Guess My Time Competition for Cateran 55

It’s time to open up my ‘Guess My Time’ competition for my second ultra of the year – Cateran 55 ultra-marathon which is on Saturday 16th May 2015.

The good people at have provided another superb prize to the person who can guess closest to my finishing time.  This time they are giving away a  Salomon S-LAB SENSE SET 1L Race Vest which is worth £76.45

race vest

To have a chance to win this excellent piece of kit all you have to do is send me in hours, minutes and seconds how long you think it will take me to run the 55miles. The route is a large anticlockwise loop beginning and ending at Spittal of Glenshee following the Cateran Trail.

route Cateran Trail

To give you an idea of what I’m aiming for I’ve done the race once before in 2010 and it took me 10:14:41. That year I ran an ultra a month for 4 months Hardmoors 55 in March, Highland Fling in April then the Cateran in May and West Highland Way in June. For me it was too much trying to run one a month as I didn’t feel I recovered enough from the previous one to push hard.

The Fling that year had been a bit of a battle so I wanted to enjoy the Cateran. I took lots of video clips and tried to run comfortably. I ended up having a great day finishing strongly.

I’m five years older but maybe more experienced (??!!).  I will certainly be running to my HR again after the success of the Hardmoors 55 in March and I would like to think I could go faster than 2010. I did a recce a few weeks ago of the final 30miles and I was a little slower than my 2010 pace so that made me wonder whether I can go faster than 2010.

Anyway I like to have realistic but challenging goals so here are my bronze, silver and gold targets …

  • Bronze: sub 10hrs 30mins …. Unless I have a disaster or the weather is really bad I feel I’m capable of this.
  • Silver: sub 10:14:41 …. I might as well go for a pb??
  • Gold: sub 10hrs …. I would like to think if things go well I could do this but it is a challenging target

So if you would like to win the Salomon Race Vest and a limited edition John Kynaston key ring!! Please send me you guess by 6pm Thursday 14th May by ….

  • Leaving a comment on this blog
  • On Facebook – jkynaston
  • Via Twitter – @jkynaston
  • Text – 07905 218162
  • Email –
  • In Person

I will only one guess per time so if a time is taken the second person will need to change their guess.


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17 Responses to Guess My Time Competition for Cateran 55

  1. John Dingelstad says:

    Hi John, goodluck in 2 weeks time and my guess is 10:11:12.

  2. bosschamonix says:

    All the best for it John, I’ll go for 10:01:00

  3. Steve wylie says:

    Good luck,I will go for 10.14.26

  4. Dave McLaren says:

    Good luck John – I guess 09:58:22

  5. Heather Orr says:

    Hi John,

    Goodluck! I think you will go sub 10 again so my guess is 9hr 44min 44 secs!



  6. David Wilson says:

    I’ll have a punt John.

    All the 10’s! 10:10:10, all the best!

  7. dhlwilson says:

    All the 10’s!
    All the best!

  8. Pingback: Pollok parkrun Race | John Kynaston's ultra running diary

  9. I’ve put the elevation and distances into the spreadsheet I use for estimating race finishing times and it suggests that the Cateran 55 would be 26 minutes faster than the Hardmoors 55 with same fitness, weather and under foot conditions. I don’t know how the two races compare w.r.t how run-able and the how efficiently you can race them, but I think it’s probably likely that it’ll be warmer in the Cateran 55, so this will slow one down. I also suspect I need to recalibrate the effect of the elevation gain in my spreadsheet, so have a hunch that 26 minutes faster is too generous. So I’ll got for ~16 minutes quicker simply gives us a nice round figure…. of…

    9hr 20minutes 00 seconds

    My guess is that this would be a good platinum goal, putting away a similar performance as for the Hardmoors 55 i.e. acing it, which I believe is fully justified as your training has all gone great 🙂

    • Thanks. One thing you might need to consider is that the Hardmoors 55 is nearer 53 miles whereas the Cateran is 55 miles.

      • Do you have the comparable distance/elevation figures for both races?

        To estimate the time I did a quick search of the web and came up with a garmin connect GPS for the H55 which suggested 54.57 miles, 8429ft, and a web page that suggested that the Cateran was 54.7 and 7150ft. I used these two figures in my spreadsheet which came up with 26 minutes, which is principally down to the elevation difference. GPS recorded elevation and distances can be pretty dodgy though, so lots of scope for errors.

    • That brings the delta down to 21 minutes. Looking at your H55 trace the finish is lower than the start by a couple hundred feet which will help make it a tad faster. My spreadsheet doesn’t yet have support for accounting for a difference if finishing height. I wouldn’t be surprised if this closed the gap by a further couple of minutes.

      The other biggest factors are the conditions on the day, and the conditions underfoot. A boggy section, or a scrabbling section can easily loose you ten minutes. How do you feel the two courses compare?

  10. My initial feeling is the Hardmoors 55 is harder with more climbs and harder terrain. There is a fair bit of road on the Cateran and good tracks which are very runnable but there are also a few boggy/muddy sections which, if wet, can make a big difference.

  11. david says:

    Good luck with the run John. I’m guessing 9 hours 57 minutes and 23 seconds.

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