Our very Own Mark Warner has High Ambitions

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The hill-running extravaganza of the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline, Ring of Steall Skyrace and Vertical Kilometre races is almost upon us.

And while most of us will wonder whether to leave the Glen Coe and Mamore hills until a quieter weekend, contestants will be hard in training for their chosen race out of the three on offer on the weekend of 16-18 September.

Apart from one.

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For 34 year-old Mark Warner it’s the race which will be the training.

The Ballachulish-based climbing instructor plans to use his first experience of the energy-sapping 29km Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace to prepare for an ascent of Ama Dablam in eastern Nepal.

In climbing the 6812m (22,349ft) peak, known as the ‘Matterhorn of the Himalayas’ on account of its soaring ridges and steep faces, Mark and his climbing partner Tom Horrocks hope to raise over £1000 for the Nepalese charity, Phase Worldwide.

However, before departing in October on that three-week expedition, the climbing instructor at Ice Factor Kinlochleven is focused on successfully completing all 2500m of ascent of the Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace. Mark said: “The Saturday race starts and finishes at Ice Factor so I thought it would be a fun and tough event to complete as part of my preparation for climbing Ama Dablam.To improve my endurance I’ve been doing regular hill-runs, including with a weighted back-pack, climbing at Ice Factor and doing some mountain-biking too.”

Supported by his wife Lindsay, who is expecting their first child in January, Mark admits he’s taking the race seriously: “I don’t expect to win it or even stand on the podium but I’d really like to do a good time – maybe in four hours. If I do well I may even enter the even tougher Salomon Glencoe Skyline next year!”