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Photo credit: Caroline McKay.

Winter West Highland way triumph for Scotswoman


By Alice Morrison

Caroline Mckay from Mull has become the first woman to complete the 95-mile (153km) West Highland Way non-stop during the winter. The route travels from Fort William to Milngavie in Glasgow and the committee of the West Highland Way race confirmed it was the first time they had recorded a woman completing the route in winter.

It took Caroline just over 24 hours to do and most of it was in the dark – 18 hours to be exact. She was running to raise money for the African education charity she works for, Link Community Development.

She told BBC Scotland that it was harder than she thought it would be. "It was the darkness that made this so hard. I underestimated how tough it would be. I have to admit I was scared when I was on my own on Rannoch Moor and would have died if I had met anyone.”

She also admitted that her imagination began to play tricks with her.

"There were big boulders too next to the trail with white markings on them, which I kept thinking were other things and I saw eyes of what turned out to be a deer at one point."

Ian Beattie, race director of the West Highland Way race and Scottish Athletics chairman, said, "I think we ultramarathon runners forget how hard it is to run such distances and we become quite blasé but this is an incredible thing to do especially in only about six hours of daylight. “

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