Race Report: Speyside 100


The LDWA’s annual flagship 100 mile event took place on the weekend of 25/27th May. It is held at a different part of the country every year. This year it was organised by the North of Scotland group and started and finished at Boat of Garten (near Aviemore). In order to qualify for this event, it is necessary to successfully complete one of the LDWA’s 50 milers and be a member of the LDWA.

On the day there were around 450 participants. There was a choice of start times – 10:00am (when the majority started), 12:00pm and 2pm. Concerned I’d get to some of the early CPs before they opened, I choose the midday start.

Not surprisingly the route was beautiful, with 66 miles along the Speyside Way. From Boat of Garten, it went through Nethy Bridge and Grantown on Spey to the village of Cromdale. From there it went up over the ridge of the Cromdale Hills (a highlight for me – really stunning) to drop down to Ballcorah. Then it joined a spur of the SW northwards to traverse Carn Daimler. (Even managed to take a few photos, Ed!) The route passed lots of distilleries – hard to go anywhere in Scotland without doing so! The smell of fermenting barley at 2:00am was a first for me.

The weather was perfect. Beautiful on Saturday and through the night. The rain came on midday Sunday but I’d finished by then 😂. Not so good however for the many people who still had hours to go!

I always struggle a little around 65 miles. This time, however, I loved the night running. Along the trails it was pitch black – albeit for less than 4 hours. Sun rose at 3:45am. My legs were very weary towards the end. The 5 miles back along the disused railway track 10 miles from the finish were particularly hard but I so wanted to get in under 24 hours.

The event was superbly organised with trackers so people could follow you. On arriving at the drop bag CP, there was no fuss – your bag was on the table ready. Everyone was friendly and there were loads of food options including a cooked breakfast at CP 7.

The fastest time was 21:50. I got the third fastest time in 23:33 which is by far my quickest time over this distance. A great weekend. My garmin interestingly informed me, on finishing, that I had earned the ‘insanity’ badge!

Now hoping to bag a few monros while I’m up here over the next few days.