Stornoway Running and Athletics Club (SRAC) is ‘up and running’ again as part of Mod nan Eilean’s Royal National Mod week!
For more than a hundred years An Comunn Gàidhealach has followed its motto of: Ar Canain ‘s ar Ceol – our language and our music.
In advance of an Comunn’s week-long celebration of the Gaeltacht’s rich heritage SRAC took on a run from Oban To Stornoway.
Ten SRAC runners lead by stalwarts, Tony Robson and Jim Bruce and Calbost Harrier, Norrie MacKay ran the 162 miles carrying a message from last year’s hosts Oban to be read at the opening ceremony in Stornoway.
For Tony, Jim and Norrie it was the third time they had taken part in this Mod Relay.
They are the only runners that have taken part in all three relay events.
As the runners’ limbs slow a bit with age they were delighted to have club speedster Norman Ferguson on good running form and SRAC’s international member Gerald Kalchauer, who travelled from Linz, Austria to run with the team.
The previous relays have been the 153 miles between Thurso and Stornoway (the long way) in 2011 and the road between Perth and Stornoway, all 190 miles of it in 2005.
The team has collected donations en-route and when passing Dalwhinnie Distillery during the 2005 run the team was gifted a bottle of malt from the distillery.
The following Relay of 2011 had pre-arranged stops at Old Pultney, Clynlish and Balblair Distilleries and the bottles were auctioned for the cause.
Keeping up with this tradition of the relay the team popped into the Oban Distillery at the start of the event.
Then en-route the team visited Ben Nevis and Glen Ord Distilleries.
Their contributions are vey much appreciated and will add to the monies collected from the event.
On the run the weather on day one between Oban and Drumnadrochit was absolutely glorious and when the weather is like this the scenery of Scotland’s west highlands is simply spectacular!
But for lead runner Tony Robson starting day one off, it was ‘black o’clock’ when he started out, and his sacrifice gave the rest of the team a head start and long lie, when he set off on his solo run at 5am.
This valuable start ensured arrival well ahead of time in Drumnadrochit for some well earned food, drink and of course a hot shower.
The team ran both days in a series of rotating fast one mile leg repetitions, a very tiring but effective means of chewing the miles up.
Some maybe got the ‘odd – long mile’, others it seems lucked out with all the downhill miles and there were some miles run faster by some than others.
But, the one thing that the team recognised was just how important each team runner was and what a great experience the Mod Charity Relay was as a team event promoting the Mod and the chosen charities.
Team thanks to Mod nan Eilean committee, Cal Mac, Staran, Glen Ord, Oban and Ben Nevis Distileries for assistance, donations and support.
The team running to promote the 125th Royal National Mod in Lewis were raising funds for the R.N.L.I. and MacMillan Cancer Support.
Donations can be made through SRAC members or by donating on the Just Giving page: here.
The total from just giving and can collection currently stands at approx £1,200.