKERS DOOR' ENTRANCE is a 'drinking water tap' for use by walkers.
- INVERSNAID - There is only an hotel at this location and it was closed on 6th May 2021. IF WITHDRAWING FROM RACE AT INVERSNAID THEN THERE ARE 4 FERRIES PER DAY TO TARBERT, ACROSS THE LOCH. USE THE FERRY AND YOU CAN BE PICKED UP IN TARBERT. THE FERRY TIMES ARE :- 10:30am ; 12:00am ; 02:15pm and 04:00pm. THE FERRY COST'S £10, IT IS EASIER AND QUICKER TO BE PICKED UP IN TARBERT, AS IT IS ON THE MAIN A82(T) TRUNK ROAD. There is a DRINKING WATER TAP on the wall next to the 'walkers entrance' at the end of the hotel, before going up the steps.
- ROWARDENNAN car park CP6 (68 miles) the CP is near the pier. Toilets are available. There is a hotel 500m after the Check Point next to the WHW trail.
- Milorrochy Car Park (at the 19mile mark on the Harvey's map) is one mile before Balmaha.(76miles) There are very good toilets at the far end of the car park, as you are about to leave it. They are in the stone building which is 10 metres to the left of the WHW trail.
- Balmaha (77 miles) 7 portable toilet's are in the car park next to the Visitors Centre ( the padloch's are left on the doors, but the toilets are open) also there are toilets in the Visitors Centre. Balmaha also has a restaurant and a cafe.
- DRYMEN : CP7 ( 83 miles) there is a shop, hotels, cafe and bars with toilets for customers in Drymen. Going into Drymen requires a slight detour, but it is the same distance to walk as WHW route. The detour starts where WHW trail crosses the Drymen to Garmore (tared) road, go down into Drymen. After Drymen catch the WHW again half mile East of Drymen, where the WHW trail crosses the A811 road.
- Beech Tree Inn at Drumgoyne at (87.5 miles) bar /resturaunt toilets for use of customers.
- FINISH is 'OUTSIDE' the Town Hall in MILNGAVIE opposite the entrance to the Train Station. At the end of WHW OBILISQUE in Milngavie turn left and walk though pedestrian precinct for 400m. At its end of the precinct there is a metal sign post pointing the direction to the 'Town Hall' which is 100m further on. Alternatively you head to the Train Station and at the entrance to the station, cross the road to Milngavie Town Hall and the FINISH.
WITHDRAWALS DURING RACE - CONSIDER A 'CONTINGENCY PLAN'
Due to the COVID situation, the 17 seat mini bus we hire for to transport 'withdrawal' competitors, may only be able to take less competitors at a time, so it may mean you may have to wait at a Check Point for a while before being picked up. SO MAKE SURE YOU CARRY SPARE CLOTHING or HAVE IT IN YOUR DROP BAG TO STAY WARM, AS THERE ARE NO 'HALLS' WE CAN TAKE YOU TO. This is where hotels and cafes come in handy, so carry cash during the race.
Withdrawal competitors will be returned to Milngavie and that is okay if you have a car there, or are going to be picked up. If you travelling by train, plane or can't be picked up and it is the middle of the night then you should consider whether you either sleep on a park bench, bus shelter, or get a taxi to a hotel that is open 24 hours e.g. the two nearby Premier Inns , Glasgow Airport hotels, or hotels in Glasgow and the taxi's telephone number and cash to get you there. This was one of the main reasons we had to change the direction of the 2021 race, as there was no fasilities in Fort William during the night for withdrawing competitors to go to.
BEN NEVIS CLIMB: ADDITIONAL WHW CHALLENGE RACE OPTION
The WHW Guide Book suggests the ascent of Ben Nevis is a fitting 'GRAND START' to the West Highland Way. Colin Anderson in the 2018 race climbed the Ben as the Grand Finale to his race, completing 105 miles and 19,162 ft of ascent in 34 hours 10 minutes. A great endurance effort/achievement. Well done again Colin.
Quick summit photo before the descent back to the race finish line. Colin is the first competitor ever to complete a WHW Ultra and a summit/descent of the mighty Ben Nevis within 35 hours in an officially timed and recognised race. Great job! Confident you will inspire others.
John Vernon, one of the competitors, with 16 race completions of the WHW, has requested The WHW Challenge Race adds the ascending and descending of Ben Nevis as an additional race, for those who wish to do so.
AFTER CAREFUL CONSIDERATION IT WAS AGREED TO ADD THE WHW & BEN NEVIS RACE, FOR THOSE WISHING TO DO SO. Jim would like to add, If you take up the Ben Nevis option and suffer, please feel free to blame John Vernon who proposed it. Although it must be said that in the 16 WHW races John has completed he has never had the urge to climbed Ben Nevis at the end of the race. Only one competitor has taken up and competed the challenge.
In 2021 John Vernon (who will be 70 years of age on the race date) has entered the WHW & Ben Nevis Race as the Ben is climbed at the start of the race.
The Ben Nevis climb would add a further 11 miles and 1,324 metres of cimb to the WHW Challenge race, but will not affect the 5 UTMB series points which are based on a Milngavie finish.
BEN NEVIS EQUIPMENT TO BE CARRIED.
Competitors must carry the following on the Ben Nevis Climb:
- Waterproof trousers
- Waterproof jacket with hood (not Pertex, or other shower proof only garments)
- Warm running kit
- Thermal layers
A KIT CHECK WILL BE CARRIED OUT BY THE MARSHALS PRIOR TO THE START OF THE CLIMB.
- Emergency whistle
- Mobile phone
- A heavy duty 'Emergency Bag' (orange type)
- Yaktrax' style overshoes (as most likely there will still be snow and ice on Ben Nevis in May)
- A basic First Aid Kit.
THE RACE DIRECTORS DECISION IS 'FINAL' ON WHETHER THE CLIMB, OR COMPETITOR GOES AHEAD OR NOT, AS PART OF THE RACE. IT WILL BE DEPENDANT ON WEATHER CONDITIONS.
THE WHW CHALLENGE RACE ROUTE
The WHW Challenge race route is the authorised West Highland Way route. The route is indicated on the official West Highland Way Website. We recommend all competitors to visit this website to further their knowledge and understanding of the route.
In addition maps of the route are made by Harveys WHW map or the Footprint WHW map. PLEASE REMEMBER the West Highland Way Challenge Race has a different finishing line/place to the actual end of the West Highland Way. Please see above for more detail on the race finish.
IMPORTANT TO NOTE:
1 AT THE ALTERNATE WHW ROUTE LOCATION AT 75 TO 79 MILES THE RACE ROUTE 'GOES OVER just below the summit of CONIC HILL'
2. AT THE ALTERNATE WHW ROUTE LOCATION AT 64 to 67 MILES (This is 5 miles before Rowardennan ) THE RACE ROUTE 'GOES THE EAST ROUTE (THE HIGH FOREST ROAD TRAIL) This is an alternative WHW route . Study it on the map as there is a sign pointing the West route at the junction. If you go the Westerly WHW signed route via the lochside you will take an extra 20 minutes Every year some competitors take the Westerly loch route and are overtaken by those behind who took the forest road route. There are WHW signs on the Easterly road route, but they are after the track/road junction for the route divergence.
If you take the other path route, via Rowchoish Bothy it will bring you back onto the WHW trail 2.5 miles later, but you will add at least 15 to 20 minutes extra to your time.
Beautiful Loch Lomond at first light.