Gary Tompsett, left, and Shane Ohly seen before the latter set off on his 2012 record attempt, which was supported by Tompsett. Photo: Gary Tompsett

Gary Tompsett, left, and Shane Ohly seen before the latter set off on his 2012 record attempt, which was supported by Tompsett. Photo: Gary Tompsett

Organisers of one of the toughest races in Britain have thrown down a new gauntlet to ultrarunners.

Super-fit runners have 18 months to get themselves even fitter for the Cape Wrath Ultra, a 400km (250-mile) route from Fort William through the Scottish Highlands to the most north-westerly point in mainland Britain.

The race will be staged in June 2016 and is being organised by the team behind the Dragon’s Back Race which followed a route down the spine of Wales.

Race organiser Shane Ohly from Ourea Events said: “Winding through the beautiful lochs, glens and mountains of the Scottish Highlands, the Cape Wrath Ultra is an ultrarunning expedition through some of the world’s most inspirational landscapes, including Morar, Knoydart, Kintail, Torridon, Assynt and Sutherland.”

He said the new race is based on the Cape Wrath Trail, which is considered to be the toughest long distance backpacking trail in the UK.

The Cape Wrath Ultra will run from Fort William to Cape Wrath up the western Highlands. Photo: Dave Cuthbertson

The Cape Wrath Ultra will run from Fort William to Cape Wrath up the western Highlands. Photo: Dave Cuthbertson

It crosses rugged landscapes, genuine wilderness and has great distances between support points. Hikers usually take at least 20 days to complete the trail and a new Cicerone guidebook published in 2013 sparked renewed interested in this unofficial long-distance route.

Mr Ohly said: “Our Cape Wrath Ultra route will be similar to the Cape Wrath Trail but with some important variations as we mould the journey for an ultrarunning perspective.

“Detailed planning has begun and Gary Tompsett has been appointed as the race director and planner.

Gary Tompsett planned the 2007 Adventure Race World Championships in the same area and previously worked with Shane Ohly at Rat Race Adventure.

Cape Wrath Ultra logoMr Ohly said: “Living near the Highlands of Scotland, Gary has a deep knowledge of various route options, the terrain, the weather, and the endless possibilities for a rich experience.”

Both Ohly and Tompsett’s have pedigree in ultrarunning; they are both former winter Ramsay Round record holders.

Entries for the Cape Wrath Ultra will open in January 2015.

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