One of the earlier Half Marathons of the road running year takes place up the A9 in Inverness. A small group of hardy ERNs ventured North on an away day.
Murdo said : “The first half marathon of the year for a number of ERNs (Gillian-G, Murdo, Stephen-M, Mariusz and Adrienne). Weather this year was perfect; mild with a wee breeze at the right moments. Travelled up by train on Saturday taking advantage of the Scotrail £19 return offer (thanks Aicha) and we ended up staying at the same hotel as Adrienne and Gillian.”
“Registration is very straightforward and slick. You pick up your race number (with embedded chip) and (excellent) technical t-shirt at the Inverness Sports Centre which serves as start and finish venue as well. There was a well organised baggage system so you could leave gear and changing/showers were available on completion. A venue cafe as well as food/drink in the hall were available at the end.”
“Runners assembled at the Centre and were piped to the start where there was an organised warm-up. The sound system was playing up but everyone seemed to enjoy it. Race started promptly at 1.00pm and the course takes you on a flat section out and along the River Ness before turning off and through a rural, wooded and very scenic section. About the halfway point you return via the Inverness suburbs and back down to the riverside with the last 4 (flat) miles returning on the reverse of the first section. The route is fairly flat although there are a few undulations particularly in the middle sections. Great support from locals (many thanks to the girl with the Jelly Babies at mile 8-9!). Lovely finish on the 400m track in front of the Grandstand and a surprisingly large crowd. Water points at 3, 6, 9 and 12 miles.”
“Everyone seemed to have a good race; I ran with Stephen who successfully completed his first half marathon well within his target time (great effort). Stayed up overnight and met up with Gillian and Adrienne for a beer or 4 and some supper afterwards – braw!”
“A bit of a trek to get there and the weather can be unpredictable (snow for the last few years) but it’s a very well organised and friendly event, lovely city and excellent ale make it worthwhile. One to consider for next year?”