Chris Jones has sent us this report from Barra – sounds beautiful but I bet he didn’t expect it to be so hot when he signed up for a run in the Outer Hebrides!
“Barrathon – a simple concept, one lap of the isle of Barra in the Outer Hebrides is exactly a half-marathon. Getting there is a challenge in itself. Drive to Glasgow Airport, take the 1 hour flight and make the world’s only commercial-airline beach landing. Or, as I had to on the way back, 5 hours on the ferry to Oban and then 3 hours on the train back to Glasgow!
Barra’s white sands and blue seas looked stunning in the hot sun. Nearly 300 runners lined up to tackle the constantly undulating loop and we were all feeling the heat within a few miles. There were only about 50 metres of shade in the race but the whole island’s population seemed to be on the course supporting us and handing out drinks. A killer hill at 11 miles led to a long descent back in to Castlebay where an enthusiastic welcome and a legendary buffet awaited. There’s a ceilidh too if your legs survived. The winner did a superhuman 1:13, nearly 7 minutes ahead of the next runner. But most agreed it was too hot to do anything other than enjoy the views and get round. I just managed to avoid a personal worst but loved the whole experience. Get in early if you fancy next years 20th anniversary race – this years online entries were gone inside 10 minutes back in January.”
Chris Jones 1:46.19 (53rd)