Ballachulish Climber Sets Sights on Achieving His Steally Ambitions

By Reporter, The HighLand Times, Monday September 11 2017

Pictured: Mark Warner approaching finish line of 2016 Salomon Skyline Ring of Steall race.

Over 1000 competitors are expected to descend on Ice Factor Kinlochleven this weekend (15-17 Sep) when the National Ice Climbing Centre and 5-star VisitScotland adventure attraction hosts the event village and forms the start and finish for the acclaimed Salomon Skyline Scotland mountain running races. 

Mark Warner, a 35-year-old Bath born and Ballachulish based climber will be among the 560 ultra-fit and determined runners on the start line at 10am this Saturday, when he participates for the second consecutive year in the demanding Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace™. 

Mark, who has worked as a climbing instructor at Ice Factor for over four years, placed 146th last year in a time of 6hrs 32 minutes. 

He plans to push his mind and body to the limit in this weekend’s race in the hope of completing the route in under 6 hours.

Organisers again expect the competitors to negotiate an energy sapping 29km course in the Mamores, including 2500m of punishing ascent. 

The route incorporates scrambling and technical traverses, including the exposed Devils Ridge.

Though he knows the race will be tougher than ever, Mark is relishing the prospect of once again pitting himself against the natural elements and the clock:

“Last year’s race was one of the most physically demanding things I’ve ever done and it felt amazing when I crossed the finishing line. 

“I’ve been training really hard for this year’s race, running up to 20km and including a traverse of the Aonach Eagach ridge in Glencoe. 

“I really hope the training pays off as I cramped up and lost a lot of time during last year’s race.

“So, in my mind I’ve some unfinished business with this course and want to try and run under 6 hours if I can.” 

This year he will be cheered near the finishing line by his wife Lindsay and their 8- month old daughter Hazel.

Tracey Smith, Operations Director of Ice Factor Kinlochleven expects this weekend to see Ice Factor Kinlochleven buzzing with hundreds of competitors in search of a vertical high:

“It’s going to be a very busy and fun weekend at the event village and all at Ice Factor wish Mark and the other competitors the very best of luck.”

The Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace™ is one of four races being hosted by Salomon Skyline Scotland this coming weekend - Mamores VK, Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra, Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace and Salomon Glencoe Skyline.



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