Stornoway Half Marathon Report

posted 9 Jun 2014, 14:27 by Enquiries campbeltownrunningclub

By Ewan Smith

Stornoway Half Marathon provided the venue for this Jeck’s first race in a Toonie vest. Race conditions were good and the gale which had made the previous day’s ferry crossing interesting had died away to a gentle breeze. However, the nasty wee twinges which I felt in my right calf and ankle during my warm-up should have been enough to suggest that running 13 miles wasn’t the sensible thing to do. But when you’ve travelled that kind of distance and the in-laws are looking on, “sensible” doesn’t come into it.

Stornoway half has a downhill start and inevitably - despite telling myself this year would be different - I set off far too fast in the first mile. However, after that things settled down. The first few miles took us along the seafront and through the town; the sort of terrain which Campbeltown runners would find familiar and by mile 5, I was even hopeful that if my leg held up, that the elusive 1:25 finish was a realistic possibility.

Stornoway, however, is a half of 2 halves and the second half took us into the grounds of Stornoway Castle with its gravelly paths and twisting climbs. This took its toll on the leg and by the nine mile mark, the front runners had disappeared among the trees while a fairly small field (131 runners) meant that there was no-one snapping at my heels to keep me moving.

By mile 11 it should have been downhill all the way or at least downhill to the final mile which is a flat run along the waterside but discomfort had turned to pai:, the pace continued to drop and I finally crossed the finishing line in 1 hr 28:13. – more than 10 minutes behind the winning time.

Running through injury comes with a price which is why I’m reduced to writing race reports instead of being out for a long run. However, this year’s Stornoway half belonged to one man. Last year’s winner, local runner Andy King was running his first race since undergoing surgery and radiotherapy for a tumour on his leg. Running for the Beatson his hope was simply to finish it which he did in 1hr 24:18.

Andy’s feat leaves me feeling guilty for moping because of a wee injury and if I’m not back in training in time to aim for 1:25 in the Islay Half then there’s always next year’s Stornoway Half by which time I’ll be a supervet and if Andy King tanks me again, I wont be complaining…