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Benbecula Half Marathon Race Report, Saturday 1st June 2013

SRAC Seniors showing of their trophies

A large group of Stornoway Running & Athletics Club (SRAC) seniors travelled to Benbecula for the annual half marathon, part of the HEB3 series of island half marathons.

Andy King, who was the decisive winner of the Stornoway Half Marathon last weekend, was hoping to run well, but had never run back-to-back half marathons before. Nearly twenty senior club mates were also hoping to better their Stornoway times as Benbecula is a flatter course. On the day, the weather seemed ideal as a heavy shower passed just before the start, and the sun came out, and the wind didn’t seem too bad.

There was a larger than usual number of runners (over 80), swelled by the SRAC team. Andy isn’t a fast starter, but he took an early lead from Alasdair Smith of Inverness, another HEB 3 regular runner. All seemed well as Andy was comfortably in the lead approaching the nine mile marker, when he took a wrong turning. By the time he realised and ran back to take the correct turning, he had lost the lead. A supreme effort against a strong wind in the last three miles, enabled him to regain the lead and win the race by a few minutes in 1.22.14! Roddy Gillies won the veteran’s prize (over 40) in 1.28.24, and a good run by Neil MacRury secured the Men’s Team prize for SRAC. Not to be outdone, the Women’s team prize was won by SRAC’s Katy Mackenzie, Lisa Weir and Christine Kennedy.

Other notable SRAC performances were Hamish Budge (1.41.40), Colin Tucker (1.49.59), Keith Bray in 1.48.21 (whilst his youngsters were winning trophies in the fun run!), Jim Bruce (1.51.36), running his 20th Benbecula half marathon, and Holly Maciver (1.54.51) winner of last years fun run, and taking five minutes off her previous time in only her second half marathon.

Several runners who train with the SRAC Leisure group ran fast times, in particular Norman Ferguson (1.38.14) and Iain Maclean (1.41.59), who will no doubt become full SRAC members soon!

There were two other races at the event, an oddly-named fun run of 4.5 miles comprised only of seniors, and a shorter Fast Track for juniors. The Fun Run was won easily by SRAC’s William MacRury in 25.10, with Jan Schouten 4th in 32.12. William was tempted to run the half marathon but wisely didn’t as it didn’t fit into his training schedule for the World Island Games in Bermuda next month.

Kelsey Gillies, Edith MacFarlane, Rebecca MacIver, Keith Bray, Harry Bray and Faith MacFarlane showing of their trophies
Kelsey Gillies, Edith MacFarlane, Rebecca MacIver, Keith Bray, Harry Bray and Faith MacFarlane

The junior Fast Track race was won overall by Keith Bray, at only 7 years old, is destined to be a great runner. Harry Bray got 3rd place in the  boys u11 age category, Rebecca Maciver was the U8 girls category winner, Eidith Macfarlane was 2nd in the girls u8 category, Kelsey Gillies was 3rd in the girls u8 category, and Faith Macfarlane was 2nd in the girls u11 category. The photo show the happy youngsters after the race with their medals.

The next races in the HEB3 series are Skye (June 8th), Barra (29th June) and Harris (6th July).