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Terrific Tiree 10k Goes Global

tiree_10k_2014They 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.

Records Broken and Stories of Achievement On A Windy Island

Tiree 10k and Half Marathon ~ By Will wright

10k runnerThis was to be the first ever Tiree Half Marathon, and the 8th edition of the Tiree 10k – the 2013 event was definitely the best yet. 13.1 miles for the Half Marathon, 6.2 miles for the 10k: over 200 people lined up on the beach ready to battle against the wind and rain, to overcome the tiredness and fatigue that was sure to come, to ignore the voices that said it couldn’t be done, and to get back to the finish line with every mile completed. Walkers, runners, kids, pram pushers; everybody raised their game and made it to the finish in what was the most challenging conditions we’ve had for this event. For this and many other reasons, it was the best year yet.

At the prize giving on Saturday night there was a real sense of achievement, magnified by the challenging weather conditions, and justified by the number of people who told me this was their first half marathon, or they beat their PB, or that it was simply the hardest thing they’ve ever done. With a winning Half Marathon time of 1hr13 it was a day of extremes from start to finish. The 10k event saw record entry numbers and a new course record. The kids event saw the fastest ever 2km time and some promising young runners. And the 10k Dance was one of the best nights I’ve seen on Tiree; great music, great atmosphere, and everyone up dancing right from the start.

So, thank you everyone who helped make it such a special weekend. In particular the event sponsors: Tiree Medical Practice, the Co-op, Active Schools, Scott Running, Chocolate & Charms and everyone who entered the events. And of course the excellent helpers who did such a great job to make the day run smoothly. Thank you everyone for being so considerate and supportive for all the runners who took part on the day.

Tiree 10k 2013“I had a brilliant time at the 10k and I am so glad I made the journey as I loved the race and breathtaking scenery.” – Suzanne Halliday

“I’ve gained so much from the running community in the last few years, and Tiree was an excellent example of sharing that love. I’ve told my husband that it’s an island we must visit.” – Deirdre Hoyle

“Just wanted to say how much I and my friends enjoyed the races at the weekend, definitely worth the long trip from Glasgow and Edinburgh! I got a new p.b. time and was so happy to do this in such a beautiful place.” – Clare McKinlay

“The weather might not have been great, but the atmosphere at the Tiree 10k and Half Marathon certainly was. The course was scenic, but challenging and despite the wind, sand, cattlegrids and off-road section I managed to run a personal best time. A particular high for me was how encouraging all the runners were of each other.” – Catherine Stewart, 1st lady, half marathon.

Next year’s event is on Saturday 3rd May 2014 – Bank Holiday weekend. If you’ve got any good photos please let me know. The finish times are up on the Tiree Fitness website – www.TireeFitness.co.uk and any comments or feedback please contact Will Wright.