Kelso’s Jonny Wolf celebrating after notching up back-to-back ultra run wins

A bullish run by Borders athlete Jonny Wolf saw him emerge victorious and uncowed at the end of the latest Trail Outlaws 45-mile run along St Cuthbert’s Way from Melrose to Wooler in Northumberland.

By Darin Hutson
Friday, 15th July 2022, 2:44 pm
Updated Friday, 15th July 2022, 3:40 pm
Kelso's Jonny Wolf after winning the latest St Cuthbert's Way Ultra from Melrose to Wooler
Kelso's Jonny Wolf after winning the latest St Cuthbert's Way Ultra from Melrose to Wooler

The Kelso 30-year-old had to contend with being chased by a bull and cows near Morebattle en route, forcing him to take a bit of a detour, but even that bovine bother couldn’t stop him clocking a time of just over eight and a quarter hours, quarter of an hour ahead of runner-up Gary Thwaites, of County Durham’s Sedgefield Harriers.

Lauderdale Limper Kate Henderson was the next Borderer home after Wolf, crossing the line 11th out of the race’s 45 finishers in just short of 11 hours.

Assisted by his Canadian partner Tess Fioritti’s provision of nutrition and water at aid stations along the way, that was Wolf’s second ultra run win on the bounce and only his third altogether.

The former Border Games regular, currently working at a hotel on the Isle of Skye, was delighted with his first-placed finish, saying: “I was very happy with that run, my first time running at night and that distance.

“I still have a lot to learn racing these distances but I’m hooked.

“It was really nice to be in parts of the Borders I’d never seen before. I’d grown up in the Borders and been there 18 years and that was a bit of it I’d not seen until I did that race. It was quite spectacular actually.

“I knew the general direction of it, being from Kelso, but that was it.”

He can’t be sure whether his pursuit by livestock improved his time by forcing him to run faster or worsened it due to the detour involved but says he suspects it was the latter.

“Just after Morebattle I was chased by a herd of cows and a bull down a field and that got me off track a wee bit and I had to climb up another hill to get back on track,” he said.

“It definitely trashed my quads because I was running so fast and I had to add another hill to my route.”

His first long-distance run was over 30 miles in Australia and his second was over the same distance at the Kyle of Lochalsh in the Highlands, the latter yielding his first ultra success, thanks to his time of five hours and seven minutes.

Wolf’s next race is called the Devil of the Highlands on Saturday, August 6, and that’s over the last 42 miles of the West Highland Way.