Times and places are to be confirmed.
Yes. All runners MUST carry the following items with them at all times
1. An emergency foil blanket
2. A charged and switched on mobile phone with Race Control number stored: 07941 670623
No, sorry. Absolutely no support runners or pacers are allowed on the trail. If you have paid the £11 fee for vehicle support, your support crew can meet you at each checkpoint, but they MUST remain in the immediate vicinity of the checkpoint. They must not leave the checkpoint to run along the trail with you.
No, sorry. Under Scottish Athletics rules, the use of running poles or any similar running aids is strictly forbidden.
Yes, but as there are several busy road crossings and several sections of the race where the route runs along public roads, there are a couple of rules about earphones:
1. You must be able to hear what is going on around you at all times.
2. You must remove your earphones completely at checkpoints, at road crossings, when approaching marshals, and at all times when running on public roads.
3. Please do not use iPod/MP3 players on narrow sections of the trail.
4. We may ban the use of iPod/MP3 players on the narrow section of trail along the lochside (TO BE CONFIRMED)
If a marshal signals you to remove your earphones, you MUST do so immediately. Any runners causing hassle in this regard may be withdrawn from the race for their own safety.
Yes, there are cut offs at the following three locations:
Rowardennan (27 miles) 1:00 pm (7 hours)
Beinglas (41 miles) 5:30 pm (11.5 hours)
A82 crossing (50 miles) 8:30 pm (14.5 hours)
These cut off times are in place for runner safety and will be strictly enforced by checkpoint marshals. If you reach a checkpoint after the stated cut off time, you will be timed out, and will not be allowed to continue.
In addition to this, if at any point during the race checkpoint marshals think you are unwell or unfit to continue, they may withdraw you from the race. In reality this rarely happens, so don't worry about it. However, if it does happen to you, please comply gracefully. No temper tantrums or shouting at our marshals. They are only concerned for your safety and have given up their day to look after you, so be nice to them, even if they're pulling you out of the race!
Race numbers must be worn ON YOUR FRONT. Please note that ‘on your front’ means on the front of your body, not on the front of your backpack! If you think you will be putting on or taking off upper body layers during the race, you might want to put your race number on your shorts.
All runners must display their race number and wristband clearly at all times. Any runner who appears to be accompanied by another runner not displaying a race number or wrist band will be stopped and questioned by race officials, and may be withdrawn from the event.
Relay runners must wear race numbers front and back.
No, sorry. Dogs are strictly not allowed. This is a condition of our race insurance and also our Scottish Athletics race permit. Much as we love dogs ourselves, we have to be strict on this. Anyone seen running with a dog will be stopped by race officials and withdrawn from the event.
You absolutely MUST stop and try to help. It is very important that we all look after each other out there! If a runner is seriously injured then please call 999 first, then Race Control on 07941 670623 (this number will already be in your phone). If you have no mobile phone signal please wait till another runner arrives to assist then run on until you get a signal. If the runner can’t move and is getting cold please use yours and other runners’ emergency foil blankets to keep the injured runner warm.
If you withdraw from the race at one of the checkpoints, please let a marshal know you are stopping, and make sure you give them your name, your race number, and also your timing chip. If you decide to withdraw from the race between checkpoints, please phone Race Control (07941 670623 - you will of course have this number stored in your mobile phone!) and let us know you're okay.
Please DO NOT simply exit the race and go home without telling anyone about it. We don't want to have to call out mountain rescue to go looking for you, especially if you're already sitting at home with your feet up!
If you withdraw from the race, sweeper vehicles at each checkpoint will be able to drive you on to the finish at Tyndrum, or back to the start at Milngavie. This may be some time after the checkpoint finally closes however, so you could have a wait of several hours. Please remember that marshals and other race officials are NOT taxi drivers, so please don't pester them about how long you've been waiting. There will be first aid personnel at every checkpoint to look after injured, fatigued and cold runners, so make yourself known to them and they'll take care of you until the checkpoint closes.
Friday 28th April 2017 (both ultra and relay participants)
3:00pm - 10:00pm: Race Registration at the Burnbrae Inn, Milngavie, G61 3DQ
Saturday 29th April 2017 (ultra marathon participants)
3:30am Bus leaves Tyndrum Tourist Information Centre FK20 8RY to Milngavie (race start)
4:30am - 5:30am: Registration at race start, Milngavie Station car park, G62 8BX
4:30am - 5:45am: Bring drop bags to race start and put into checkpoint vehicles
4:30am - 5:45am: Bring luggage (for finish at Tyndrum) to race start and put into large truck
5:45am - Race Director's race briefing for the ultramarathon runners
6:00am - Ultramarathon start. Run 53 miles to Tyndrum
5:00pm Prizegiving at race finish, By The Way Hostel and campsite, Tyndrum, FK20 8RY
6:00pm - 10:00pm: Buses leave for Milngavie every hour on the hour (booked in advance)
8:00pm - 11:30pm: Traditional Scottish ceilidh party in Tyndrum
Midnight - For anyone wanting a nightcap, the Tyndrum Inn is open until 1:00am
Saturday 29th April 2017 (relay participants)
6:15am - 6:45am: Registration at race start, Milngavie Station car park, G62 8BX
5:45am - Race Director's race briefing for the relay runners
7:00am - Relay race start.
5:00pm Prizegiving at race finish, By The Way Hostel and Campsite, Tyndrum, FK20 8RY
6:00pm - 10:00pm: Buses leave for Milngavie every hour on the hour (booked in advance)
8:00pm - 11:30pm: Traditional Scottish ceilidh party in Tyndrum
Midnight - For anyone wanting a nightcap, the Tyndrum Inn is open until 1:00am
Sunday 30th April 2017
10:00am - Final bus leaves for Milngavie (must be booked in advance)
Okay, where to start... The Highland Fling is a 53 mile trail race which takes place along the lower section of the West Highland Way footpath. It starts in Milngavie, on the outskirts of Glasgow, then rapidly heads out into the countryside. It goes through Drymen (13 miles) and over Conic Hill to Balmaha (20 miles), then follows the east side of Loch Lomond up past Rowardennan (26 miles), skirting Ben Lomond, the most southerly of all Scotland's Munros. Further on up the lochside is the remote and beautiful Inversnaid Hotel (34 miles), then the path carries on past the head of the loch and upwards through the forests above Crianlarich to finish in the pretty Highland village of Tyndrum.
The Fling started in 1996 as a low key training run for the West Highland Way race, with fewer than 20 runners taking part. Since then it has grown and grown, and this year, its 11th anniversary, there will be approximately 1000 runners taking part.
The race is organised principally by John Duncan (better known as Johnny Fling!) and is run as a non-profit event. He does get a lot of help from others who also give up their time for free. No one gets paid anything for their time or expenses - not even John! - and every penny of entry fees is put towards event expenditure with the aim of giving runners the best race experience and best value for money possible.
John gets lots of help from lots of people.
Yes. The 2017 Highland Fling has been classed as a two point qualifier for the 2017-2018 UTMB by I-TRA, the International Trail Running Association.
The route is approximately 90% off-road with just a few short sections on tarmac. The off-road sections are a mixture of wide landrover tracks, flat railway lines, tough uphill slogs, manicured paths, shingle beaches, rough stone steps, pretty forest trails and fairly demanding technical scrambles. There is also the infamous 'Cow Poo Alley' a few miles north of Beinglas checkpoint to be negotiated. The race route includes 2300 metres (7500 feet) of ascent and 2100 metres (6900 feet)of descent.
Perhaps not helpful, but it really does come down to personal preference. We would definitely recommend trail shoes, but some runners wear road shoes to run the whole West Highland Way race, so if that's what you prefer, it shouldn’t be a problem. Most of the paths are very good and unless it's been raining for the whole week before the race, it's not likely to be too muddy underfoot. Apart from Cow Poo Alley, where you could sink knee deep at any time. Basically, whatever you normally run off-road in will be fine.
Yes. All runners will receive a timing chip and ankle strap when they register. The timing chip MUST be worn on your ANKLE.
Yes! There will be online live tracking throughout the duration of the event.
No, not at all. The whole West Highland Way footpath is waymarked with wooden marker posts. In addition to this there will be additional race route markers at the awkward bits where some runners might manage to go wrong. On race day there will be about a thousand other runners sharing the route with you so it's very unlikely you'll get lost. But if you want some reassurance, get the Harvey's West Highland Way map, or download our gpx file of the Highland Fling race route, available here.
12.6 miles - Drymen checkpoint (portaloo)
19.8 miles - Balmaha visitor centre checkpoint (public toilet)
22.0 miles - Millarochy Bay visitor centre (public toilet)
27.2 miles - Rowardennan checkpoint (portaloo)
34.4 miles - Inversnaid checkpoint (portaloo)
40.9 miles - Beinglas checkpoint (portaloo)
(If you really need to go to the toilet between these locations, please move well off the trail and do your best to make sure no one can see you - especially the general public and local residents!)
Saturday 29th April 2017, 6:00am, Milngavie Train Station. All ultrarunners will start at 6:00am. There is also a relay race taking place on the route, but relay teams do not start until 7:00am. (So when lots of really fast runners start overtaking you somewhere between Drymen and Rowardennan, don't panic about being rubbish and finishing last! They're running the relay, not the full thing and they will be wearing red numbers on their backs so you can tell them apart).
Up to December 31st 2017, 75% of the entry fee will be refunded if you withdraw. From Jan 1st to March 1st 2017, 50% of the entry fee will be refunded if you withdraw. After March 1st no refunds will be given.
No deferrals or transfers to other runners are permitted.
Sorry, no, this just isn't possible either. It would create far too much administration for us to deal with and in the last few weeks leading up to race day we're run off our feet as it is. And please do not unofficially pass your race place on to another runner - this is strictly against Scottish Athletics rules and could see both you and the other runner being barred from future races. Please see our refund policy if you are unable to take part.
Please note: At race registration, all runners will be required to show photographic ID to collect their race number, and all runners will be fitted with non-transferable wrist bands which must not be removed until after the race.
Sorry about that! The Facebook group is really mostly intended for Fling runners to share information with each other. Important questions will often get lost in amongst all the general chit-chat. If you want to ask about booking a return bus, booking a vehicle parking permit for support crew, or anything else 'official', please email the race director John Duncan directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
Race numbers will be available on the website and the Facebook group approximate two weeks before race day. Please know your race number when you come to race registration.
There are several options for race registration. Please note you only need to come to one of them, not all!
Friday 28th April 2017 : 3:00pm - 10:00pm at the Burnbrae Inn, Milngavie G61 3DQ
Saturday 29th April 2017 : 4:30am - 5:30am at the race start, Milngavie station car park: G62 8BX (ultrarunners only!)
Saturday 29th April 2017 : 6:15am – 6:45am at the race start, Milngavie station car park: G62 8BX (relay teams only!)
Please note: All runners will be required to show photographic ID to collect their race number, and all runners will be fitted with non-transferable wrist bands which must not be removed until after the race.
This is mainly for safety reasons to make sure we have correct and up to date medical information for all runners taking part, but also to ensure all runners comply with race rules and Scottish Athletics rules regarding unofficial number swapping.
Please DO NOT bring drop bags to Friday registration, as we won't be accepting them. Please only bring them to the start on Saturday morning.
There are plenty of toilets at the race start. Tea, coffee and hot snacks are available at the coffee shop next to the train station, from 4:30am onwards.
No, nothing will be sent out by post. Each runner will collect their race number and timing chip (with ankle strap) at registration. T-shirts and goody bags are given out at the race finish.
For long term parking (i.e. all weekend) there will probably be parking directly across from the Burnbrae Inn Milngavie Rd, G61 3DQ (TO BE CONFIRMED). This is about a 10 minute walk from the race start. It will be signposted from approximately 4:00pm on Friday 28th.
Please do not plan to leave your car in the train station car park. There will be traffic marshals controlling access to the car park and you will not under any circumstance be allowed to bring your car in.
For dropping off at the race start and short term parking (i.e. support crews and relay teams), please use the Tesco car park right beside the station and the race start. Please note that any cars left here after 7:15am will be clamped by Tesco.
Please be considerate to Milngavie's residents and use the official race car park. Please do not leave your car in any other public car parks or in residential side streets.
Are there any buses from Glasgow to the race start on the morning of the race?
There is a bus leaving the Kelingrove Art Gallery G3 8AG in the west end of Glasgow at 4:30am Saturday morning to come to the race start in Milngavie. This bus costs £6 and needs to be booked and paid for in advance either at time of entry or prior to the event via your Si Entries account.
Yes you can but you have to book and pay for this (£6) in advance either at time of online entry or via your Si Entries account.
The race starts at 6:00am. To avoid congestion on the trail in the first couple of miles we will be setting runners off in waves. If you've ever run a big city marathon you'll know how it works, but if not, basically we'll be asking you all to estimate your finish times and assemble in pens based on those times: sub 10hrs, 10-12hrs and 12+hrs, and we'll be setting you off in waves a minute or so apart. Don't worry about the extra time it'll take you to get across the start line, your ankle timing chip means your race time will not start recording until you cross the start line.
For the overall race winners we will be using gun time not chip time, so if you're expecting to be super speedy, please make sure you set off in the first wave of runners.
Female runners expecting a sub 10hr finish should also set off in the first wave.
As a very rough guide, if you've trained properly for the distance and the terrain, a reasonable estimate would be roughly three times your road marathon time. This is of course just a rough guide and won't be accurate for everybody, but it works out correct for a lot of people.
There will be 100+ Race Team marshals and helpers who are there to look after all you runners. This year they will all be wearing event jackets/hoodies and Race Team ID badges. If you have a question or need help with anything, please just ask one of them.
The event provides only water at checkpoints. No energy drinks or solid food is provided however any items left over from the drop bags of faster runners will be laid out. There will probably be a random selection of sweet and savoury nibbles at each checkpoint however this should not be relied on.
Yes, there will be basic first aid supplies at all checkpoints for runners. In addition to our own doctors, race medics and checkpoint first-aiders, the event is supported by Trossachs Search and Rescue who will be in attendance throughout the day.
Yes, there will be experienced sports therapists at Rowardennan checkpoint (27.2 miles) who will hopefully be able to help you with any little problems you’re having and keep you moving on towards the finish.
Yes, you can. As well as the drop bag vehicles in the car park at the start of the race, there will be a large truck transporting kit bags to the finish at Tyndrum. Please make sure your bag is clearly labelled with your name and race number, and either 'finish' or 'Tyndrum'. Reasonable size rucksacks & holdalls only please; no huge suitcases!
If you withdraw from the race for any reason, we will get your finish bag returned to you, but please understand that this may take at least a week. If your car is parked in Milngavie, you should carry your keys with you while running rather than put them in your kit bag for the race finish. If you withdraw from the race early on, you don't want your car keys to be in Tyndrum while you are heading back to Milngavie!
You absolutely MUST NOT drop any litter on the trail! Please use the official big red FLING DUSTBINS which will be located a hundred yards or so before and after each checkpoint. If you see a runner dropping litter please ask them to pick it up. If you come across any race litter on the trail, e.g. energy gel wrappers, please pick it up and take it to the next checkpoint.
If you pass through an open gate, leave it open. If the gate is closed, please close it behind you.
If another runner is coming up behind you, it is good race etiquette to wait a second and hold the gate open for them rather than just run off and let it slam shut.
One of the biggest problems faced by the Highland Fling organisers, and possibly the biggest threat to the future of the race, is traffic congestion on the roads along the race route, many of which are very narrow and completely unsuitable for large numbers of vehicles. Please consider this before choosing to have a support crew!
On race day we try to limit the number of cars on these roads. Ultrarunners DO NOT need vehicle support. A drop bag facility is provided in order to allow ultrarunners to be entirely self-sufficient during the race. Vehicle support is NOT needed. We actively discourage ultrarunners from using vehicle support due to traffic congestion along the route, plus the inconvenience it causes to landowners, local residents and the general public.
Runners who feel the need for a support crew must pay £11 for a vehicle support pass prior to the event. This pass grants vehicle access to checkpoints. Without it, your support crew will NOT be able to access checkpoints and so will NOT be able to meet you during the race. PLEASE NOTE THAT NO SUPPORT VEHICLES ARE PERMITTED AT ROWARDENNAN CHECKPOINT OR ANYWHERE BETWEEN BALMAHA AND ROWARDENNAN CHECKPOINTS.
SUPPORT CREWS CAN MEET RUNNERS DRYMEN, BALMAHA & BEINGLAS CHECKPOINTS. THEY CANNOT MEET AT ANY OTHER POINT ON THE ROUTE.
All of the monies raised from the sale of vehicle support passes is given directly to landowners along the route to keep them happy and to secure the longevity of the event. The race organisers DO NOT profit from the sale of vehicle support passes and would actually prefer that runners chose NOT to have support crews…
Please note that any support crew you have CANNOT run with you at any point in the race and must remain within the immediate vicinity of the checkpoints rather than running along the trail to meet you. It is the responsibility of runners to make support crew members aware of this rule.
Please note that the vehicle support pass DOES NOT allow your crew to gain vehicle access to the finish area at Tyndrum or to the By The Way Hostel and Campsite!
Vehicle support passes will be available to purchase online at time of entry or afterwards via your Si Entries account.
Support crews must only meet runners at designated race checkpoints. Runners must not ask support crews to meet them anywhere else. It is the responsibility of runners to make support crews aware of this. If support crews attempt to meet runners outside of race checkpoints, if they drive dangerously, park illegally, block public roads or driveways or in any way inconvenience other road users, their runner may be disqualified!
Please note: Absolutely NO PARKING at the Drovers Inn, Inverarnan. This will be enforced by Race Team marshals and police, who will be in attendance throughout the day.
Please use the visitor centre car park in the centre of the village and the car park behind the Green Welly Stop. Please DO NOT attempt to drive into By The Way Hostel and Campsite. On race day, vehicle access to Lower Station Road is for residents only. This will be strictly enforced by Race Team marshals.
Checkpoints are as follows:
12.6 miles – Drymen (G63 0BW) - timing mat - water - portaloo - NO drop bags
19.8 miles – Balmaha (G63 0JQ) - water - public toilets - drop bags
27.2 miles – Rowardennan (G63 0AR) - timing mat - water - public toilets - drop bags
34.4 miles - Inversnaid (FK8 3TU) - water - portaloo - drop bags
40.9 miles - Beinglas (G83 7DX)- timing mat - water - portaloo - drop bags
We suggest that support crews only meet their runners at Balmaha, Rowardennan and Beinglas. These checkpoints have good sized car parks set back from the main roads.
We strongly suggest that support crews DO NOT attempt to meet runners at Drymen or Inversnaid.
Drymen is a small village, it has very limited parking facilities, and as the first relay changeover point it will be extremely busy. Parking will be difficult and your crew may end up stuck in a traffic jam.
Inversnaid is in a remote location and your crew will find it very difficult to get there by road before you arrive by trail. If you're not sure what we mean, have a look at a road map. From Rowardennan to Inversnaid to Beinglas on the West Highland Way is just 14 miles for runners, but by car it is 96 miles, much of it on very narrow single track roads.
All runners can have a drop bag at Inversnaid, even those with support crews :-)
Drop bags can be taken to the following checkpoints:
19.8 miles - Balmaha
27.2 miles - Rowardennan
34.4 miles - Inversnaid
40.9 miles - Beinglas
Please make sure that your name, race number and checkpoint are clearly marked on your drop bags. Tip: Nicely printed and laminated labels are much easier to read than biro scribbles on poly bags, and will make you very popular with checkpoint marshals :-)
Drop bags allow runners to take part in long races without the need for support crews and without having to carry supplies the whole way. Basically, a drop bag is a SMALL secure parcel that you put some food and drink in and stick a label on with your name, race number, and the checkpoint that you want it taken to. At the start of the race there are vehicles with the names of each checkpoint on them that you put your drop bags in, and they are transported to the checkpoints for you to collect when you arrive there. As well as food and drink, you might want to have stuff like blister plasters, painkillers, a fresh pair of socks at halfway. In general, drop bags aren't for anything of value or anything you really really need to get back, as sometimes (very rarely) they go missing, and you also shouldn't expect to get back anything you leave behind at checkpoints.
We will NOT be accepting any drop bags at Friday registration. Please bring them to the start on Saturday morning.
Oh yes you certainly did! This is a competition held at Balmaha checkpoint, for the most fabulously designed and decorated drop bag. You can be as inventive as you like, but please remember to put your name and race number on your drop bag. Size guideline: your drop bag should be no larger than an average shoebox.
The prize is a hamper of Scottish goodies worth over £100 :-)
No. When you leave a checkpoint, any unused food and drink items will be put out for later runners to help themselves to. If you want to put fresh socks into a drop bag that's fine, but if you leave your sweaty ones behind they'll be binned. Basically, we recommend that you don't put anything into a drop bag that you really desperately need to get back.
We try our hardest to make the Highland Fling race finish fabulous. As well as your medal, race t-shirt and goody bag, the following treats are available at the finish line for all runners completely FREE of charge:
Homemade soup and rolls - courtesy of Matt and Ena Duncan (Mum and Dad Fling)
Baked potatoes - courtesy of Albert Bartlett and The Real Food Cafe
Ice cream - courtesy of Mackies and The Real Food Cafe
Heated marquees to relax in
Unlimited tea and coffee for all runners (50p per cup for non-runners)
All of the above treats are completely FREE for all runners :-)
There will be first aid/medical assistance available at the finish for any runner who requires it.
Ceilidh party from 8:00pm - 11.30pm in the finish line marquees. No tickets are required - entry is free. Everyone is welcome to attend - runners, families, supporters and of course marshals. There will be a bar, and hot food will be available from approximately 9:30pm. As it is a private function, children are welcome.
The prize giving will take place at the race finish on Saturday evening at 5:00pm.
1st, 2nd and 3rd male and female
1st, 2nd and 3rd Vet 40 male and female
1st, 2nd and 3rd Vet 50 male and female
1st, 2nd and 3rd Vet 60 male and female
[If we have any vet 70 entrants, there will be a prize category for them too - TBC]
Male club prize - awarded to the club with the three fastest male finishers
Female club prize - awarded to the club with the three fastest female finishers
Coors Cup - awarded to the club with the highest number of finishers
Scottish Hamper - awarded to the winner of the Balmaha Drop Bag competition
Coaches will be available after the race to transport runners from Tyndrum back to Milngavie. Coach seats cost £11 each and MUST be booked in advance. Information on booking buses will be available soon after entry closes.
Coach times are as follows:
Saturday 30th April: 6:00pm, 7:00pm, 8:00pm, 9:00pm and 10:00pm,
There is also a coach on Sunday morning at 10:00am
We will do our best to reunite any lost property with its rightful owner, however we can’t guarantee this.
At the race finish, any lost property items will be put under a ‘LOST PROPERTY” sign beside all the kit bags.
Anything not claimed by the end of race day will be taken back to Fling HQ – please email email@example.com if you have lost something important.
Please note that low value clothing items such as t-shirts will be washed and taken to a charity shop, therefore please do not deliberately leave clothing at checkpoints as chances are you won’t get it back.
The age limit for runners in both the ultramarathon and relay is 20 years old on race day.