18 Feb

First ever winner of Inverness Half urges runners to sign up before deadline

Runners keen to take on the challenge of Inverness Half Marathon (Sunday, 8 March) have only hours left to book their places.
Entries to the popular spring event, which follows a flat and scenic route through the historic Highland capital of Inverness, close just before midnight today (Tuesday 18 February).
 
In addition to elites from around the world hoping to get their hands on the generous prize money, the event attracts runners of all standards and levels of experience. One runner with plenty of experience taking part this year is 63-year-old Graham Laing from Inverness. 
 
Laing won the first Inverness Half Marathon in 1985 in a time of 1.04.37. 25 years on Laing’s time still stands as the third fastest ever for the event, just 10 seconds short of the current record of 1.04.27 set by Commonwealth medallist Robbie Simpson. 
 
A keen runner since the age of 16, Laing also took fifth place in the first-ever London Marathon in 1981, with a time of 2:13:59. The 2020 Inverness Half Marathon will be Laing’s second outing at the event since receiving a hip replacement in 2016. 
 
Now retired, Laing coaches primary school children in athletics for Highlife Highland at Inverness Leisure, and is also a coach at Inverness Harriers. In addition to getting himself ready to run, Laing has also been helping prepare his own runners to take on the Half Marathon and 5K. 
 
Laing said, “Although my fast times are behind me now, I’m excited to take on my 25th Inverness Half Marathon! It’s a great course, well-organised and you always have plenty of support from the Highland crowd.”
 
Inverness Half Marathon is one of my favourite events and it’s been a pleasure to help others prepare for it and the 5K. I wish all the best to everyone taking part. I’ll see you on the start line!”
 
Image: Caledonian Concepts