Half-marathon draws the crowds

The Oban Times - - Sport -

A GER­MAN vis­i­tor on a week’s hol­i­day in Scot­land took the ti­tle of 2017 Scot­tish Sal­mon Co Isle of Skye half-marathon cham­pion at Portree on Satur­day.

Oliver Spaeth of Stuttgart breezed across the fin­ish line at the high school with a time of 1:14.10, 2.34 min­utes in front of the sec­ond placed run­ner, Gra­ham Bee of In­ver­ness Har­ri­ers (1:16:44) who also won the Scot­tish Ath­let­ics North Dis­trict Cham­pi­onship, hosted in Skye this year for the first time.

Skye’s half-marathon ti­tle­holder Hugh Camp­bell of Skye and Lochalsh RC was ad­vised not to take part in Satur­day’s race. Not fully re­cov­ered from a ham­string in­jury, the five times win­ner of the race ig­nored his physio’s warn­ings to come a very re­spectable third place in the Skye half-marathon and sec­ond in the North Dis­trict cham­pi­onships with a time of 1:16:52.

Hugh said: ‘I had a bit of an in­jury and am not quite as fit as I would like to be. I ran a very tac­ti­cal race but my legs just couldn’t find the strength to last the miles. Un­der the cir­cum­stances, I am very pleased with today’s re­sult.’

There was lo­cal suc­cess in the women’s sec­tion when Iona Craft, from Skye and Lochalsh RC, was the first lady to cross the fin­ish line with a time of 1:32:08. Sec­ond was Avril Pearson of Liv­ingston (1:32:51) and third was Sarah Attwood of Knavesmire Har­ri­ers with a time of 1:32:55.

Around 750 run­ners from all over the world turned out on a wet and windy morn­ing to com­plete the pun­ish­ing 13.1-mile course in what is con­sid­ered to be one of the world’s most scenic races.

As well as an event that sees com­pet­i­tive run­ners tak­ing part for tro­phies, the Skye half-marathon also at­tracts a large num­ber of in­di­vid­u­als who have per­sonal tales to tell.

Eight-time win­ner of the race and the cur­rent record holder for the most con­sec­u­tive wins was Si­mon Axon, run­ning for Hunters Bog Trot­ters. Si­mon first ran the half-marathon in 1986 and Satur­day’s event marked his 1,000th race. He said: ‘It felt a very long way but it was prob­a­bly my fastest for a few years, so that’s fine.’

Also run­ning on the day was 80-year- old old An­gus Ni­col­son from Uist. This was his 487th half-marathon, count­ing 100 miles of 10Ks. He started run­ning when he was 49 and his goal of 500 marathons is in his sights. Satur­day was his 12th Skye half-marathon and the un­stop­pable An­gus is off to the Isle of Barra in two weeks to take part in the Bar­rathon.

A num­ber of ladies from Skye who had never run be­fore de­cided to start a Facebook group a year ago. They called them­selves the Skye Ladies Run and com­peted in the is­land’s half-marathon for the first time this year. Their ef­forts paid off as they won third in the ladies’ team prizes.

David Heg­gie from Lewis made a mam­moth ef­fort to take part in the race. Part of spon­sors Scot­tish Sal­mon Co’s team, David cy­cled from Lewis, ran the course and then cy­cled home again.

The morn­ing’s chil­dren’s race was well sup­ported by ea­ger run­ners and cheer­ing par­ents. First across the fin­ish line was 13-year- old Joe Jones, fol­lowed closely by 11-year- old Ross MacLeod. Third was Jamie MacKin­non, aged 12.

Joe’s eight-year- old sis­ter Tabi- tha was the first girl to come in.

Sue Cox, di­rec­tor spon­sors Scot­tish Sal­mon Co, said: ‘This is our first time here and it has been bril­liant. We have sev­eral of our own peo­ple tak­ing part in the race, all of them from dif­fer­ent parts of Scot­land.

‘It is im­por­tant to us to in­vest in our lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and we are de­lighted to be sup­port­ing the Isle of Skye half-marathon. There are over 100 vol­un­teers here all play­ing their part in help­ing the day go smoothly and we are so pleased to be a part of such an en­joy­able event.’

Mark Crowe of Skye Events, which or­gan­ises the Skye half-marathon, said: ‘The event went very well with 750 run­ners all com­plet­ing the course. We got re­ally good feed­back from ev­ery­one and the weather didn’t turn out too bad ei­ther.

‘I be­lieve, in to­tal, we had about 120 vol­un­teers giv­ing their time on the day and the com­mit­tee would like to thank ev­ery­one who turned up to help. In par­tic­u­lar, the lo­cal po­lice, Coast­guard, Brown­ies, Skye and Lochalsh Pipe Band and Ro­tary Club did a fan­tas­tic job. We are pleased to say that we in­tend to give at least £2,500 back to the com­mu­nity groups who sup­ported us. We would also like to thank our ma­jor spon­sors Scot­tish Sal­mon Co, for giv­ing us the means by which to run the race on a more pro­fes­sional level.

‘The Isle of Skye half­marathon has come a long way in 34 years and is grow­ing year on year in size, sta­tus and pro­fes­sion­al­ism. Our sin­cere thanks go to ev­ery­one who has helped us achieve this.’ Results and prizes Top five males – Oliver Spaeth 1:14.10 ( TVZell); Gra­ham Bee 1:16.44 (In­ver­ness Har­ri­ers); Hugh Camp­bell 1:16.52 (Skye and Lochalsh RC); Ruairidh Camp­bell 1:18.41 (Ar­broath Foot­ers); Fraser Ste­wart 1:19.04.

Top five fe­males – Iona Craft 1:32.08 (Skye and Lochalsh RC); Avril Pearson 1:32.51 ( Liv­ingston); Sarah Attwood 1:32.55 ( Knavesmire Har­ri­ers); Lisette Wal­ter 1:34.44; Cather­ine Harris 1:35.43 ( Team An­gus).

Lo­cal prizes – Skye male: Hugh Camp­bell; Chris James 1:25.09. Skye fe­male: Tina Schu­man 1:46.29; Les­ley Camp­bell 1:48.38.

Men’s team prizes – Hunters Bog Trot­ters: Ewan Crawford 1:20.41, Ray Ward 1:20.46, An­drew Cum­mings 1:26.20. Skye and Lochalsh RC Hugh Camp­bell, Chris James, Sandy Laing 1:29.49 Stor­n­away R and AC: John Ma­caskill 1:26.36, Andy McMa­hon 1:30.19, Paul Hadley 1:44.51.

Ladies team prizes – Skye and Lochalsh RC: Iona Craft, Les­ley Camp­bell, Sam Crowe 1:50.10 Hunters Bog Trot­ters: Claire Ward 1:42.53, Lucy Tay­lor 1:43.41, Rachel Heathcote 1:55.48 Skye ladies run: Pauline Walker 1:52.55, He­len Day 1:53.19, Fiona Ren­nie 1: 55.16.

Age cat­e­gories male – 40- 44: Ray Ward 1:20.45; 45- 49: Ruairidh Camp­bell 1:18.41; 50-54: Andy McMa­hon 1:30.19; 55+: Christo­pher Cree­gan 1:31.09.

Age cat­e­gories fe­male – 35-39: Iona Craft; 40- 44: Claire Ward 1:42.35; 4549: Avril Pearson; 50+: Heather Akers 1:40.27.

Scot­tish Ath­let­ics North Dis­trict Cham­pi­onship

Se­nior men – gold: Gra­ham Bee (In­ver­ness Har­ri­ers); sil­ver: Hugh Camp­bell (Skye and Lochalsh RC); bronze: Chris James (Skye and Lochalsh RC).

Mas­ters men – gold: John Ma­caskill (Stornoway R and AC); sil­ver: Alex Turner (Skye and Lochalsh RC); Bronze: Christo­pher Smith (Mo­ray Road Run­ners).

V50 – gold: Andy McMa­hon (Stornoway R and AC); sil­ver: Philip Owens (Gar­i­och Road­run­ners); bronze: Paul Hadley (Stornoway R and AC).

Se­nior women – gold: Iona Craft (Skye and Lochalsh RC); sil­ver: Ros James (Skye and Lochalsh RC).

Mas­ters women – gold: Mar­i­anne Wil­son ( North High­land Har­ri­ers); sil­ver: Les­ley Camp­bell (Skye and Lochalsh RC); bronze: Sam Crowe (Skye and Lochalsh RC).

Top three places in the ladies’ half-marathon went to Sarah Attwood, Iona Craft and Avril Pearson.

Fun run win­ners were Ross MacLeod, Joe Jones, Jamie MacKin­non and Tabitha Jones.

Pho­tos: Sara Bain

Men’s top three in the half-marathon Gra­ham Bee, Oliver Spaeth and Hugh Camp­bell.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.