Skye Half Marathon

Well… I can honestly say, I now have a new favourite race. Everything about this one fell into place.

I finished up work early on Friday, filled the car of fuel, picked up my running buddy and headed off to the Isle Of Skye.

We stayed overnight in Broadford SYHA hostel which was a half hour drive from the race in the morning. It wasn’t a horrendously early start, so we went to bed at about midnight. What felt like mere moments after my head had hit the pillow I was awoken by a horrendously loud whooshing noise. I remember wondering what it was, it seemed to go from one side of the hostel to the other. No idea… maybe it was a dream. Went back to sleep and a short time later the noise was back, only this time directly outside the window. The room was shaking and the curtains were blowing as though the wind had suddenly got up outside. I was wondering what was happening and where I was. As I came too, I looked out the window and not 100 Metres away was a Royal Navy Sea King helicopter transferring a patient to or from an ambulance. Bizarre! This then seemed to happen again at 6am. What is this place?!

I got up at about half 7, had a cracking breakfast then headed for the race. The weather was going to go one of two ways. The clouds were low and looked like they were ready to bucket down on us, but the sun was fighting through. As we arrived at the race it was still cold. Registered and picked up my number to find that I was number 3 – lowest race number yet!

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We were shortly piped down to the start line at just before 10:30 with a full marching pipe band. We were also being treated to some glorious sunshine and a sight of what awaited us – uphill from the word go. The first 3 mile was uphill mostly and we climbed about 100M. Kept a steady pace as the hills were tough and the weather was hot.

On came the best 13 miles of my life. The weather was glorious, the hills were tough, the people were lovely (kids cheering from gardens, people with a garden hose, someone playing music from her car, old people clapping, kids looking for high fives) and the scenery was stunning. There was even a pipe band in full flow at mile 5.

On hitting the top of the last climb we were treated to stunning views of the Cuillin ridge, with the tops sticking up above a low lying cloud. The last 2 or 3 miles were a fast, glorious decent back into Portree. This photo was taken after the race on the drive home, but it’ll give the idea.
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We were then handed the best goody bag that I’ve had from a race. Even the bag was good!
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On the drive home, I had my second encounter of the weekend with a Sea King helicopter. We saw this beauty at the side of the road and parked just in time to see them fire it up and take off.
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Results:
Chip Time – 2:03:24
Gun Time – 2:03:42
Position – 251 out of 378
http://www.sportsystems.co.uk/ss/results/Skye%20Half%20Marathon/1224

Official photos can be found here: http://skyephotocentre.zenfolio.com/f11379729

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