Milton is the final refreshment station on the Tiree Ultramarathon on Sunday 6th September, 2015. Participants will be be running 35 miles – across sandy beaches, along gravel tracks, grassy dunes, sheep tracks, a few bogs and some rocky outcrops. There’s a few hills but nothing serious. It’s a really enjoyable course – varied and incredibly scenic. There is a navigation element to ultramarathon, but it’s not there to catch anyone out out.
A team of volunteers will be serving as marshals to help make the race safe and to help the participants go away pleased with their achievement; having experienced some of the things that make Tiree such a special place to live and work. The runners will pass through Miton on their way to finishing line close to An Talla, Crossapol.
The island is not known for its mobile phone coverage – two mobile networks operate on the island are -O2 and Vodafone – and even they suffer from areas of poor or no coverage. So this afternoon we went out to Milton to check coverage. While we were there the sun made a fleeting appearance – enhancing the appearance of the Montbretia and Heather. As the runners pass this way on the final push for the finishing line, the harbour and houses may stand out, but they will have little time to dwell on the finer points.
Tiree Place Names states that ‘Milton, mill-town, is a relatively new name. The name is not listed in the original Ordnance Survey of the island in 1878. It is said to have been coined by a factor in the 19th century, and can lay a reasonable claim to being the oldest English name.’ There is harbour used by local fishermen, and although there is no beach, it is a place of great beauty.
Finally, it is good to be able to report that there will be a cafe at An Talla provided by Becky Wright of Chocolates and Charms. Energy stores will need replenishing in time for the Evening Dance and Prize-giving with the band Eabhal.