Nicky Ellul places 22nd in Rat Race Scotland Coast to Coast

Emerging ultra-distance racer Nicky Ellul represents Malta in the Rat Race Scotland Coast to Coast 2018 – Expert Category, placing 22nd out of 251 competitors

Nicky Ellul
Nicky Ellul

The event which starts in Nairn on the east coast of Scotland follows a diagonal path downwards towards the west coast, passing along Loch Ness and finishing at Ballachulish. Participants run, bike and kayak through one of the most famous mountain landscapes in the world as they cross the country from coast to coast.

The race started early on a sunny yet chilly morning. The first leg of the race was an 11km trail run that led competitors to Cowdor Castle where they changed gear and started a 123km cycle towards Fort William, riding through country roads and also negotiating around 24km of gravel roads and off-road terrain. From here, another trail run of 23km followed, towards the north shore of Loch Leven where the competitors boarded kayaks to paddle 1.7km across to the finish line. All this was done whilst carrying a backpack with the necessary nutrition, cold weather clothing, emergency bag, first aid kit and head torch.

Nicky started with a strong run, reaching the first transition area within 58 minutes and commencing the cycling leg with only 25 participants preceding him. He also had a respectable performance in the cycle stage, which he completed in 5 hours and 11 minutes. However the competition was tough and he was surpassed by around a dozen stronger cyclists. The 23km trail run, which is considered to be the hardest part of the race, put competitors through mud and rocks and resulted in an elevation gain of over 350 meters. Nicky showed his strength in running by overtaking several competitors along the trail. Upon reaching the kayaking stage and boarding his kayak, he set his sights on a competitor who was preceding him by roughly 200 meters. In the relatively short kayaking stage he managed to overtake this competitor finishing the race in 9 hours 52 minutes and 34 seconds. This result secured him the 22nd place out of the 251 competitors who started the race.

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