Hi folks I’m Matt Gemmell I’m 58 and I’m a retired Police Officer and I also answer to Papa Smurf as a legacy of that. I have been running forever and sometimes it is more to the fore than hillwalking and trekking and vice versa but for the last couple of years it has mainly been running, albeit still in the wilds and only ever trail or fell, never road. I first ran a marathon 35 years ago in 1982 at the first Scottish Peoples Marathon in Glasgow and my long term running goal is to run a Marathon 50 years after my first.
My first Ultra wasn’t even official as I ran 50 miles from Derrydarroch to Fort William along the WHW unsupported, to celebrate my 50th birthday. I have since ran 5 Ultras including Great Glen in 2017. I do a lot of marshalling at races mainly for Ourea Events who organise Cape Wrath Ultra, Dragons Back Race and Skyline Scotland amongst others and have travelled all over Britain. I have also done some with BAM Racing and find it really helps get to know folk. You see the same faces at every race whether running or marshalling and I look forward to getting know more of you.
Why whw race?
Since my 50th birthday run I have harboured a desire to run the WHWR but kept putting it off, sometimes for doubts about raising a support team but recently realised I could not go to my grave without trying and who wouldn’t want a goblet on their mantlepiece (except my wife !).
Aim for the race?
Aim for the race is to finish and enjoy it along with my support team. If I manage under 24 hours that would be great but finishing is all that matters.