Miles of smiles at annual Stornoway Half Marathon

editorial image

William Macrury, Alanna Goddard and Carol Maclean each crossed the line in triumphant fashion following a stunning race in this year’s Autoparts Stornoway Half Marathon.

All three were overcome with emotion as they completed their gruelling 13-miles of tarmac and trails on a gloriously sunny Stornoway day.

Macrury punched the air and roared with delight as he took first place and a home victory following a stunning time of just over 1 hour and 13 minutes.

The ever quickening Goddard was first female, eighth runner overall from a field of 128, as the SRAC runner smashed her own half marathon personal best by some six minutes. A remarkable achievement.

But the biggest cheer of the day was reserved for new runner Maclean who completed her first ever half marathon with a bouquet of flowers under her arm which she presented to her best friend Mhairi Maciver at the finish line.

Mhairi is suffering with locked in syndrome which leaves her fully paralysed and confined to a wheelchair but with Carol raising funds for Mhairi’s future by doing the half marathon, a plan was hatched by Mhairi’s family for her to greet Carol at the finish.

It was a wonderful moment to see Carol and Mhairi embrace at the finish with Carol presenting her friend with flowers and receiving a bottle of wine in return – something she joked she would need at the end of her first ever half marathon.

On reflection the Autopart’s Stornoway Half Marathon and 10K was a huge success and the race included a welcome return to Lazy Corner at the inner harbour where the large crowd of spectators were kept entertained with lots of top running performances. Conditions were near to ideal with blue skies and only light winds that resulted in many personal best times. Each of the three races; the half marathon, 10K and Fun Run show cased fantastic ability, potential and many heroic achievements of self accomplishment.

In the main race of the day it looked to be a straight contest between local boy William MacRury and Ruairidh Campbell of Arbroath Footers, running his first Stornoway half in fifteen years!

Campbell did try to keep to script and ran side by side with MacRury through three miles. But there was telling signs at the first water station at the top of North Street Sandwick that the ‘Campbell challenge’ was over as he slowed to take on fluid. MacRury seemed unaware of Campbell slowing up as he continued with his relentless pace.

As the race came through Melbost Farm, Steinish and onto Mossend, MacRury knew the race was his to win. But there was no easing off the pace and he continued to hold really good cadence and form. In the latter stages along the shore road towards Cuddy Point and with the end almost in sight William not content with the victory pushed on chasing record times.

When the red and gold Stornoway vest came into sight on the pier the crowd responded to the home victory secured by Oor William.

His demonstration of front running produced both victory and a record time on the home course, a fabulous 1hour 13minutes and 17!

“I was able to enjoy it and it’s great to win in my local race with family and friends there watching,” he grinned after the race.

Arbroath’s Campbell was next to finish two minutes clear of Garscube Harrier Alasdair MacIver. But the gap was double that to MacRury in first. Campbell will race in the Hebrides again next Saturday in Benbecula and will look to improve on his Stornoway run as he challenges in the Hebridean 3 Race Series.

There was further celebration for the local club as Goddard romped home to a convincing win to make it a SRAC double in the half marathon. So impressive was Alanna’s performance that she finished eighth overall in the one hundred and twenty eight strong field. But for another SRAC personal best (PB) time by Mark MacIver, Allana would have been SRAC’s third team counter!

P.B.’s by MacIver (seventh), Norman Ferguson, 1hr: 21:38 (fourth) and led by the impressive MacRury secured an outstanding team win for host club SRAC!

Goddard’s win was a six minute improvement on her previous best and over seven minutes clear of Gillian Carr (Corstorphine AAC).  Gillian’s runner-up place was taken ahead of yet another local putting in a good performance; Marina Murray form Ness.

SRAC’s success continued in the 10K with an easy win for Connor MacLean, from club mate Kyle Munro in second placed. Fergal Lally took third place. In the ladies 10K, 2015 half marathon champion Laura Ross was clear winner from local girls Holly MacIver and Joanna Gillies.

The events return to its long time start finish area at Lazy Corner at the heart of the town drew large and appreciative crowds to this ‘showcase’ venue. 2017’s event has already secured the sponsorship from Autoparts Stornoway and the club are grateful that the business area ready to support the event for a fourth year.

SRAC also wish to thank Stornoway Trust, Stornoway Port Authority, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Police Scotland (Francis St), Dr Douglas Miller (First Aid), WJ MacDonald’s butchers, Lewis Builders, Neil MacKay’s, O Mac and the Scouts for their support, cooperation and assistance.

Finally this SRAC organised event has been supported by the community with huge input in marshalling, officiating and much, much more!  Thanks to all, as it would not happen otherwise.

For more local athletics, why not try the Western Isles Track and Field Championships at Smith Avenue today (Saturday).