Organisers ‘gutted’ as Ultra Tour called off

More than 500 runners set off from Brodick beach on the first day of the Rat Race Ultra Tour last year.

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Sub-heading: … but date already confirmed for 2021

By Colin Smeeton

The Arran Ultra Tour which was scheduled to go ahead next month has been postponed until next year following Scottish government advice to cancel mass gatherings of more than 500 people.

The event was meant to take place over two days on the weekend starting on Saturday April 4. Staged by Rat Race Adventure Sports, last year it attracted more than 500 entrants from Denmark, Netherlands, Dubai, Germany, France, USA, Canada and Belgium and 55 entrants from the UK.

Rat Race organisers issued a thorough statement outlining their rationale for postponing the event which included much consideration for Arran residents and the impact that the cancellation will have for the island.

Citing the uncertainty of developments with regard to the coronovirus, and with a full schedule of other events, Rat Race organisers were keen to confirm a new date of April 10 and 11, 2021 for the event to take place.

Jim Mee, founder of Rat Race events said: ‘In light of the very recently recommended Scottish government recommended ban on events and mass gatherings in excess of 500 people, we are truly gutted to have to inform you that we will be postponing Ultra Tour of Arran 2020.

‘Whilst the Scottish government recommendation is self-explanatory, we have also over very recent days been weighing the effects of our event on such a small community as Arran. It is a genuine boost to the local economy and it is sad indeed that we need to remove its positive benefits from the community on this occasion. However, having consulted with our medics, our insurers, the Arran tourist board and several other local stakeholders, it is clear that the correct decision is not to operate the event in April 2020.

‘Our event brings a significant influx of visitors to Arran in a concentrated time frame; and people do genuinely come from around the world to enjoy this magical place. We currently have in the region of 500 runners and staff from over 10 different countries set to take part. Clearly these numbers may deplete between now and the event date; but in a time where travel is being restricted and where we are uncertain on how this virus will spread and how national and regional controls will be implemented, we do not feel that it is responsible for us to continue with our plans for April.

‘There is also the very real impact our event may have in diverting resources away from the NHS at this time, when frontline medical services will only have to ramp up, not down in the weeks to come. We do not want to be a reason to put any further burden on the healthcare service; nor to run the risk of healthcare support being removed from the event and to put you the participant at risk if those services have to be diverted off elsewhere as the virus takes hold more in our communities’.


More than 500 runners set off from Brodick beach on the first day of the Rat Race Ultra Tour last year. No_B12Ultra01