The Cape Wrath Challenge is a week-long series of running and social events based in the tiny village of Durness on the Northern Coast of Scotland, writes Judy Mills.

It was first held in 2002 and Thornbury's Pete Mainstone and Judy Mills are two of the dwindling number who have been to every Challenge, usually taking other Club members to enjoy the scenery and hospitality as well as the running. The aim of the week has always been completion rather than competition, though a little of the latter is inevitable.

Held this year from 12-18 May, Chris Foley also took part, choosing, like Judy Mills, to run every race, and the longer option of each, the first of which was a hilly but very scenic road half-marathon. Starting conservatively, Chris overtook Judy who was feeling the heat in the middle part of the race to complete in 2 hours 04.45 minutes. Judy followed in 2 hours 09.38 minutes.

Pete Mainstone chose the 10k option for the first day, finishing in one hour 15.02 minutes.

The 5.5 mile Two Lochs run showed runners the devastation that had been caused by a recent heath fire. Chris finished in 47.29 minutes, while Judy running with a friend crossed the line in 53.46 minutes.

Wednesday’s runs again had two options; either 10 miles or 6 miles, mostly off-road, crossing moorland, a golf course, farmland and beach. Chris was taking his time to enjoy the views and completed the 10 miles in one hour 50.42, followed by Judy in one hour 54.23 minutes. Pete Mainstone chose the 6-mile distance which he completed in one hour 13.41 minutes.

The beach featured in Thursday's run when the local schools also joined in with everyone encouraged to wear fancy dress. The run itself was only around 2 miles in length and very much a fun event. The Thornbury runners - who won third prize in the fancy dress competition - were seen posing on rocks part way round, so times were unrecorded and immaterial.

The hardest run of the week was Saturday's full-marathon-distance of 26.2 miles. Runners are bused to the ferry crossing at the Kyle of Durness then started in batches. They run 11.5 miles to and around the lonely Cape Wrath lighthouse, then return to the ferry by the same route. The clock then stops while the ferry moves them back from 'Cape Side' to 'Land Side' and is restarted for the final 4.2 miles back to the village hall

Chris had a good run over this somewhat unusual course to complete in four hours 26.50 minutes, with Judy, more familiar with it, finishing in five hours 02.26 minutes, and improvement on the previous two years.

Pete joined with friends to run as part of a 3-person team, finishing the 4-mile stretch 'Land Side' in 50 minutes.