Sunday, 23 September 2018

Loch Ness Half Marathon, Inverness

Caroline Davis and her family made the long, long journey from Grantham to the capital of the Scottish Highlands to compete in the 2018 Loch Ness Half Marathon – part of the Inverness Festival of Running – on Sunday 23rd September.
It was an early rise out of bed for Caroline as the entrants to the marathon travelled by bus to the start line at Fort Augustus near Loch Ness. The runners assembled for the 10am start with cloud swirling around and began the race to the sound of a pipe band.
The course is mainly a gradual descent back down to Inverness but with a couple of climbs and many undulations to contend with. Running alongside Loch Ness for the first few miles, the scenic route was accompanied by spells of beautiful Highland sunshine. There were though, of course, some heavy showers blowing through to keep things varied.
Cheered on by the many enthusiastic volunteers on the course Caroline felt that a comfortable sub-four hour race was on the cards. Unfortunately, at around the 15 mile mark knee trouble forced a slowing of her pace.
After some tough miles in the later stages Caroline finally entered Inverness and joined the banks of the river Ness to run the last couple of crowd lined miles. The finish in Bught Park was, as ever, a very welcome sight, made sweeter with Caroline managing to break four hours, finishing in 3:58:59.
Later in the finishers marquee Caroline commented: "When my knee started giving me problems at mile 15, walking was never an option. I knew I had to grit my teeth and keep powering on as we all had to get back home for work and school! The complimentary post race meal and live band was a great way to round off another successful marathon."

Whilst Caroline was tacking the 26.2 mile marathon, the rest of the family - Paul, Isobel and Abigail, took part in the very family oriented River Ness 5k. The 'race' took in both banks of the river, starting and finishing in Bught Park. Although untimed, the youthful field set a fast and furious pace fully deserving the medal, t-shirt and goody bag awaiting them at the finish.

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