Welcome to the Altra West Highland Way Race

Update on entries from Ian Beattie, Race Director

In normal times, excitement would be growing as we approach the annual November opening of entries for the Altra West Highland Way Race.  As we all know though, these are anything but normal times.  I thought it would be useful to provide an update of how we see things at the moment, with the proviso that things may well change as circumstances develop.

First of all, we very much hope to be able to put on a race on Saturday 19 June 2021.  Ideally this will be in the normal format, with a 1.00 am start for all entrants, the normal checkpoints, and the prizegiving at Fort William on a Sunday.  However, it may be the case that we have to adjust some aspects of the race, depending on how it is all looking in respect of Covid at that time.  For example it may not be possible to hold a prizegiving, and we may need to introduce a staggered start system to avoid too many runners coming in to close contact.  If we have to make changes we will try to give as much notice as we can, but the very nature of the virus means that changes may be necessary very close to the race itself.  The worst case scenario would be the requirement to cancel the whole race, something we would not want to do but which unfortunately we cannot rule out.

We will not be offering any further entries for the 2021 race.  The vast majority of 2020 entrants rolled their entry forward to 2021, and that leaves us with no scope to accept anyone else.  We will not be operating a waiting list either, as the number of entrants is higher than the figure we feel comfortable with starting the race, and our experience shows a normal drop-out rate of 20% to 25%.

At the moment the Scottish Athletics guidance for licensed events states that no more than 200 runners should take part.  Whether or not this will be in place in June 2021 is anyone’s guess, although it should be noted it may be necessary at some point for us to restrict the size of our field to less than 200.  With this in mind we have decided to offer a full refund of £120 to anyone who decides to withdraw from the race on or before 31 December 2020.  From 1 January 2021 to 31 May 2021 the normal refund of £70 will be made.  Anyone wishing to withdraw should advise me by e-mail at ianbeattie@westhighlandwayrace.org.

I hope this provides you with as much of an update as we are able to give at the moment.  I know we are all keen to see a return to normality, but I am sure you will all appreciate that the situation is completely out with our control.



Message from Race Director ...

The West Highland Way Race is one of the world’s longest established ultra-marathons, first taking place in 1985 on the long distance trail between Milngavie (just north of Glasgow) and Fort William in the Scottish Highlands.

Since then it has developed a worldwide reputation as one of the ‘classic’ ultra-marathon races, attracting runners to Scotland from all over the world.  Entry is limited to 265 runners each year, with the relatively small size of the field helping to preserve the friendly nature of the event.

2021 will see the 36th running of this great race.  It would be my pleasure to welcome you in the future.

Ian Beattie - Race Director

Race Licence issued by scottishathletics

Saturday 19th June 2021 Start Time 1am

All runners who had a place for the 2020 race will automatically be entered for 2021


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Inspiration and Training Evening

Altra West Highland Way, ULTRA Training and Inspiration Evening Monday 8 th March 2021 7.00pm-8.30pm(ish) FREE via Zoom link. Our usual evening in Scotland is going virtual this year. An annual informal evening of Ultra running advice and inspiration for anyone or their support crew tackling this iconic epic challenge for the first or tenth […]

Review Video of our #virtualWHWrace

John Kynaston has produced a short video reviewing the Virtual Race with contributions from several runners who took part. Results from Virtual West Highland Way race

#virtualWHWrace Update Two – Wed 17th June 2020

We are now over half way through our Virtual West Highland Way Race and it has been so good to see so many involved. Last night Ian Beattie, Keith Hughes and John Kynaston hosted a live update on Facebook. It has now been uploaded to YouTube so if you would like to watch it and […]

2018 Carnethy 5 FLASHBACK. @Macnic0 reminds us of the simple things we miss as he captures the leaders heading up Scald Law in the Pentlands, with rest of field snaking up the hill. Little snow ⛄️ in sight. @scotathletics @CarnethyHRC @Bog_Trotters @MuirJonny @Tartanshorts https://twitter.com/Macnic0/status/962381633348362241

Neil MacNicol@Macnic0

Nice day out watching #Carnethy5 Hill race.... Video here of the runners making their way up Scald Law

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