The Highlander – General Information








What is a Mountain Marathon? 

A Mountain Marathon is traditionally a competition in which teams of two navigate their way around a two-day course in mountainous terrain carrying all provisions and equipment necessary for an overnight camp.

The exact location of the start is kept a secret from the competitors until a month before the event takes place.

A range of courses and classes are available to competitors, which opens the event to a wide spectrum of competitors form elite through to those who are fit but with less mountain marathon experience.

What makes The Highlander, which sadly takes place for the 10th, and final, time in June 2016, such a success story?  It is organised by a team of people from Hands On Events who are intimately familiar with, and extensively experienced, in their own Scottish habitat. It’s also true that the “midge-free” status of The Highlander is a tremendous bonus for competitors.

The Courses

In order to provide participants of different experience with a course suited to their fitness and ability there are four fixed-route classes for them to select from: A, B, C, D. Plus there is a Score Class, which allows the most experienced to navigate their own route and “score” checkpoints within a set time-scale.

Here are the approximate distances/ascents/times proposed for this year’s Highlander courses:


Score Class

Day 1 7 hours
Day 2 6 Hours




Day 1 distance

Day 1 ascent

Day 2 distance

Day 2 ascent

A 30.5km 1950m 29.5km 1650m
B 25km 1650m 24.7km 1400m
C 23.5km 1250m 22.4km 1100m
D 21km 850m 19.2km 920m

The overnight

The Highlander is a two-day event and all participants are required to overnight at an undisclosed campsite. Far from being seen as a trial, this overnight is an opportunity for adventurers to get together, to exchange stories-so-far, to eat a hearty, communal meal arranged in a marquee by Hands On Events and to dance the night away courtesy of a lively Ceilidh band.  There is a bar available too!

Who takes part?

The Highlander attracts a wide range of participants from all over the UK and many from overseas also. There is a good gender mix and a wide age profile.

Many competitors are experienced mountain marathon competitors who enter the Highlander because it has become a must-do event on their calendar.

Because of the size of the event – up to 300 teams – it is possible to organise a mountain marathon that takes competitors into some amazingly remote and fantastically beautiful countryside.

So what are you waiting for?  Enter The Highlander 2016 below………