Cape Wrath Ultra ventures into parts of the North West of Scotland few have seen beyond Google images. The locations for the race are so remote, you have to commit to visit and despite advances in affordable and accessible travel, seldom few do. The Cape Wrath Ultra is a 400km/248 mile expedition race, spread over 8 days of running, starting in the home of Scottish adventure, Fort William, meandering a route to the most North Westerly point of mainland Britain, Cape Wrath.
Now I have a particular interest in the film, as I was close to signing up to inaugural race in 2016. Had I the funds and time, there was a good chance I would have put one foot infant of the other and attempted to survive the full 8 days, so as much as this is a tale of what could have been, its intriguing viewing for future years….. 2018 race entries open on 8th May…
Taking a format similar to Marathon des Sables and The Dragon’s Back race, competitors race over multiple days, with a nomadic camp breaking & pitching in a new location for their arrival later that day. With distances, height and terrain varying daily, some days are suited to different runners, however the combined build up of fatigue, stress on the body and miles, means its a long game and claiming a stage victory could back fire and significantly reduce your chances of cross the end line.
Despite the use of drones capturing the magnificence of the Scottish highlands, famed for their rolling munros, white beaches and eery glens, its the run and gun video which gives a raw visceral insight into the effort each runner is putting in.
Interviewing runners on the course, following their every move, from highs to crashing lows, Cape Wrath Ultra’s film bares all, giving the viewer a genuine connection with each participant. They aren’t portrayed as superhuman, instead as the people they are, pushing their bodies and minds through an extremely tough and isolating experience.
Blending wide and drone shots with interviews, immerses the viewer in the race, while Race Director Shane Olhy provides context from his unique view point.
The Cape Wrath Ultra film is a celebration of endurance sports. From the epic locations, to the personal stories of those who participate. If you like ultra running, endurance sports, sports psychology, the Scottish Highlands, expeditions or any other category I have missed, this really is one not to miss.