Report…Margaret Rose MacPhee tours the Hebridean Half Marathons.
The Heb3 Race series is organised by Stornoway Running and Athletics Club and aims to boost overall entries to the five half marathons, by encouraging runners to run at least 3 of the 5 races in the Western Isles. In 2013 and 2014 I completed 3 of the 5. This year I decided to give all 5 a go. Sandra Hervo joined me in completing 3, namely Benbecula, Barra and Harris. Inverlochy local Ruaraidh Campbell won the series overall but Ruaraidh wears the colours of Arbroath Footers.
First up was Stornoway, it was hot and sunny, the course had changed slightly from previous years but was well marshalled. My time for the run was 02:00:05.
Benbecula was next, another warm and sunny day. Sandra and I were joined by Tarq Gunn for this race, Sandra’s time was 02:18:36 and my time was 02:00:57. Afterwards we enjoyed the soup, sandwiches and cake in the school canteen.
Isle of Skye was next where 800 participants had registered including runners from as far afield as Denmark. My companion was Anne Boistelle who teaches at Inverlochy school. Spectators were entertained by pipers and dancers. Water stations were well received roughly every 3 miles on another warm day. My time was 02:03:09.
Two weeks later the Barrathon on the Isle of Barra was race number 4. Lochaber Athletic Club was well represented (previous report June). My time for this was 01:59:12. The food and ceilidh afterwards was brilliant as ever.
Isle of Harris was the final race in the series. Roddy my husband and driver took Sandra and I to Uig at 6am for the ferry in very wet weather. Would you believe, it was another lovely day when the race started. Buses take the runners to the start to return past stunning scenery to finish in Tarbert. David Wright from Ireland who ran for LAC in the 2014 series joined us on the start line.
Sandra was presented with a HEB 3 t shirt. I received the “Rinn mi an coig” t shirt for finishing all 5 half marathons.
Huge thanks to my poor husband Roddy who travelled to each race with me, was there supporting me at start, during and waiting patiently at the end of all races. Also Stephen, Mairead and Katrina my children who all managed to be at one race each.
Why stop at 5?
On Saturday the 27th August we travelled up to Berneray for the Two Islands Half Marathon which finishes in Lochmaddy on North Uist. My time for this event was 02:03:46 which gave me the 1stFV 50. Again the race was well supported and anyone who enjoys road half marathons with stunning scenery should head out to the Western Isles.
Well done to Lochaber runners at Meall a Bhuachalle on Saturday. Finlay Wild won the race ahead of Tim Gomersall (HHR) and Graham Bee(Inverness Harriers) Result
Thanks to Phill Hindell for photos on Craiggowrie summit.
Last weekend our runners had a choice of hill races, seven went to Tarmachan ridge where Stephen Burns finished in 3rd place behind Sam Alexander Westies and Stephen Rawlinson Lochtayside. Richard MacLeod in 10th place won the under 23 prize. Others taken part were Stephen Monk, Michael Slezas, Niall MacBeath, Susan Jane Ross and Ray Murdoch. Thanks to Dan and his team of marshals and the ladies for the fine spread. Result
Meanwhile at Manor Water Andrew Barrington finished in 3rd place in a time of 01:13:36. Andrew followed this up at the Pentland Skyline race with an 18th place and a time of 02:45:11 which secured him THE MAN trophy in the Man or Mouse competition. Other LAC’S taking part in the Skyline were John Yells 02:59:26, Isla MacKay 03:44:13 and Callum Fraser who unfortunately had to pull out with an injury. A record number of runners 295 completed the Skyline. Thanks to Charlie Ramsay for Skyline photos below.
Best wishes to Aileen Duncan today on her special birthday from all at LAC.
Aileen on Creag Meagaidh birthday walk.
Aileen at the Inn
Aileen having a Party
Marvellous!! describes how well this hill race was. The previous day the weather was awful but the drive round to the Resipole campsite was warm and sunny. Eighteen LAC runners made the trip making up almost half the entrants, the route was what most hill runners enjoy, rough terrain, boggy ground, steep climbs and no clag. Westerlands Robert Simpson won the race by a margin but Lochaber’s John Yells done well to finish 2nd. Other Lochaber prize winners were Lyndsey Shaw 2nd lady, Mick Tighe 1st v60 and if your not that good be the oldest, Ray Murdoch picked up the spot prize. The event organised by the local community to support Ewen’s Room certainly excelled with the course well marshalled and marked (even a barking dog to guide you to the summit), the use of facilities on the campsite, with excellent post race catering in the marquee. Thanks and well done to all.
Dufftown Games 30th July
Lochaber runners did really well in the Ben Rinnes hill race with Es Tresidder winning in a time of 02:04:08, Andrew Barrington was 3rd in a time of 02:04:50, Pawel Cymbalista 02:24:06 (9th) and Robert Maclean 02:40:04 (27th) also took part in a field of 73 entrants.
Killin Games 3rd Aug.
Colin Donnelly pushed the much younger local Stephen Rawlinson all the way on the Sron A Chlachain hill race but had to settle for 2nd place. Colin finished 43secs. behind in a time of 22mins 56secs. Ray Murdoch finished in 41:42.
Newtonmore Games 6th Aug
A magnificient LAC seven took part in the Creag Dhubh hill race. Good performances from John Yells and Richard Macleod led the more experienced Ali Kennedy, Niall Macbeath, Ronnie Turner, Susan Jane Ross and Ray Murdoch to the finish. Result
Straiton Fun Day
The small Ayrshire village hosts a sort of mini games with events like,”fling the wellie”, “throw the handbag”, walking football and the Craigengower hill race for adults and kids. The weather was ideal for the day with the kids enjoying the sideshows and ice cream (available at £2.50 as opposed to £4.00 at other highland games venues, take note vendors!!). As for the hill race, juniors and adults started together with 25 completing the full hill. (no results yet). Ray Murdoch finished in a time of 30mins 38secs and Irvine runner Ian Macmanus continues to make the effort despite his 3 score years and ten + four. Well done to the organisers, great day.