entry form
photo gallery
photo gallery
Tom Gibb's Journey
Gary Baum 's Journey

Please join the email mailing list to receive regular updates about the Scottish 4000's

Staminade Scottish 4000’s Duathlon – Saturday 30th June 2001
Supported by Specialized, Lowe Alpine, Nevis Range, Off Beat Bikes & Glenmore Lodge
An exciting new event to challenge experienced mountain runners who like biking!

Historic Background

The historic route links the bridge by Glen Nevis Hostel and the Norwegian Stone by Glenmore Hostel. The summits of all the 4,000ft Munros must be visited along the way. In the early days it was completed on foot and is an 85-mile run with 17,000 feet of ascent. Members of the Rucksack club first attempted it in the 1960’s as a walk and later as a run by Alan Heaton in 1979. In June 1980 Alan established a record of 26hrs 5mins in bad conditions.

In July 1980 when a number of us lived in London, I paced one of my earliest running friends, Chris Dodd, when he set a record running east/west of 23hrs 14mins. At the end of August 1981 when still relatively inexperienced, I made a solo-unsupported attempt east/west and completed the route in 26hrs 31mins. My then KIMM partner, Stan Bradshaw, of Clayton-Le-Moors Harriers lowered Chris Dodd’s record to 22hrs 33mins running west/east in 1982. Finally, on 4th July 1986, with the experience of many more miles behind me, I set the existing record of 21hrs 39mins as a solo-unsupported run west/east. Since then Colin Donnelly has completed a solo supported west/east crossing in 1993 of 23hrs 19mins.

Since then the route has become popular as a road bike/run duathlon. The first attempt I was made aware of was by Gary Tompsett and here is a selection of times achieved. Angel’s Peak was only upgraded to a Munro in recent years.

Gary Tompsett			    15:30 1994 East/West (not Angel’s Peak)

Mark Seddon			    12:59 1996 East/West (not Angel’s Peak

Mark Hartell	(RECORD)	    12:35 1998 West/East (not Angel’s Peak)

Alec Keith			    13:46 1999 East/West

Paul McClintock & Duggie Gillespie  13:20 2000 West/East

John Coyle			    12:41 2000 West/East

It is excellent news that all of the above apart from Mark Hartell and Duggie Gillespie are able to take part.

Paul McClintock was telling me about their day out on the 4000’s and said what a good race it would be. So – when your climbing out of the Lairig Ghru onto Ben Macdui at tea time on Saturday 30th June, suffering from the bonk and hating every minute of it, you know who to blame!

Details of the Duathlon

The distance is 32miles/13,400ft ascent on foot and 61 miles by road bike. The event is only open to very experienced endurance mountain runners who preferably have Elite MM experience and who are capable on road bikes. To enter you must feel certain that you can complete the event within 50% of the expected winner’s time – ie within 18 hours. It may seem elitist but this will be a very low key event in its first year with minimal backup, no manned mountain checkpoints and we don’t want our resources to be stretched too far. If you decide to retire we are not offering a 24-hour emergency recovery service and you will have to do your best to sort out the problem. We really don’t want anyone out on the hill alone after 23.00hrs.

							M Hartell Times

Glen Nevis Hostel Bridge			128 718	00.00	Start

Ben Nevis Munro 1344M				167 713	01:25

Carn Mor Dearg Munro 1220M			178 721	02:04

Aonach Beag Munro 1234M				197 716	02:49

Aonach Mor Munro 1221M				193 729	03:07

Aonach Mor Gondola top station (East side)	188 757

Nevis Range Ski Car Park - Arrive		172 774	03:49

Nevis Range Ski Car Park - Depart		172 774	

Glen Feshie Car Park - Arrive			851 985	07:08

Glen Feshie Car Park - Depart			851 985	

Cairn Toul Munro 1291M				964 972	09:26

Angel’s Peak Munro 1258M			954 977	10:06

Braeriach Munro 1296M				952 999	11:15

Stream Junction Lairig Ghru - Manned		973 997


Ben Macdui Munro 1309M				989 989	11:50??

Cairngorm Summit Munro 1245M			005 040

Cairngorm Ski Car Park				989 061		Race Finish

Norwegian Stone – Glenmore			977 098	12:35	Record Timed

At each of these locations you will record your arrival on your electronic card using the Sport ident timing system. With a bit of luck we’ll be able to provide you with some splits after the event. Don’t forget in the heat of the moment to punch at all these places – also both on arrival and departure from Nevis Range and Glen Feshie so we can time the transition and in case we have to group at Feshie.


These have been generously donated by Specialized and Lowe Alpine. Off Beat Bikes at Fort William have provided special downhill bikes for hire at extremely preferential rates. Nevis Range has provided special gondola, dining and biking packages at preferential rates. To all these organisations we extend out grateful thanks for supporting a relatively low-key race in its inaugural year.

Men: 1st – 5th, 1st V40
Women: 1st – 3rd

Fastest road bike from Nevis Range –> Glen Feshie

There is definitely NO prize for the fastest descent by Mountain Bike!

General Information

Except in the case of an emergency such as an accident, competitors may only receive assistance at the 3 transition points – Nevis Range Ski car park, Glen Feshie car park and Cairngorm ski car park. At Nevis Range and Glen Feshie, the race organisation will make the competitor’s bag and bike available at the transition, also water. Anyone who is accompanying a competitor to the event will be asked to help out with the organisation of the event rather than support an individual competitor. The entry fee will be £25 and will be payable when you register. It will include camping at Fort William and Glenmore Lodge, also support for the group. Transport back to Nevis Range on Sunday morning for competitors who are leaving cars there will work out at about £12 per competitor, also payable at registration.

Compulsory Kit

On Both Mountain Sections:
Lightweight raintop and bottoms, section of map 1:50,000 scale or larger (including escape routes), compass and whistle, small first aid kit including plasters and small roll of bandage+safety pin, sufficient food for the section, thin balaclava and gloves, emergency survival bag (not an orange poly bag but a very small ultra thin bag specifically manufactured for one use only). From Glen Feshie onwards a small torch with batteries to last 4 hours and an extra lightweight thermal top.

On All Bike Sections:
Lightweight raintop and bottoms, small first aid kit including plasters and small roll of bandage+safety pin, sufficient food and drink for the section and cycle helmet. A spare tube, pump or gas and simple tool kit are required for the long road bike section.

Friday 29th June

Proceed to Nevis Range ski car park to register from 15.00 at the ski hire/bike hire and leave your labelled road bike and helmet (if not using it for the MTB descent) at registration. You can also then deposit labelled kitbag containing everything you will need at the Nevis Range and Glen Feshie transitions - a few clothes, food, and torch. We will provide suitable labels.

Option to Mountain Bike down from top of the gondola:

Nevis Range and Offbeat Bikes have kindly agreed with a plan to offer an exciting option to the competitors. A new custom-made MTB track has been constructed all the way from the col by Sgurr Finnisg-aig at 630M down to the main car park at 100M. Until 20.30hrs on Friday you have the opportunity to ride up on the gondola with your own mountain bike or one hired from Offbeat Bikes and leave it LABELLED & WITH HELMET ATTACHED, by our sign underneath the top gondola building. We will position it on Saturday morning at the checkpoint so that you can jump on it as you descend Aonach Mor during the race and ride it down to the car park. Those of you who are arriving late on Friday evening and are starting in the 07.00hrs start can have your bikes taken up to the top on the first gondola at 08.30hrs Saturday morning.

There are various special options that you pay for on the Friday. All helpers will receive complimentary tickets on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning for the gondola:

  • £9.25 - Carry bike up on gondola, test ride down, carry bike back up on gondola, leave it there, walk or gondola back down any time after 17.00hrs.
  • £15.00 – The above but with multiple trips down on Friday afternoon from 14:00hrs.
  • £13.00 – A “Ride and Dine” option for bikers, which includes the £9.25 bike option described above, and a main meal course at the top of the gondola restaurant. If doing multiple descents on Friday afternoon, pay for a meal separately.
  • £10.00 – Very special bike hire charge from Offbeat Bikes from Friday 17.00hrs to Saturday morning – Tel: 01397 704008 and ask for Nicola. From Saturday 30th June Offbeat Bikes who are based at Fort William should have a Summer presence at Nevis Range ski hire where we are registering competitors. They have 7 proper downhill bikes and come with full-face helmet, body armour and gloves. However, only your own helmet is compulsory for the event. The bikes come with ordinary pedals, no SPDs or toe clips. I think these bikes are all now already booked but I suggest you ask them to add your name to the reserve list. The reason for this is that we expect a few people to go out for a practice at 17.00hrs and decide that the bike descent is not for them. So we will probably find that the odd bike becomes free from about 19.00hrs.

If you are practising the descent, you must bike with EXCEPTIONAL care, as at this time of day the track will also be frequented by walkers who take priority. Please don’t forget this.

There is a café at Nevis Range that stays open until about 17.00hrs and the restaurant at the top of the gondola will stay open until 20.30hrs, serving puddings, cake, beer etc. as well as main meals. The last gondola down will be at 21.00hrs or earlier if all is quiet on the hill. Registration closes at 22.00hrs. Please ring 07767 653191 if you are going to be late.

When you have finished at Nevis range you can either head off for more food in Fort William or go to a campsite with whom I have made special arrangements. Loch Lochy Caravan and Camping Park is situated behind the High School at GR126764, 1st right off the A830 Mallaig road. At registration we will provide a plan of the campsite. When you enter the site, if it isn’t too late visit reception and tell them you are with Martin Stone’s group for the race. I will settle up for the group. Pitch your tents in the bottom left corner of the site and before you go to bed it is essential to move all cars off the site and park them in the nearest school parking area about 150M along the road from the camp site entrance. We are not allowed to drive any cars around the site on Saturday morning and must be very quiet. You’ll have to carry your kit back to the car, which could temporarily be brought back to the main gate.

A convenient place to obtain a decent (so I’m told) bar snack is the Lochy Bar at Caol. From the campsite go to the A830 and turn right. After a mile turn left over level crossing and you’ll soon see the bar on the left.

Saturday 30th June

If you retire during the event, you must get a message to me on mobile 07767 653191 to explain the situation. Failing that, you must report to Nevis Range or Glen Feshie transitions and ensure that they understand your movements. If you cannot contact the mobile number, you can in an emergency leave a message at Glenmore Lodge reception on 01479 861256. It is essential that at the end of the day we know you are safely off the Cairgorms.

You can start from the bridge opposite the youth hostel at any time from 03.00hrs until 07.00hrs. When you register we will ask you for your intended start time and to avoid us hanging around at the start unnecessarily, please be punctual. We expect those of you who hope to be in with a chance of winning to start in a mass start at 07.00hrs. We expect those of you who may be out for 18 hours + to start nearer to 03.00hrs and carry a torch on this section.

Some competitors will have friends who are delivering their vehicles to the finish and you can be dropped off at the start. Those who need to leave their vehicle for collection on Sunday should either park it at Nevis Range on Friday night and cadge a lift to the camping spot and in the morning to the start or drive it to Nevis Range early on Saturday morning and we will give you a lift from there to the start. We will be pleased to transport a labelled bag of kit and a tent for the evening to Glenmore Lodge. We will arrange disinfecting facilities at the start and note your number before you set off.

When you descend off Aonach Mor you must take the NNW ridge and from approx. the 900M contour you may head directly for the checkpoint approx 25M to the east side of the station at the top of the gondola GR188 757. If you have chosen to descend by MTB your labelled mountain bike will be in position. The track contours NE gently down to the col from where the fun starts. There are no prizes for setting the fastest time on this descent and I will be “very annoyed” if anyone gets close to the record – 4 minutes. Those of you who are running down can join the MTB descent route at any point but please be aware that descending bikers have ABSOLUTE PRIORITY at all times.

You must record your time both when you arrive and when you leave the transition. You will find your kit bag by your road bike and it is up to you to sort yourselves out and make the transition as efficiently as possible. For the helpers and those in less of a hurry, the café should be open at 08.30hrs to do breakfast. All mountain bikes that belong to people who will not be returning on Sunday lunchtime will either be placed in your car or if that is being used elsewhere it will somehow be moved on towards Glenmore Lodge in another vehicle.

The A86 is a fast road and care needs to be taken, especially on the narrow and twisting section at the east end of Loch Laggan. The record for the duathlon was set by Mark Hartell without the assistance of another cyclist and the style of John Coyle’s attempt was identical. For the men who wish to attempt the record or wish to try for one of the prizes, the rule will be NO DRAFTING or riding with another rider. If you overtake, it must be done cleanly to introduce a gap. I am not so sure about the ladies as I think a number of them would like to attempt the event in pairs. We’ll consider each lady’s performance on its merits.

The A9 (T) is out of bounds and in view of the Foot & Mouth sensitivities, you must enter Glen Feshie from Feshiebridge on the road up the east side of the valley.

This is a little unfortunate but at Laggan you will join the route of the Corrieyairack Challenge, which is taking place the same day. The cycle route is common until the centre of Kingussie where the CC turns right on the B970. Most of you will probably carry on along the B9152 and turn right at Kincraig. On this 2KM section of minor road the CC cyclists will be travelling in the opposite direction to you. This is a potentially hazardous situation and I have agreed with the CC organisers that we will always obey instructions from their marshals and give way to cyclists in the other race. PLEASE EXERCISE EXTREME CARE on this section

The cut off time at Glen Feshie will be 16.00hrs. Unfortunately the farmer at Auchlean has a reputation for being really miserable with walkers and so SNH have built a car park about 1KM north of the farm on the east side of the road. This will be the transition point and you must continue from here on foot. You must record your time both when you arrive and when you leave the transition.

This 21mile mountain section to Cairngorm is high, exposed, crosses wild country to Cairn Toul and has a Mcknackering climb out of the Lairig Ghru onto Ben Macdui. What do we do if the conditions are foul? The equipment specified is the minimum in optimal weather and I expect your experience to help you to determine what is safe for you. I have decided against anything other than voluntary grouping. If you decide to wait for some company at Glen Feshie, the clock will keep ticking. If you are the last competitor to leave Glen Feshie and are on your own, you will have the company of the grim sweeper. We will have a compulsory manned checkpoint at a stream junction in the Lairig Ghru and this will confirm that competitors are safely off the western Cairngorm plateau. We do not want anyone to arrive at the Lairig Ghru checkpoint later than 20.30hrs. If you set out from Glen Feshie and after reaching the plateau you subsequently realise that you are running out of time, please do not go to Cairn Toul or Angel’s Peak but head directly for the summit of Braeriach. This will save well over an hour and hopefully bring you back on schedule. Our sweeper will collect the controls on each peak and our marshals will not leave Lairig Ghru until everyone is accounted for. If you wish to retire at the Lairig Ghru checkpoint, our marshals will indicate the track you should use via the site of the old Sinclair Hut to retrieve your bike at the Cairngorm car park.

Road bikes (with helmets attached) will have been transported round to the Cairngorm car park from Glen Feshie ready for the final descent but we will not provide your kitbags. You should be able to cycle the short distance down to the Norwegian Stone without cycling shoes – it’s almost all downhill.

I expect you are confused as to why the race finishes at the Cairngorm ski car park and yet the route is described as continuing down to the Norwegian Stone beside Glen More Hostel. The simple reason is that I don’t trust you guys to not go mad and race each other like lunatics down the incredibly fast descent which has sections of hairpin bends on it. So, when any competitor arrives at the Race Finish at the ski car park there will be no overtaking on the way to the Norwegian Stone. To do so will incur disqualification from the race! If you arrive at the ski car park together, you can cycle down the road together but you will both be credited with the same time in terms of setting the record.

It is only a gentle 1KM up the road to Glenmore Lodge GR987 094, which has kindly allowed us to camp in the grounds. I will settle the bill for the camping. You are welcome to use the showers in the lodge and a bar will stay open till as late as you like, serving bar snacks until 23.00hrs. We will have a short presentation at about 23.00hrs. You can book B&B at the lodge for £18 per person but it costs £9 more if you want a single room. To make a booking for B&B, telephone the lodge on 01479 861256. When you check in at reception (which is manned until 23.00hrs) you have the option to book and pay for a breakfast for £4.50. For those who don’t have cars at the lodge, road bikes can be locked in the trailer that will carry them back to Nevis Range on the Sunday.

Sunday 1st July

After a leisurely breakfast, transport back to Nevis Range for those who need it will leave Glenmore Lodge at 10.30hrs.

Any Questions Not Answered Above? Contact martin@staminade.co.uk or if you don’t have email, Tel: 01931 714106, Mobile: 07767 65319