Final Runner Instructions and Race Rules 2024



Registration will take place on Friday 21 June 2024 between 9.00pm and 12.00 midnight at St Joseph’s  RC Church Hall in Milngavie. The church hall is located across the road from Milngavie Station, where  the race starts. At registration you will be given your race number, which should be visible throughout  the race, a timing device to be used at each checkpoint, and a tracker.  

All runners will be required to show photographic ID to collect their race number. You will be given  your goody bag and any merchandise you have purchased. One member of your support crew is  required to attend registration with you and will be given a support crew permit which needs to be  displayed on the support vehicle for the full race. You will be weighed and your weight recorded.  Unlike earlier years, you will not be weighed at any checkpoint unless the medical team have specific  concerns. 

We would encourage those who are able to do so to register as early as practical, to help reduce  congestion later in the evening. We are keen to keep the number of people inside the hall at any one  time to a minimum, so please complete the registration process and leave the hall immediately  afterwards. If you wish to leave drop bags, please take them to the drop bag vehicles which will be  parked in the station car park. 

The station car park can get very busy with race traffic. If you are unable to park there, additional  parking should also be available in local car parks or in the nearby Tesco, which remains open well into  Friday evening. 

Race briefing and race start: 

All runners should gather at the start line (which is at the bridge beside Milngavie Station), ready to  start the race, at 12.40am. There will be a short race briefing and then the race will start at exactly  1.00am. 

Race numbers: 

Race numbers will be posted on the website a few days before the race. If you would like to be  allocated a special race number please e-mail me at before 31  May. Numbers can be requested from 1 to 200.  

Race route: 

The race follows the official West Highland Way trail from Milngavie to Fort William, apart from the  five sections outlined below: 

Approaching Tyndrum (53 miles): on arriving at the road just before the By The Way campsite, all  runners should turn right and follow the road towards the village. They should turn left at the A82  junction, stay on the pavement past the Real Food Café, cross the road at the pelican crossing, and  continue past the front of the Green Welly before rejoining the WHW official route at Brodies Stores.

Glencoe checkpoint (70 miles): as the path approaches Glencoe ski-centre, the race route leaves the  main path and takes a left fork towards the ski centre, with the checkpoint in the car park. The official route is rejoined by following the main road down the hill. 

Approaching Kinlochleven (80 miles): on reaching the bottom of the water pipe, runners should take  the route past Blackwater Hostel and Campsite, pass the Ice Factor, turn right at reaching the main  road, and head in to the checkpoint at the Leven Centre.  

Glen Nevis (93 miles): on entering Glen Nevis and heading towards Fort William, runners should stay  on the land rover track all the way past the Braveheart car park to the road, and should not follow the  official route which takes a right turn down through the forest. 

The finish: is in the Nevis Centre. As you come in to Fort William, go straight on at the roundabout,  follow the pavement until you reach the old finish at Lochaber Leisure Centre, then cross the road at  the traffic lights. Follow the pavement towards the town centre, run round the front of the railway  station, and follow the pavement past the bus station until you reach the Nevis Centre.  

All of the sections outlined above will be clearly marked, so there should be no risk of going off route.  At all other sections you should follow the official West Highland Way trail markers. 


Each runner is required to check in at a number of checkpoints throughout the race. The checkpoints  and the cut-off times are as follows: 

Balmaha (19miles) – 5hrs 0 mins 

Beinglas Farm (42miles) – 12hrs 0 mins 

Auchtertyre (51miles) – 15hrs 30 mins 

Bridge of Orchy (60miles) – 18hrs 30 mins 

Glencoe Ski Centre (71miles) – 23hrs 0 mins 

Kinlochleven (81miles) – 28hrs 0 mins 

Fort William (95miles) – 35hrs 0 mins 

Any runner not reaching a checkpoint within the allocated time will be withdrawn from the race. This  will be based on the electronic timing and all cut-off times will be strictly enforced. To give an example,  a runner arriving at Beinglas Farm at 12 hours, 0 minutes and 59 seconds will be allowed to continue.  A runner arriving at 12 hours, 1 minute and 0 seconds will be withdrawn. It is a condition of entry that  any runner failing to reach a checkpoint within the designated timescales surrenders their timing card  and does not continue in the race. The only exception to this is where a runner has stopped to help  another runner in trouble and this has caused them to miss a cut-off; in that case the runner will be  referred to the Race Safety Officer or Race Director, whose decision will be final. 

If a marshal is concerned about the condition of any runner, this will be referred to the Race Doctor,  the Race Safety Officer, or the Race Director. They will determine what action, if any, needs to be  taken: this could include a variety of measures including, if considered appropriate, instructing  withdrawal from the race. Such an instruction would only be given where it was considered necessary  for the runner’s own safety, and would not be taken lightly. However, it is a condition of entry that 

any such instruction must be followed, and the decision of the Race Doctor, Race Safety Officer or  Race Director is final. 

As a general rule no food or drink will be provided at checkpoints; it all needs to be provided by the  runner and carried by the support crew or put in a drop bag. The exception to this is that water will  be available at Balmaha, Rowardennan, Inversnaid and Beinglas, so please do not put water into your  drop-bags for these places. 

Support crew: 

It is a condition of entry that all runners must have motorised back up for the full duration of the  event. Up until Auchtertyre you need at least one crew member, and from Auchtertyre onwards you  need a crew of at least two people, one of whom must be capable of accompanying you during the  last two stages if required. You are required to provided details of your support crew as soon as  possible, but by no later than 27 May. The link for providing support and medical details is here:

You will not be allowed to take part in the event unless these details have been provided. Please  submit your details using the designated form and not by any other way: it makes it much easier for  the organising team to access the information if required on race day. 

The Support Crew must check in with their runner at registration, and must meet their runner at the  following checkpoints: 

Auchtertyre Farm 



Finish at Fort William 

Due to access difficulties, support crews are not allowed to meet their runner at Beinglas Farm  checkpoint. It will not be mandatory for support crews to meet their runner at the checkpoints at  Balmaha, Rowardennan and Bridge of Orchy. Although not mandatory, crews are welcome to meet  their runners at those places if they wish to do so. Remember however that it is the support crew’s  responsibility to ensure their runner’s safety between checkpoints, and they must be prepared to go  on to the course and search for their runner if they do not arrive at a checkpoint. They must also be  prepared to collect their runner at a checkpoint if the runner has decided to withdraw from the race.  Crews should therefore have arrangements in place to keep in touch with their runner by phone if  they do not plan to meet up at the non mandatory checkpoints. 

Faster runners are not allowed to have a support runner at any point during the race, and no-one is  allowed a support runner before Auchtertyre farm. You are welcome to be accompanied by a support  runner (or runners) if you leave a checkpoint after the following times: 

Auchtertyre – after 10hrs 30mins race time (i.e. after 11.30am) 

Bridge of Orchy – after 12hrs 30mins (i.e. after 1.30pm) 

Glencoe – after 14hrs 45mins (i.e. after 3.45pm)

Kinlochleven – after 17hrs 30mins (i.e. after 6.30pm) 

The check point marshals will advise on whether a runner is able to have a support runner. If you are  allowed a support runner, the support runner is not allowed to carry their runner’s kit for them – that  must be carried by the runner themselves. 

If you are ahead of these times, your support crew are only allowed to run with you in the area one  quarter of a mile before the checkpoint and one quarter of a mile after the checkpoint, and are not  allowed to run with you at any other times. The support crew are however allowed to meet you at  any safe point on the route, except the section between the top of Loch Lomond and Crianlarich as  outlined below. 

Please note that in the event of particularly adverse weather, all runners may be instructed to ‘pair  up’ with a member of their crew or another runner for any of the later stages of the race. Support  runners should make sure they have adequate waterproof kit with them, and it is recommended that  they follow the same guidance as that given to the runners below. 

We would encourage all support crew to use the tracker website to identify their runner’s location  throughout the race. 

Support vehicles: 

Many of the roads on the route are narrow and not suitable for a large campervan / motorhome type  of vehicle. We would recommend that this type of vehicle is not used at all for support, but in  particular large campervans are not permitted for travel to Rowardennan, Auchtertyre or Lundavra.  At Bridge of Orchy campervans are prohibited from going down the minor road to the checkpoint, and  must park in the car park just before the Bridge of Orchy Hotel. 

We have had a number of problems with large campervans in the past, and it is important that support  crews use common sense in their choice of vehicle. We reserve the right to withdraw any competitor  whose support crew or support vehicle are causing serious problems for the smooth operation of the  race. 

There are a number of car parks on the route where parking charges apply, including the finish at the  Nevis Centre in Fort William. Please note that those charges need to be paid as your race vehicle  permit does not exempt you from any parking charges. 

Electronic timing: 

A SPORTident Timing Card (SI-Card) will be issued to each runner at registration. At each of the  checkpoints shown above, plus at the timing points at Rowardennan, Inversnaid and Lundavra, you  need to lay the SI-Card flat over the hole in the SPORTident Timing station and the station will beep  or flash. This indicates that a timestamp has been recorded on your card.  

This procedure is an essential requirement of the race. Follow the same procedure at the Finish and  hand your SI-Card to the SPORTident Timing Team. You will be given a small printout showing your  split times through each checkpoint on the route.

Each time you register your SI-Card at a checkpoint, data is uploaded onto the SPORTident webserver  in real time. This allows friends and family to follow your progress throughout the race, either at home  on a computer or on any web enabled phone as they support you along the route. 

Details of the website link will be confirmed nearer the race. This should help your friends to plan  where and when they will meet you during the race as the information it provides includes an ETA for  each runner at the next checkpoint. 

Should you need to retire during the event, wherever possible please hand in your SI-Card at a  checkpoint on your route. If you are “rescued” by a support vehicle, please ensure that you deliver  your SI-Card to the NEXT checkpoint on the course. 

Until each SI-Card has reached the finish or been handed in at a checkpoint, the event organisers will  assume that you are still on the course. Failure to hand in your SI-Card at the event will cause an  unnecessary search by rescue teams and you may be barred from taking part in future events. There  is a charge of £30 for each SI-Card that is not handed in. 


A GPS tracker will be issued to each runner at registration. The number on the tracker will match your  race number. It will be issued to you in a waterproof bag. Please keep it in this bag. The tracker needs  to be stowed securely in an external pocket on your person. Don’t store the tracker under any other  kit, as it needs to be as close as possible to the outside. 

The tracker will be turned on and ready to go when it is issued to you, so you do not need to do  anything to it. The battery will last the duration of the event. 

For friends and family that wish to follow you can do so via a smartphone, tablet or laptop. Details of  the link will follow. 

For a better user experience for your supporters, please advise them to download the Geo Tracks  App . The App enables your supporters to  focus just on you and it will also show them where they are in relation to you, making it easy to meet  up during the race. There is a charge of £3.99 to download the app. 

The finish line team will collect your tracker from you once you have finished. Should you need to  retire during the event, wherever possible please hand in your tracker at a checkpoint on your route. If  you are “rescued” by a support vehicle, please ensure that you deliver your tracker to the NEXT  checkpoint on the course. If you do not return your tracker, you will be charged a fee of £50 to replace  it. 

Medical advice: 

Please ensure you have read, and taken heed of, the medical advice document which is attached to  these instructions. 

Specifically, please do not take Ibuprofen or other NSAIDs, such as naproxen or diclofenac. These can  cause serious medical problems during endurance events and if we become aware of any runner 

taking Ibuprofen or other NSAIDs that runner may be disqualified. It is also very important that you  note the dangers of over-hydration, and ensure you only drink to thirst.  

‘Cloudy eye’ is a problem which affects a small number of ultra-runners at our event and can bring  your race to a premature end. Experience suggests that it is mostly caused by the prolonged exposure  to the stresses of a long run in the outdoor environment. Its likelihood can be reduced, to a certain  extent, by wearing eye protection for most or all of the distance. It can be readily identified through  behavioural changes in the runner who is colliding with the landscape more frequently, combined with  an inability to make out fine detail. For some, the eyes will actually look cloudy to an observer. This  can of course be confused with the other issues mentioned in the race medical advice document, so  our clear recommendation is to report anyone evidently affected to the medical team for review. It  is normally self-correcting within a few hours once the runner is removed from the environmental  factors but should always be investigated. 

Please remove rings from fingers and toes. Numerous unfortunate runners over the years have found  that over a long race, the combination of swollen hands and then a simple fall leading to hand injuries  can seriously damage fingers through restricting blood flow past a tightening ring. 

If you are in any doubt about a medical or safety issue during the event, ask for the medical team at  any checkpoint. The team are very experienced and not here to stop you; they are here to make your  completion of the race as safe as possible. 

You are required to complete the medical details that are requested on the support and medical  details form, at the link shown above. 

The medical team may in some cases ask additional follow up questions of runners with a more  complex or challenging background, with a view to mitigating any additional health risks as far as  possible. 

Mandatory kit: 

As in previous years, we are insisting that every runner carries a lightweight space blanket throughout  the race. These only cost a couple of pounds from any outdoor shop, and could make a significant  difference if you are unfortunate enough to have a fall, particularly if it is in a remote part of the trail. 

We are also insisting that every runner carries a mobile phone, with the following emergency numbers  programmed in to it: 

Sean Stone, Race Safety Officer – 07768 642314 

Ian Beattie, Race Director – 07939 535523 

In the event of an emergency, Sean should be the first point of contact. If contact cannot be made  with Sean, Ian is the second point of contact. 

There are other items of kit that you must have available if directed by a race official, although whether  you need to carry them on the day will depend on the conditions at any particular time. These include  the following: 

A head torch, with spare batteries; 

Full body waterproof clothing;

A whistle. 

Other recommended items include: 

Harveys map of the West Highland Way 

Small Backpack/Bumbag or both 


A number of complete changes of clothes 

Various pairs of shoes 

Sunhat/Woolly Hat 


First Aid Kit 

Insect Repellent 

Blister Repair Kit 

Water Bottles 

Skin Care 


Toilet Roll 

Remember, conditions can vary considerably throughout the course of the race and it is better to carry  too much kit in your support vehicle than find yourself short. Kit checks may be made at any time  during the race. 

Walking poles: 

No competitor is allowed to use walking poles at any stage of the race. 


Dogs are not allowed to run with any competitor at any stage of the race, nor are they allowed to run  with any person who is supporting a runner. This is a condition of our event insurance. 

iPods/MP3 players: 

iPods/MP3 players are permitted, but competitors must be able to hear what is going on around you  at all times. Earphones must be removed at checkpoints, at road crossings, when approaching  marshals, and at all times when running on public roads. If a marshal signals you to remove your  earphones, you must do so immediately.


There will be a facility for runners to leave drop-bags for Balmaha, Rowardennan, Inversnaid, Beinglas  Farm and Bridge of Orchy. Please ensure these drop bags are clearly marked with your race number,  and take them to the marked vehicle at the start at Milngavie Station. They should be as small as  possible and should not contain water, as that will be provided. It will not be possible to return the  contents of any drop bag to you after the race. 

Litter and general behaviour: 

The West Highland Way is a route of outstanding beauty, and we try to ensure our race is well  regarded by the West Highland Way rangers, by those living near the route, and by other users. To  this end please make sure you do not drop any litter anywhere on the route, but that you carry it with  you to the next checkpoint. Please also show consideration for walkers and other users. 

Noise during the night: 

In previous years we have had complaints from residents at Drymen about the noise made by support  crews. To try and address this we would discourage support crews from meeting their runner at  Drymen at all. 

If you do intend to go there, you must not park either on the main road or in the dead-end road outside  the houses. Instead you should park on the road heading down towards Drymen or in the car park in  Drymen village, then meet your runner in the field before the route crosses the road. We will have  marshals in place to make sure this is enforced. 

We have also had complaints in the past from Kinlochleven residents about the noise levels during the  Saturday night / Sunday morning. We are very keen to maintain good relations with people who live  near the route, so please make every effort to keep noise to a minimum, particularly during the hours  of darkness. 

Noise at the finish in Fort William can also cause problems during the night-time hours. Again we  would ask you to respect the local residents who do not wish to be disturbed. 

‘Low’ route after Rowardennan: 

The race follows the ‘low’ path between Rowardennan and Inversnaid. The turn off for the low route  is just less than 2 miles north of Rowardennan, and one third of a mile after the gate at Ptarmigan  Lodge. It is well signposted. 

Area from the top of Loch Lomond to Crianlarich: 

Parking in the area between the top of Loch Lomond and Crianlarich is very limited, and we have had  problems in previous races with businesses and landowners in that area. For that reason, support  crews are not permitted to meet their runner at any point on the A82 between Beinglas Farm and  Bogle Glen, above Crianlarich. This restriction includes Beinglas Farm, Derrydarroch Farm, Carmyle  Cottage, and any of the lay-bys on that section of the A82. This will be strictly enforced, and any 

breach could lead to a time penalty or even your disqualification, so please make sure that your  support crew are aware of this rule. 

If your support crew wants to meet you after the Beinglas Farm checkpoint but before the next  checkpoint at Auchtertyre, it is possible to park in Crianlarich, walk for a mile or so up the hill, and  meet your runner at the point the West Highland Way comes in to Bogle Glen. 

Parking is also restricted at the checkpoint at Auchtertyre. The one vehicle per runner rule will also  apply at this checkpoint, and your crew will need to show their parking permit to gain access. Your  support crew should not arrive at Auchtertyre too early, as there is limited capacity. We would  strongly recommend that they have a sleep after leaving the east side of Loch Lomond, and should do  this in a safe place such as a car park in Balloch at the southern end of Loch Lomond. Support crews  arriving too early at Auchtertyre Farm will not be permitted access.  

Route into Tyndrum: 

This year we will be changing the route through Tyndrum, taking runners through the centre of the  village. This is explained in the ‘race route’ section above.  

Parking for support vehicles at Tyndrum: 

We have access to the car park at the Muthu Royal Hotel in Lower Station Road, Tyndrum, for the  duration of the Saturday. All race traffic should use this car park if space is available. Coming from  the south, support vehicles should take the first road on the left as they come into Tyndrum (after  Tyndrum Holiday Park and before the Real Food Café). The parking is in the grounds of the hotel on  the left hand side of the road. It will be signposted; do not use the Muthu Ben Doran Hotel on the  right hand side.  

You should not park in the car park of premises such as the Green Welly, Real Food Café or By The  Way in Tyndrum unless you are a customer of those establishments, and even if a customer you should  not park there for an extended period. 

Food and refreshments: 

A number of businesses on the route have kindly agreed to open their premises and provide facilities  for support crews.  

St Mocha coffee shop at the Oak Tree Inn in Balmaha (19 miles) will be open from around 1am and  will offer hot rolls and refreshments. Note that the Oak Tree Inn itself will not be open, so do not try  and gain entry to the hotel. Toilet facilities will be available in the nearby visitor centre. There is a  café / shop at Auchteryre Farm (51 miles). The Real Food Café in Tyndrum will be open throughout  the day on the Saturday. The cafe at Glencoe Ski Centre (71 miles) will stay open late on the Saturday  night and will serve food until 10pm. There are a number of pubs and a fish and chip shop in  Kinlochleven. We are very grateful for the help of these businesses; please support them if you can. 

The Real Food Café in Tyndrum has agreed to offer a ‘Buy One Get One Free’ deal to all runners and  marshals heading home on Sunday 23 June and Monday 24 June (note that the deal is not available  on Saturday 22 June). The idea is that it is a like for like deal. I.e, buy a box of chips and get the same 

free. Buy a fish and chips and get another free. Buy a coffee and cake and get the same free etc. To  claim this please advise the person at the till that you either competed or marshalled at the WHW  Race. We are very grateful to Sarah and her team at the Real Food Café for this offer. 

The finish: 

The race finish is inside the Nevis Centre in Fort William. This is about half a mile further on from the  old finish at Lochaber Leisure Centre, beyond the Morrisons store and the station, and will be fully  signposted. More details are given in the ‘race route’ section above. At the finish your time will be  recorded and you will be given a printout of your splits. Showers are available for runners and crew  (this will be badly needed!), and tea and coffee will be available. Please note that no alcohol is allowed  in the Nevis Centre, nor in the car park outside. 

Race merchandise: 

All runners will receive a race garment and a race buff in their goody bag. Additional race merchandise  for you or as a ‘thank you’ for your support crew will be available for purchase by the end of May. We  will send a separate mail and post on our social channels as soon as it becomes available. Meantime  there are a few ongoing items available on the race shop web page 


The prizegiving will take place in the Nevis Centre in Fort William (same venue as the race finish) at 12  noon on Sunday 23 June. Please try and attend – it is a great occasion where every finisher is  presented with his or her hard earned goblet, and helps continue the great ‘family’ feel of the event.  It is expected to last about an hour and a half. The Nevis Centre will serve breakfast from 10am. If  you are unable to attend, please let a marshal at the finish know and we will arrange for you to take  your goblet away with you. For those staying in Fort William, there will be the chance to meet up for  drinks and some food on the Sunday evening. This is an informal gathering and all are welcome – it  will take place from 7pm in The Great Glen, 104 High Street, Fort William.  

Withdrawal from the race: 

If you need to withdraw from the race, please notify this by e-mail to . A refund of £80 will be made for withdrawals notified on or  before 31 May. No refunds will be given for withdrawals notified after 31 May, but it is still important  that you let us know. Please note that it is not possible to defer any entries to the following year’s  race.

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: 

The race twitter site can be followed at @WHWRace and the Instagram site is @whw_race. If you or  your support crew are tweeting or posting on Instagram before, during or after the race, please use  the hashtag #whwrace. The race also has a Facebook page which will provide updates. 

2025 race: 

The entry procedure for the 2025 race will be similar to this year, with entries open throughout  November 2024. The qualification criteria will be the same: entrants will be required to have  completed an off-road ultra marathon of 65k or more in the period from 2020 to 2024.