It was a record breaking weekend in more than one way in the Uists for the Ben Kenneth and Beinn Lee hill races.
For while there was a record breaking number of runners and walkers turning out in North Uist for the Beinn Lee Hill Race, the organisers of the Ben Kenneth Hill Race in South Uist were raising the alarm after a competitor suffered a suspected broken leg near the summit.
The runner, 20-year-old Stephen Scott, from Lochboisdale, slipped near the top of the 275 metre hill and had to be airlifted by Coastguard helicopter to hospital in Stornoway for treatment.
The injured runner who was just metres from the summit when the accident occurred was one of 63 runners taking part in the event. The winner was Davie Rodgers in a time of 30:23; second was Craig Mattocks in 32:06; and third was Stuart Simpson in 33:57. Fourth and first local and first lady to cross the line was Kerry MacPhee from Kilpheder, South Uist in a very creditable time of 34:05. This is the fourth time the South Uist woman has won the women’s race.
Meanwhile, 74 competitors, the largest field so far, took on Beinn Lee in near perfect conditions.
Being taken by boat to the start of the race was a real novelty to visiting mainland competitors. This year’s winner was Dave Jenkins (Lochaber AC) in a great time of 44.26. In the women’s race Kate Jenkins (Hunters Bog Trotters) broke her own course record in 52.31 to claim first woman home and third place overall.