Scottish “Ultra-Sportive”

The crossing to Skye, where the sportive finishes. (courtesy conner395 at Flickr)

The crossing to the finish at Skye. (courtesy conner395 at Flickr)

Thinking about riding in Britain, but 1,400 kilometers seems too far? Accelerace, a British organizer of ultradistance triathlons and runs, has an idea for you:

Now this one’s pretty special. Basically the idea is this: a 250 mile bike ride that follows the bike course for our Scottish Ultra Triathlon (180 miles), then rides the run course (35 miles, including cycling over one of Britain’s highest roads: the Pass of the Cattle), then the small matter of a final 40 miles or so along the eastern edge of Skye before hopping a ferry back to Mallaig…

The interesting part – because of the distance (and hence length of time it’s likely to take), we’ll be starting at 10pm (or so) on the Friday night, and riding through the night and the Saturday, and hoping to catch the 7pm ferry back on Saturday evening. That’s actually the last ferry, so if we miss it, things could get interesting.

The best part: Unlike most sportive organizers, who really take the mickey on their entry fees, Accelerace is charging you nothing for this event. Just follow the link and email them if you’re interested. They warn that there’s no support, but that’s nothing to an experienced randonneur. Just be warned that getting to the start may be the biggest challenge of all!

UPDATED 12:25 p.m. British time 23 October: After an email exchange with the organizer, I’m entered, as much as anybody enters a free event. I figure I can take the Caledonian Sleeper from London Euston station, about two or three miles from my flat, to Fort William, switch to a local train to Mallaig, and be just a few miles from the start. The organizers are planning on camping at the start, but I reckon a room at a bed and breakfast in Mallaig may be more my speed. It will give me someplace to crash upon our return from Skye.

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LEL 2009: Latest News

The 1400K London-Edinburgh-London website is live here, and from chatter on the Audax UK listserve, it sounds like they’re taking deposits already. Some news: No northern start for the next edition in 2009, only the single London-area start at the Lee Valley Youth Hostel in Cheshunt. For your 150 pound/$270 entry fee, you get a T shirt, two energy bars, two bag drops, food at the controls, a recovery drink at the end, and not one, but two sets of earplugs. Must be loud at the controls. They don’t take PayPal because of the service fee, so non-British riders will have to mess around with bank transfers.

As I write this, there are 680 days, 17 hours, 27 minutes until the start.