29 April 2013
The 2013 British Athletics and Scottish Ultra-trail Championships and IAU World Ultra-Trail Championships Trials were incorporated into the eighth running of the HOKA Highland Fling 53 mile race on Saturday 27th April.
The race is held on The West Highland Way trail, a stretch of Scotland’s iconic long distance trail from Milngavie in Glasgow to the village of Tyndrum in Highland Stirlingshire. One of the largest ultra-trail races in the UK, this year almost 500 runners towed the start line for the 6am start.
Lee Kemp overhauled Ricky Lightfoot in the closing ten miles to take the British men’s title, crossing the line in 7:03:48 – almost nine minutes inside the previous course record set by Andy James in 2011. Lightfoot finished second in 7:09:30, a time also inside the course record, while the bronze medal went to Matt Williamson who set a big personal best of 7:21:52 and retained his Scottish title in the process.
Kemp, who followed a win at the White Cliffs 50 Mile race in Kent in March with this victory, was delighted with his British title.
“It was my first time running the Highland Fling and the course was as tough as I had been told to expect. I had hoped to be a contender, so to win and be in with a shout of GB & NI selection is fantastic.”
Tracy Dean led for the whole of the women’s race and, despite being slowed down by a calf injury in the early stages, crossed the line in 9:12:21 to take the British title. Fionna Cameron closed strongly to finish just over a minute behind Dean in second place with a time of 9:13:35 and take the Scottish title. Sandra Bowers of Winchester finished third in 9:17:02.