Ring of Steall conjures images of myths and legends from ancient Briton concerning struggles to overcome both human and extreme landscape challenges. Tomorrow (Sat) Meg Mackenzie will be faced with both as she lines up at the start of the final and one of the most challenging of the Golden Trail World Series – the 29 km Ring of Steall Skyrace in the Scottish Highlands.
Mackenzie will be aiming to cement a place in the series’ top ten, and with it a share of the significant financial and opportunity rewards offered to the world’s best marathon-distance trail athletes.
The ten men and ten women, with their chosen trip partners, will secure the opportunity of travelling to the series’ Grand Finale in the Annapurna section of the Himalayas next month and a chance to contest the title of the 2019 Golden Trail World Series champion.
Starting in the western highlands town of Kinlochleven, the race traverses high and remote mountainous terrain with some extremely technical ridge sections. Conditions can change rapidly and conditions are often wet and slippery, with runners balancing on a knife-edge at high altitude and struggling with winds as fierce as the clan warriors of yore.
From rock and scree to muddy and green, the Ring of Steall throws a lot at the competitors over the ups and downs of its 29 kms.