They came to Tiree by plane and by ferry from all over the UK to take part in the marathon. There were groups from as far away as Slovakia and Brazil. There were kids in their prams and runners in their seventies eager to cover the distance in their best time. And Lindsay Matthews (37), running her first ever race, covered the ground of the half marathon in two hours and six minutes. Lindsay, who comes from Bearsden, near Glasgow, said, “It was a marvellous day. Enjoyed every minute!”
In all, 250 runners finished the course, five times the number who took part nine years ago when it all began. It has now become a huge success and a ‘must run’ event for many marathon competitors in the UK and beyond.
All the way from Paris came Justin Welstead and his family. They flew to Glasgow and chartered a Hebridean Airways plane to reach Tiree in time for the race. Justin, whose father Bill Welstead is a Tiree resident, came 26th and his young daughter Clara was 17th and 5th woman. Bill Welstead told us, “They came all that way for just two days specially to take part and they had a wonderful time. Justin works in Paris as a financial consultant so this trip to Tiree for the marathon gave him a really good break!”
The Tiree 10K and Half Marathon is the brainchild of the island’s fitness guru and very own ‘Iron Man’ Will Wright, who has put many long hours into planning the popular annual event.
Will said :”It has been a real pleasure to watch this event grow and to see people return year after year. Watching local runners complete the course is rather special. And to know that folk travelled all the way from Slovakia and Paris just to do this proves how special Tiree is.”
The races started and finished on Sorobaidh beach. The 10K and half marathon runners all set off together followed by the pram pushers. Then the kids off on their own races. Marshals stationed around the course encouraged and directed competitors and were amazed by the drive, determination and focus of everyone who took part. In the evening there was a prizegiving event and dance with our very own Trail West providing the sounds. This was a great evening to relax and enjoy the company of other runners and all the local folk who cheered them on. A great day was had by all.