Organisers of the Global Energy Inverness half marathon are offering generous cash prizes for leading runners. Winners of the race, scheduled for Sunday, March 11, will receive cheques of £1000, making this one of the most lucrative events on the Scottish road running circuit.
Race organiser Malcolm Sutherland is confident the cash awards will improve interest: "The £1,000 is a tremendous incentive for the leading runners and we hope this will attract a top quality field." Malcolm continued: "It's certainly the most lucrative winning prize to be offered in the 28 year history of the race."
Scottish international Andrew Douglas has confirmed he will be back to defend the men's title. The Inverclyde AC runner commented: "I'll be kicking off my road racing season at Inverness as I did last year, but the big prize money does make it that bit more exciting."
Melissa Whyte, victorious in the last two Inverness events, feels the extra incentive will make for a higher level of competition: "I'm sure the prize money will attract some better runners which will be good for the race and will, hopefully, inspire us all to run quicker times."
Interest is being expressed from a number of other top runners from both north and south of the border. Commonwealth Games runner Martin Williams (Tipton Harriers) hasn't ruled out heading north to compete at Inverness as part of his preparations for the London marathon, whilst Scottish 10k champion Ross Houston of Central AC is a possible runner.
A field of 1,800 runners is expected to take part in this year's half marathon with a further 1,000 in the accompanying 5k Fun Run and Team Attack. Entry for each of the races is open until February 22. You can sign up by visiting the event website.