Runners looking to lift their spirits with a scenic race (and possibly some real spirits too) this summer are in luck: entry to the Ardbeg Islay Half Marathon (28 July) has just been extended for a few more days.
Organiser Kate MacAffer told runABC Scotland that runners now have until the 22nd of this month to secure their places via the event's website.
When asked why runners should choose her event, which she has been organising for over 30 years, Kate replied confidently: “It’s the best in the west!”
In addition to the stunning scenery of the Inner Hebrides, runners taking on the challenge of the 13.1 mile race, first held in 1986, will receive a T-shirt and a medal. There’s also a post-race dance in Bowmore Hallf for those who still have the energy.
Although this year’s race will be held a week earlier than previous editions, the route remains the same: a circular jaunt from the island’s capital of Bowmore, past Islay Airport and back to Bowmore.
Past races have attracted an international field, with many participants returning year after year. Last year’s 161 finishers included runners from Austria, Germany, Canada, Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden, Hong Kong, Singapore, Spain and Bermuda.
Last year’s winning time was 1.13.40, run by Stuart Gibson of Cambuslang Harriers.
The course record of 1.09.21, set by Allan McLellan in 1989, still stands.