Dunoon Ultra Marathon and Relay

Take part in Dunoon’s second ultra marathon....the most scenic ultra in Scotland !

The Dunoon/Loch Eck 33miles (53k) Ultra Marathon will again start from the famous Benmore Botanical Garden and will take you through some of the area’s top beauty spots. Climb up the gorge path through magical Pucks Glen and then race along the forestry trail and climb high above Loch Eck.

You’ll be treated to fantastic views north and south of the loch, particularly as you reach the highest section of the run 600m above sea level. Descend through Glenbranter Forest and return south on the west side of Loch Eck. Then it’s back to Dunoon through the forest trails and natural woodland of Bishop’s Glen. This last mile stretches north alongside the beach giving you beautiful views of the hills above the stunning River Clyde. Don’t be tempted to cool off in the water! The finish at the iconic Victorian Dunoon Pier is just a sprint away !!!

Race registration and bus to Benmore Gardens are both from Dunoon Pier, which is also the finish.


The Dunoon Ultra Marathon
The Dunoon Ultra Relay

(Relay: 3 members)

Refund policy

There will be no refunds paid out for this event.

Note from the Race Space team: As per our terms and conditions, any refunds offered by the organiser are the sole responsibility of the organiser to manage and distribute.

Organiser updates (5)

Dunoon Ultra race notes

sent by Colin Moulson on 22/09/2017 at 14:51
Good afternoon : See below detailed race information which should be carefully read.

Please only e mail us with further queries if your enquiry is something that will likely not be covered in the race day briefing. If you are receiving this information and have transferred an entry to somebody else please pass these notes on as the email address of your original entry may not yet have been transferred across. As event organisers, Colin Moulson and Race Director Ian Marshall look forward to welcoming you all o Dunoon for what will be another memorable event.

2017 Dunoon Ultra Race Information & FAQ’s

 Race Date:          Saturday 7th October 2017

Start Time:          0800hrs at Benmore Gardens (bus transfer from Dunoon Pier)

Registration:      Friday 6th October 1600hrs – 1930hrs Dunoon Pier, Dunoon

                                Saturday 7th October 0600hrs – 0700hrs Dunoon Pier, Dunoon


Start Location: Benmore Gardens (bus transfer from Dunoon Pier)

Finish Location: Dunoon Pier, Dunoon



1. Photographic ID to be shown at registration. NO ID will result in not being able to run.

2. No last minute entries on race day.

3. A support crew/runner is not permitted*

4. Water will be provided at all checkpoints.

5. Drop bags will be available at:

·         Ardentinny Road crossing point (8 miles) between Whistlefield Inn and Ardentinny

·         Glenbranter Forestry  Car park (14 miles)

·         Benmore Gardens Car Park (23 miles)

6. Cut-off time at Benmore Gardens Car park checkpoint (23 miles): 6hrs 30mins race time, which is 1430hrs.

7. Food, drinks and prize-giving ceremony at the race finish. Don’t miss it!!!

8. Post-race celebrations at Dunoon Pier, Dunoon on Saturday evening from 1700hrs onwards.

Race Day Schedule:

0600hrs - 0700hrs: Drop bags to checkpoint vehicles at the Ferry Car park adjacent to the Tourist Info Centre. Drop bags should be clearly labelled with your race number and drop bag point.

0600hrs - 0700hrs: Post race kit bags can be put into a secure holding area at Dunoon pier. Please ensure your race number and name is clearly visible on your bag.

0640hrs approx : First coach leaves from Dunoon Pier, Dunoon and will shuttle back and forward to Benmore Gardens. If you are planning to make your own way to Benmore Gardens please inform the registration desk

0745hrs: Race Director's race briefing for runners, Benmore Gardens Car Park

0800hrs: Race start. Run 33 miles to Dunoon Pier

1230hrs : 1800hrs: hot food, tea, coffee and beer, Dunoon Pier at the race finish

1530hrs: Prize-giving at the race finish

1600hrs onwards: Post-race celebrations at Dunoon Pier, Dunoon

General information about the route

The race begins at Benmore Gardens and travels south for a mile along puddle lane running parallel with the River Eachaig (on your left). Turning left over a short metal bridge and past Uig Hall (on your right) you will cross over the A815 then turning right after 100 meters towards Pucks Glen.

You will follow the narrow path up the Glen staying alongside the river before finally reaching the forestry track turning left. This trail will lead you to Inverchapel over a bridge and following the single track path as it winds and climbs up towards the forestry track (please close all gates after you). The track will be well signposted but as a rule follow the white banded forestry commission marker poles.

Eventually you will find yourself crossing the Ardentinny High Road where the first drop bag point (7.5 miles) is (no parking is permitted here for supporters due to very narrow single track road). From here you will continue to climb to 1000ft above sea level (don’t forget to look back as you reach the radio mast as the views are spectacular). After a couple of more short climbs, passing by the new hydro dam you will begin the long fast decent towards Invernoaden (first checkpoint and first change over for the relay teams – 13.5 miles).

***A short half mile or so run along the unpaved A815 will see you turn left into Glenbranter (a short alternative route is being sought to try prevent running on A815). Glenbranter will be the second drop bag point (14.5 miles), toilets and plenty of car parking available.

The run heads south down the flatter side of Loch Eck, 9 miles from Benmore Gardens. Benmore Gardens will be the second checkpoint (23.5 miles) and last change over for the relay teams. Toilets and parking available, cracking cafe here too! (for non runners obviously lol!!). You will return back down puddle lane, however continuing to follow the river, there will be some road running involved, it is normally very quiet. The trail will bring you across the B836 bringing you into Glenkin forestry car park. The terrain begins to climb again, reaching the last major climb until you begin to descend into the Bishops Glen. Keep your eyes on the markers, the reservoir will be on your left until you drop down onto Kilbride Road turning right along to the road junction crossing over and veering left along the West Bay Esplanade where Dunoon Pier will begin to come into sight (ensure the River Clyde is on your right). 


The road section between Invernoaden and Glenbranter will include traffic management to ensure maximum safety for all competitors, runners will run on the south bound carriageway until the crossing point.

The Dunoon Ultra is Scotalnd's newest Ultra event and has been named as one the eight great Scottish Ultras by Fiona Outdoors.

Who organises the event?

Dunoon Presents (who are the business community) fronts and financially backs the Ultra (www.dunoonpresents.co.uk) and the Race Organiser, Colin Moulson is the main contact. The Ultra is also being supported by a local hill running club, Dunoon Hill Runners, Race Director on the day Ian Marshall.

The Dunoon Ultra is run as a non-profit event, this is its second year and we will aim to make it a fantastic experience for you all. Please be kind to the marshals and other members of the Ultra Team as they are giving up their time and day to help support you on your run.

What to expect underfoot…….

The route is approximately 95% off-road with just a few short sections on tarmac. The off-road sections are mostly wide forestry paths and some single track, and although quite technical at the start the majority if not all of it is very runable.  The race route includes approximately metres (feet) of ascent.

Appropriate Footwear……

Perhaps not helpful, but it really does come down to personal preference. Some local runners wear road shoes and some trail to run the whole route. 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 wet underfoot. Basically, whatever you normally run off-road in will be fine.

Compulsory Kit

All runners with no exceptions MUST carry the following items at all times during the race, this is for your own safety.

1. An emergency foil blanket.

2. A fully charged and switched on mobile phone with Race Control number stored.

3. A waterproof jacket with taped seems (this may at the race directors discretion be relaxed on the morning of the race if conditions are deemed appropriate).


You absolutely MUST NOT drop any litter on the trail! Please use the official litter bins which will be located within the vicinity of 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. Thank you.

What are the rules about gates?

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 in front of them.)

Are support runners/pacers/crew allowed?

*Support runners are allowed for slower runners for the last section of the route only.

Crew is permitted but only at Glenbranter and Benmore Gardens Drop bag points. Please be mindful of parking and other runners when supporting your runner.

Can I use walking/running poles?

Yes poles are permitted.

Rules on the use of an iPod/MP3 player?

These can be used however, there are several busy road crossings and several sections of the race where the route runs along public roads, there are a couple of common sense rules about earphones:

1. You must remove your earphones completely at checkpoints, at road crossings, when approaching marshals, and at all times when running on public roads.

2. Don't listen too loud. You must be able to hear what is going on around you at all times.

3. Please do not use iPod/MP3 players on narrow sections of the trail as this impair your awareness of other runners trying to get by you.

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. Please respect this J

Checkpoints/Drop Bags Stations

·         There will be water at every checkpoint

·         There will be cola at checkpoints 2 and 3

·         Oranges, jelly sweets and crisps at checkpoints 2 and 3

 Are there any cut off times?

Yes, there is a 6hr 30min (1430hrs) cut off at Benmore Gardens checkpoint (23 miles). This cut off time is in place for runner safety. It is a very generous cut off time and anyone not able to make this time will not be allowed to continue within the race. We have a strict policy on this and it will be strictly enforced by checkpoint marshals. If you reach Benmore Gardens checkpoint after 1430hrs, 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/race medics think you are unwell or unfit to continue, they may withdraw you from the race. In reality this rarely happens in races, so don't worry about it. However, if it does happen to you, please comply gracefully, they are only concerned for your safety and have given up their day to look after you, please be nice to them, even if they're pulling you out of the race.

What should I do if I come across an injured runner?

You absolutely MUST stop and try to help, however at all times please ensure you do not put your own safety at risk. 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 (this number will already be in your phone). If you have no mobile phone signal please wait until 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 your and other runners’ emergency foil blankets to keep the injured runner warm.

What do I do if I'm timed out, or if I decide to withdraw from the race?

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 and your race number. If you decide to withdraw from the race between checkpoints and have your support crew pick you up somewhere, please phone Race Control ( 07834 564415) and let us know that you're okay.

Please DO NOT simply exit the race and go home without telling marshals. 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, and you don't have a support crew, sweeper vehicles at each checkpoint will be able to drive you on to the finish at Dunoon Pier. However, this may be some time after the checkpoint finally closes, so you could have a wait of several hours. There will be first aid personnel at every checkpoint to look after runners, so make yourself known to them and they'll take care of you until the checkpoint closes.  

The Race Finish:

The race finish will be amazing, finishing on the newly refurbished and iconic Victorian Dunoon Pier.

At the finish there will be a heated area for runners to relax in. Your finish line bags will be there for you to collect. As well as your usual race goodies the following treats are provided at the finish line for all runners completely FREE of charge:

Hot homemade food - vegetarian choice available

Unlimited tea and coffee for all runners

Post race massage available

Hot showers for all runners, in the leisure centre

There may even be music and beer :-)

First aid/medical assistance will be available at the finish for any runner who requires it

When and where is the prize-giving?

The prize-giving will take place at the race finish from approximately 1530hrs onwards.

How to get to Dunoon


If coming by Western Ferries (22min crossing), cheaper tickets can be purchased in advance online or at :  Co-Op shop at 21 Eldon St, Greenock, Inverclyde PA16 7UG OR Paul’s Food and Wine, Shore St Gourock, next to William Hill Bookmakers – please note that first WF crossing is 0730hrs.

The first passenger ferry from Gourock is 0620hrs and will have a maximum capacity of 140

Where can I park in Dunoon?

There are numerous areas of free and paid parking which are easily accessible around the town

Lost property?

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 found 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 Dunoon Presents, please email 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.

Happy training and we look forward to seeing you all on race day, any questions you can post them on the Dunoon Ultra FB page.



Registration arrangements - reminder

sent by Colin Moulson on 08/09/2017 at 22:28
Good evening and thank you for entering the 2017 Dunoon Ultra. Just a quick reminder to you all that this iconic race will start at 0800hrs from Benmore Gardens but you must pre register and get your runner/team number by either of the following ways :
  • You can register on the evening of Friday 6th October on Dunoon Pier from 1800hrs until 1930hrs   OR
  • You can register on Dunoon Pier from 0600hrs until 0700hrs on Saturday 7th October.
  • A bus will transfer you from Dunoon Pier to Benmore Gardens - do not worry about missing the bus as there will be a shuttle service to get you and/or your team to the start in good time.  
  • Please e mail us on : info@pa23.org.uk with any other transfer related queries. Further information about food/water stations will be issued next week, w/c 11th September.
  • Thank you

Waiting list

sent by Colin Moulson on 27/04/2017 at 17:40
For those of you who missed out and would like to join the waiting list (in case of drop outs), please email:


Dunoon Ultra 2016 video

sent by Colin Moulson on 10/01/2017 at 16:52
Click on the video below to see the stunning scenery that id the setting for the Dunoon Ultra and Relay...
enjoy !


Dunoon Ultra Marathon and Relay Entries update

sent by Colin Moulson on 05/01/2017 at 17:16
Thanks to those of you already signed for the 2017 Dunoon Presents Ultra Marathon and Relay. Entries for the individual event are now getting close to the 200 runners cap, so to avoid the disappointment of missing out on this most beautifully picturesque coastal route, do sign up without delay.

Discussion board

Only registered users can leave comments

Paul Young

Paul Young

2017-09-18 17:33:04

is there a mandatory kit, water stations etc?

Colin Moulson

Colin Moulson Organiser

2017-01-17 12:11:54

Hi folks, just to clarify Bryan's query re the sat morning : race registration will be on the pier from 0600hrs and will finish sharp at 0700hrs to allow us to get you all to beautiful Benmore Gardens in good time for the start. There will no on the day entries.

Charles  Stewart Roper

Charles Stewart Roper

2017-01-03 09:11:21

@Bryan if it's like the 2016 then yes. Registration was on the peer in the morning, before hopping on a bus to the start. Very well organised race.

bryan Grome

bryan Grome

2017-01-02 02:50:33

Will there be a registration on the morning of the race ?

221 racers
JOANNE MCGRATTAN Wesley Pattison Wim Keygnaert Wim Keygnaert Kieran  Horrigan Gavin Towart Stuart Austin John Martin Nicola Newman Dawn Sangster Ronee McCarthy Morag Logan David Hetherington Victoria  O'Reilly Christopher  Maclean Alison Roy Karen Davidson Darren Lane Pauline  Lane Ian Williams