Rat Race Scotland Coast to Coast

Hi All,
Who's entered the Rat Race Scotland Coast to Coast 2012, or thinking about it??
I have and so it seems to make sense to find out as much as I can about it .... so i hope this topic does the trick for any of us interested!!

I have entered the two day Challenger event not the Racer (Far to scared to even contemplate 105 miles in a day!!)
the web link is below.


I am keen to know as much as possible about the event and would love to hear from some one whom has completed it last year.

how does the race unfold? what about the nights camping, how does that work regarding tents and gear??.....how "off road" is off road??....etc etc

Very interested in any advice or information....and happy to pass on any I get through other means.

many thanks


  • I've done the racer both years so don't know about the camping but orange Cannon did the 2 dayer in 2010. It rained the whole weekend.

    It's an awesome event - but seriously tough. The offroad isn't too extreme though - I ride it on my cross bike without top much drama and I'm not that hot riding off road.

    Practice running and cycling with a backpack. And get some good off road shoes. The last section feels like half of the event.

    Have fun!
  • Hi Cougie
    thanks for the reply.

    Lots of respect here for you doing it in a day...I didn't even give that a thought!

    I run and mountain bike a fair bit( run each week 2 or 3 times). Have run loads of 10k/Half Marathons and a marathon(found it ok but kind of boring!!) but never done this kind of thing.

    I hadn't given the weather a thought!!...too fixed on the distance and terrain!! had daft is that!!!

    do you know if they transport your tent/kit for you?(along with the bike i guess??)....I assume they must do surely!!??

    My bike is an all mountain type (Lapierre) so based on your experience would I be fine on it maybe just fit less rubber as its not that "off road"??

    thanks again for the reply.

  • I'm pretty certain all the kit for camping is transported. You do need a pack for your day kit though - and the compulsory safety kit you need to take.

    The first day cycling is all on road and it's probably about 1/3 of the second day is offroad - mostly on forest trails with only a couple is really muddy sections. You could swap tyres if you wanted to - but it's probably not necessary.

    2010 it poured down all year so I had to go back to see some scenery - 2011 was stunning. Taking a lot of kit will be handy. And pack your second days kit in dry bags - just in case. (alpkit make a dry bag rucksack that's worth looking at)

  • Perry,
    Epic event, did the challenger last year and absolutely loved it!
    Having a good think about kit is a must, I thought I had it all squared away only to discover once I got to Nairn that it can be quite cold in Scotland in September and that whilst I don't usually wear riding gloves without them my hands were freezing image
    If you're a mountain biker then the more technical sections shouldn't prove an issue, I did the whole course on a hybrid with lockout suspension and semi-slick tires, a god send on the long road sections and just about good enough on the rough stuff.
    Logistics wise it's all sorted for you, turn up the day before in Nairn to drop off bike and register, drop off bag and tent before race and then meet up with said bags at campsite which is next to the bike transition at the end of day one. Wake up stiff the next morning, pack up kit, drop off bag and start day 2, you will then meet up with your bag and bike (depending on end of race transport arrangements made) at the finish image
    To echo coogie, the 14 mile trek/ run section feels like half of the race, and again with regards to kit it is pretty rocky underfoot for much of the route and as such a sturdy pair of trail shoes would be recommended. I went in some very grippy but somewhat flimsy X-county style shoes, perfect for the first 7 mile run on day one and the steep final descent but by about mile 10 of the trek it felt like someone was hitting the bottom of my feet with hammers.
    I suppose what I'm saying is that you really are going to get it all in one race, from Scotland's B roads to technical single track, tarmac footpath to unmarked grassy/ muddy descent down the ridge into Glencoe and everything in between. As long as you prepare yourself adequately then you'll have a great time.
    Damn, wish I was doing it this year now image
  • Morning Gents,
    thanks yet again Cougie! and thank you Roger The dodger, a great reply with a lot of info advice from you guys both!
    By the way, why did I use my real name when I could have been "cooly anonymous " like you two !!!....live and learn eh!!

    I certainly need to think/assess my kit requirements...and then think again probably!
    i certainly feel I know what to expect a lot more now....and I am sure anyone else reading the thread will to.

    you guys have helped a lot already (the only thing you havent done is do the event for me!)...could I ask another question?....what in your view is the best way to approach the logistics of the event?....getting to the various drop of points then to the start then back from the finish....I will have a long drive both ways (Surrey based) but I am not really into the after race celebrations etc and would rather get on the way home.....any suggestions?

    many many thanks
  • The logistics is all taken care of really - drop it off at the start and you're sorted.
    We stayed in Nairn or Inverness the day before the race and my wife drove the car to meet me at the end. If you're solo then there's a bus back to the start after the race but it could be a long journey back.

    Last year I stayed at the finish hotel and it was bliss. I had the best meal ever and a whisky and fell asleep shortly after. Stunning location.

    Oh I did a race report on the races somewhere.
  • I know rat race offer shuttle buses back to Nairn on the Sunday evening as well as the Monday morning for those wanting to make a move, but after that I don't really know as I traveled by train.
    There were some fellas I met from London who broke the journey in two by stopping over in the lake district, dunno if that's practical for you, either way I wouldn't recommend a long drive immediately after finishing if you can avoid it.
  • Even from NW England it was a 6 or 7 hour drive back from the finish. And we broke the journey overnight on the way up there too.
    If you can stay near the finish - do so. We stayed at the Stewart Hotel in 2010 - not as fancy as it looked !
  • Thanks guys will use all the info and advice with sincere thanks
  • Hello all.

    I'm from Uruguay and I'm planning a trip to Scotland on September/october.

    Does anybody know if there's a short adventure race around those dates or a site where I can find the info?

    I usually train for 50 k to 150k combined races.


    Alen Pujol 

  • Hi Alen,

    I suggest you check out www.runningdiary.co.uk

    You input location and dates and the website informs you of all know races within your chosen area.

    Hope it helps you


  • hi Alen, here is a link to a pretty comprehensive list of all scottish races





    be sure to check the details as this list usually incorporates races in the north of England and other places too.

    you might want to look at hill races too. here is the SHR site, lots of adventure running to get stuck into.


    hope you have a great time when you visit. if you're staying in one place for an extended period of time, contact a local running club and go along to a session. I have no doubt they will be very friendly and would love to have a uruguyan runner join them for a run and a beer. there will possibly be someone doing a race you fancy and you could go along with them. local knowledge always makes these events better!




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