Stewarton Ultra Runners
Stewarton Ultra Runners
Ultrarunning is one of the UKs fastest growing sports and Stewarton now has a group of runners who take part in ultramarathons across the country and further afield. An ultramarathon is any footrace that is longer than marathon distance. Over the last few years, members of the “Stewarton Ultrarunners” have been involved in running or supporting at many races including the River Ayr Way Race (40miles), Run the blades (50km), The Highland Fling (53 miles), The Devil o’ the Highlands footrace (42miles), The Falkirk Ultra 8 hour trail race, Glasgow to Edinburgh race (55miles), The John Lucas memorial (50miles), the Autumn 100 (100miles), Kyle of Lochalsh “Dirty 30”, Clydestride (40 miles) and recently the K24 (24 hour race in Dean Park, Kilmarnock). The main event for the group in 2019 has been the West Highland way race, a 97 mile race along the entire route of the west highland way.
Kirsten Cowling, who runs the Groom Room in Stewarton, was one of the WHW runners. She had been on the go for over 34 hours when she got to the end. Afterwards she was exhausted but said it was one of the best experiences of her life, particularly coming over the line with her family and friends cheering her on. Scott Williamson and Billy Maclean from the group also completed the race, in 23 and 22 hours respectively (yes, you read that right, they ran the full length of the West Highland Way from Milngavie to Fort William in less than 24 hours!) and they were supported along the way by fellow Stewarton Ultrarunners George Wilkie (The foot Specialist), Marc Bingham, Gordon McLeod and Michael Waddington (Corsehill Dentist).
In August this year, Scott, Marc and Michael completed the Devil o’the Highlands which meant that Scott achieved the legendary “Triple Crown” which is The Highland Fling (Milngavie to Tyndrum), West Highland Way (Milngavie to Fort William) and Devil o’the Highlands (Tyndrum to Fort William) within one calendar year, no mean feat as it can take months to recover from these races!
Each of the members have their own story about what has made them take up ultrarunning but they all agree that previously none of them believed that they were capable of running any further, or even as far as, a marathon. With the support and camaraderie of the others they have found that they have been able to surpass that by many, many miles. Marc Bingham holds the record for the furthest distance so far – running a 100mile race last year in 27 hours. None of them are particularly fast runners, although within the group there is a bit of healthy competition.
The group would love to help and support others to achieve success in ultramarathons and are happy to be contacted through their Facebook group, Stewarton Ultra Runners