Gillian White and friends travelled up to the Isle of Lewis for a long weekend and took in the Stornoway 10km while they were there. The weather was a tad wet but more than made up by the warm welcome, a braw run and the great spread afterwards. Thanks to all at Stornoway Running and Athletics Club (SRAC) for a great event – recommended.
Gillian said: “Hi, here’s my report from the Stornoway 10K at the weekend… I went over for the run with a few pals and we stretched it out to a long weekend, it was their first 10K so that added an extra buzz to the weekend!
The 10K is pretty much all within the grounds of Lews Castle, in the middle of Stornoway, it’s either track or tarmac underfoot and is really quite scenic – it’s gently humply and gradually uphill through woodland or country tracks ’til the halfway point, by which stage you’re on a road through what feels like exposed moorland and then downhill through the grounds again, for a quite a stretch running beside the Creed, a lovely fast and rocky rocky burn/river, and then alongside the harbour side, I’ll attach some photos I took the day before. There is also an accompanying Half Marathon, which runs through the town first, then into the castle grounds.
It was the smallest race I’ve done, only about 100 for the 10K, so the field got spread out very quickly, I think all of us found ourselves running alone for long stretches. It was also very quiet in terms of support throughout the race, although the marshals were enthusiastic enough, and the finish was the most sparsely populated I’ve seen, but that could very well have been down to the weather… oh my goodness, the weather… it was brutal, we were all soaked to the skin three days out of the four we were on Lewis and it was so wet that my camera’s now broken, however we were ‘lucky’ on race day, it only bucketed down for my last 2K (picture attached of the view from the B&B window on race day…). Locals did say that it is usually the opposite, and is sunny & warm on race day, so on balance, cold and rainy is preferable over the heat! I wasn’t expecting a hilly run, or maybe I just hadn’t recovered sufficiently from last weekend’s run, but either way I found it tough on the day – my three fellow runners, on their first 10K, all finished strong which was great, and they were very pleased!
We were all very impressed with the club’s hospitality, one of our party arrived later than us and she was picked up from the ferry by the club, taken to register and dropped back at our B&B. The post-run spread was that of legend…this was the best I’ve seen, a couple of long tables of rolls & sandwiches, then soup, tea & coffee and then a few tables of cakes (I’ve attached a picture but doesn’t do it justice). There was a good post-run ceilidh with a generous raffle, and then the club laid on mini-buses the next day to take visiting runners round the sights of Stornoway! I’m going to drop the organiser a wee thank you note, after all the issues and complaints surrounding the last few races I’ve run, it was so pleasantly surprisingly to have your expectations exceeded. Saying that though, the results have been removed from the website just now until they sort out some sort of problem (we heard rumours of 8 half-marathoners doing an unintentional 1m shortcut), I was 61:15 on the results sheet that was passed around at the ceilidh and that’s about right.
All in all it’s a race, and a long weekend, to be highly recommended …we’re all keen to do it again next year (with waterproofs this time)