Report from Tom Hannah: In 2008, Otley A.C. sent a raiding party to the Isle of Arran to compete in the local half marathon. There wasn’t much raping and pillaging but quite a few prizes were looted by our members (see photograph attached).
I remember that the only one who didn’t win a prize was myself. Anyway, my wife and I recently went back there on holiday and, purely by chance, the 2016 race was taking place while we were there. I could not resist the opportunity to have another go. Travelling by the local bus service, I arrived in plenty of time for the 12 noon start at Blackwaterfoot. Weather conditions were ideal, no rain and fairly calm.
Having registered and picked up my number at the local hotel, I lined up hoping that my recollection of a not too hilly course would be repeated. Sure enough, the route was the same and after a fairly flat 4 miles, there was a steady climb during which several people passed me. Not panicking, I pulled them back and after another climb between 8 and 9 miles, I knew that the later stages would be flat and downhill to the finish. My target was sub-2 hours (fairly modest as I had done 1.37.46 on my previous visit) so I was pleased to finish in 1.59.30. The winner was Scott Martin of Kilmarnock Harriers in 1.18.05 according to RunBritain.
Needless to say, I didn’t win anything but the beer in the hotel afterwards was very good. If ever you go to Arran on holiday, I can recommend this as a nice low key race.