Galmaig Runners

Glamaig Hill race Isle of Skye 4th July

Your chance to take part in the Glamaig hill race, apparently there are more women taking part this year, they heard there was an M&S at the top!!! What an ideal place to start the race off at the Sligachan Hotel, they have two good restaurants where you are always guaranteed a good feed.  The Hotel itself is still owned and run by Catriona, Sandy & John,  the daughter, son-in-law and grandson of Fiona Campbell.

The mountain of Glamaig in Skye was first climbed in 1816 by a team from the Ordnance Survey; many have climbed it since. Major Charles Bruce, a Gurkha Officer and Himalayan climber had made an unsuccessful attempt on Nagar Parbat, a Himalayan peak of 26,000 feet in 1895 (it was not conquered till 1953) with Norman Collie, a famous climber and scientist and Rifleman Harkabir Thapa. Having spent the summer of 1899 climbing in the Alps at Monte Rosa and Mont Blanc the trio headed for Skye to climb Sgurr Alasdair and in Coire Lagan. Harkabir Thapa ascended the mountain of Glamaig twice in the summer of 1899. In his first attempt he ran the route from Sligachan Hotel to the summit and back in one hour fifteen minutes.

Normally, it takes a fit person two hours to ascend the summit. The run is a four mile course with an ascent of 2,537 feet, over a bog followed by a steep grass ascent and scree. When the ghillies reported to the Laird, MacLeod of MacLeod he refused to believe the timing. Harkabir then repeated the feat cutting 20 minutes off his original 75 minutes (55 minutes). The annual Glamaig race was initiated in the 1980’s and it was not until 1997 that Harkabir’s timing was broken by a run in under 50 minutes. It took just under 100 years to knock 5 minutes off Harkabir’s timing, but remember the Gurkha ran the course in bare feet! He was wounded at Gallipoli, survived the First World War and retired as a Subedar Major.