Louis swaps sporran for spikes to win race

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Tayvallich piper Louis MacMillan did a quick change into his running kit for a Lochaber 10k hill race – and came home victorious.

After piping off the runners in the Salomon Glencoe Skyline race on Sunday September 22, then picking up his pipes again at the start of the Loch Eilde Mor Race 10k, there was a short pause in proceedings while 17-year-old Louis MacMillan swapped kilt for running shorts.

And 50 minutes and 27 seconds later the youngster crossed the finish line in first place.

Louis, who plays with Mid Argyll Pipe Band and was the volunteer piper throughout the Salomon Skyline Scotland event weekend, was almost 10 minutes ahead of the rest of the field of more than 100 athletes.

In second place was Steve Worsley, 56, of Inverness Harriers, in 1:00:01. He placed third in the Grey Mare’s Trail 5k the day before.

Just behind Steve in third place in the challenging trail 10k with 475m of total ascent and a high point of 350m, was Alistair Nash, 48, who runs with the Saltaire Striders in 1:01:40.

Louis, who is in sixth year at Lochgilphead High School, described the Loch Eilde Mor Race 10k as a ‘cool race’. He added: ‘It was a good challenge and fun. The climb up was steep and the top section was crazy.

‘I thought at first it would be fine but then there was a massive bog. I ended up waist deep and I lost a shoe, which I had to stop to retrieve.

‘Then came the run downhill on an enduro style single track and that was steep but I just kept going as fast as I could. I am pleased to win.’

Budding athlete Louis won the C class at the inaugural Scottish Mountain Marathon this summer and became the British middle distance champion (UK orienteering league) earlier this month.

Neil MacNicol

There was more Mid Argyll interest at the event with Neil MacNicol, formerly of Turnalt Farm, Barbreck, competing in the Salomon Glencoe Skyline race.

The 47-year-old, who now lives in Burntisland, completed the 32 mile mountain course in nine hours 28 minutes, 40 seconds and was 23rd out of the 142 athletes taking part. He had the honour of being the first male veteran home.