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Skye celebrates after most successful half marathon yet

The Isle of Skye Half Marathon, sponsored by The Scottish Salmon Company (SSC), took place on Saturday with 741 runners completing the 13.1 mile race - the biggest turn out in the race’s 33-year history.

The Men’s race finished with Oliver Spaeth from Germany winning in a time of 1:14:10. Second was Graham Bee of Inverness Harriers in 1:16:44 and third Hugh Campbell from Skye & Lochalsh RC in 1:16:52.  

Iona Craft also from Skye & Lochalsh RC was first lady home in a time of 1:32:08. With a tight race for second place, Avril Pearson of Livingston RC 1:32:51 just pipped Sarah Attwood of York Knavesmire Harriers at the line who finished in 1:32:55.  

The challenging course treats the runners to some of Skye’s breath-taking scenery, with views of Ben Tianavaig, The Old Man of Storr, Isle of Raasay and the stunning Cuillin mountain range. Runners come from around the world to compete with entrants flying in from across Europe, America, Canada, and as far away as Taiwan and Australia.  

For runners looking for an event a little less serious, the Isle of Skye Fun Run was open to entrants aged 5 years and up. This year 142 competitors were piped to the start line for their grand send off just behind the Half Marathon. Thirteen-year-old Joe Jones was first boy home in 13:51 with his sister eight-year-old Tabitha first girl in 17:11. There was also a toddler dash for those under 5.  

Starting and finishing at Portree High School, the event is an annual fixture on the community’s calendar, with volunteers from SSC and various clubs, groups and businesses from around the island pitching in to support in the weeks before and on race day. This year was no different, approximately 120 volunteers from 10 local community groups gave their valuable time to help the race committee.  

Craig Anderson, Chief Executive at The Scottish Salmon Company, said: “Saturday was a great day and one which we are very proud to have been involved in.  

“I would like to congratulate the winners and all those who took part in the half marathon, including our very own SSC runners who all completed the race in their specially-designed t-shirt by Alick MacLachlan from Portree High School.  

“Community spirit was definitely clear to see around Portree on Saturday. The pride, passion and dedication Mark, the race committee and all the volunteers have is amazing to see and they deserve huge congratulations for their hard work.” 

Mark Crowe, Race Director, said: “This year’s half marathon was the biggest yet with more entries than ever before. It’s fantastic to know that all the hard work over the last few months has paid off. I’m very proud of my team and want to say a huge thank you to all the volunteers who gave up their time to help. 

“Having the support of The Scottish Salmon Company for this year’s half marathon was instrumental in us being able to grow and open the event up to more entrants, helping attract the North District Championship. The company and staff truly embraced the community spirit of the event. 

“We’ll see you all next year!”