Main photo by James Robertson (@jprobertson)
Hailing from Bristol, England, Liam Glen was first to cross the finish line of the 2021 Highland Trail 550, posting an amazing time of 3 days, 10 hours, and 55 minutes (3D 10H 55M) on an incredibly tough route. The HT550 is no easy task, boasting over 550 miles (885km) and 50,000 feet (16,000m) of climbing. Even more impressive, Liam led the race from the start and achieved this finish time aboard a steel, rigid, singlespeed!
Ultimately, Liam nearly beat the course record, and according to the record holder, our own Neil Beltchenko, “he would have if the current route was the same as the year I did it.” Even more interesting, this could apparently be a new race record for the HT550. However, at the moment it’s unclear whether that will be official due to variations in this year’s course.
When we asked Liam about his race, he replied, “This years race was a bit of a redemption story for me after a DNF two years ago due to illness and getting really cold. To be honest, it couldn’t have gone much better. The weather was better than I’d mentally prepared for, my body held up and I had no problems with my bike as that thing is an absolute unit! Speaking of the bike, I decided to go rigid/singlespeed to have a bit of a different experience out on the trail, this being my third start. I also wanted to get back to how I’d felt before the 2016 edition, when I wasn’t sure if I’d even make it round. I find that puts me in a much better headspace to deal with events as they happen, stay positive and appreciate how lucky I am to be out there, than if I go in with a ‘racing’ mindset.”
Liam was riding a Stooge Scrambler with 34/20 gearing. Find a couple posts from Liam’s instagram with photos of the bike below.
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