This weekend saw the 50th anniversary of the Isle of Jura Fell Race. Jura is a spectacular wild island just off the west coast of Scotland near to Islay with a population of only about 200 so on race weekend when 300+ extra people descend on it it’s quite a challenge to both get across there and for the island to accommodate everyone. Most people camp on an impromptu campsite set up just outside the Jura Hotel which is very handy for both the race and the local whisky distillery!
The race is one of the toughest fell races in the calendar, it’s 28km long with 2200m of climbing and climbs all 7 main hills on the island including the 3 Paps of Jura which are all over 700m high. The terrain is all pathless over wet moorland with deep bogs in places and very steep up and down scree slopes and boulder fields. Not for the faint hearted. Most people you talk to after the race don’t talk about their time they just tend to be happy to have ‘got round’.
Despite a decent forecast this year and a glorious sunny Friday, race day saw the clouds descend over all the tops with drizzly rain for most of the race. With the lack of paths this gives the race a much more serious feel to it.
There were about 230 starters in this years race which was won by Finlay Wild in 3hr 07min, first lady home was Eleanor Johnson in 4hr 18min.
2 Tod Harriers completed the race
Bob Halstead 135th 5hr 28min
Dan Taylor 153rd 5hr 38min
The race had new organisers this year with Westerlands Cross Country club taking over the role, big shout out to them for a great job with what is one of the harder races to get put on.
Report by Bob Halstead