Devil O' The Highlands UltramarathonJonathan Mackintosh enjoys 43miles of running in the Devil O' The Highlands Ultramarathon Name: Jonathan J Mackintosh
Occupation: Web Applications Developer
Event: Devil O' The Highlands Ultramarathon
Distance: 43 miles
9 hours 50 minutes
What was your race time?
How long have you been running?
Ultras for 3 years, marathons 1 year before that, 1/2 and 10ks occasionally but only started running seriously 4 years ago.
What made you decide to sign up for this race?By completing this race I completed the 'Triple Crown', finishing the 53 mile Highland Fling, the 95 mile West Highland Way Race, and the 43 mile Devil O' The Highlands, all in one year.
I always want a PB but at my last race, 2 weeks previously, I had a terrible race and realised that I had not yet recovered from the 95 mile West Highland Way Race. As such, I hoped for a PB but would have been happy just to finish.
What were your expectations for the race?
What were your high and low points during the race, if any?
The low points were the evil midgies and the unexpected heat (approx 22 degrees) which made the climbs in particular difficult.
The high points were many: meeting friends both old and new en route; meeting my wife and her brother, my support crew, at each of the checkpoints, which always picks me up; enjoying the spectacular scenery, seen at its best in the glorious weather; running a strong last 7 miles to pull a PB (12 minutes) out of the bag despite thinking that the opportunity had passed; finishing - after the time spent running in that heat I was glad to chill!
If so where and when did they occur and why?
Low points: On the 2 monster climbs, up the Devil's Staircase and the climb out of Kinlochleven.
High points: Everywhere!
What was the best part of the course for you?
The whole course - might sound like a cliché but it is a glorious, challenging course, with a mix of terrain, a high point of 1798ft, the scenic Rannoch Moor, and views of Buachaille Etive Mor and Ben Nevis (to name but a few highlights!).
What was the most challenging part of the course for you?
The two main climbs, up the Devil's Staircase and the climb out of Kinlochleven up to the Lairig Mor. The descent down into Kinlochleven and some of the latter stages of the route were also difficult as a result of the rocky terrain underfoot.
How would you describe the crowd support?
Brilliant. Because of the remote nature of a lot of the course, there are long spells with no support at all but, as with all of the Scottish Ultra Marathon Series races, the spectators, marshals and support do their best to cheer on not just their own runners but every runner at the start, finish and every checkpoint.
What’s your overall verdict of the race?
A course that cannot be beaten in terms of scenery, excellent marshals and organisation, and a friendly family atmosphere running amongst a lot of known faces from other Scottish Ultra Marathon Series events and a good number of new faces.