Running in Orkney goes from strength to strength with news that the St Magnus Marathon will be returning for a third time in 2018 and that the 10k introduced last year will also be staged alongside the feature event on Sunday 1 July.
St. Magnus Marathon is Scotland's most northerly 26.2 mile race. The race starts from Kirkwall’s St. Magnus Cathedral and follows an historic route around the scenic north-west corner of the island. The marathon route replicates the journey undertaken by the followers of St. Magnus after his martyrdom at Kirkwall to the ancient Christ’s Kirk in Birsay, finishing at the local community hall. The marathon route is on tarmac roads except a 250m stretch in the last mile on trail.
Organisers say that runners will enjoy running through Orkney’s 'hidden treasure' of Birsay which offers a rewarding distance run with wonderful coastal scenery and great photo opportunities. They add that there are challenging gradient changes in the early stages and gentle gradients latterly.
The 10k takes a circular route from the Birsay Community Hall round the Loch of Boardhouse, a very scenic road run. There is a also a popular 5k fun run.
The event attracted 100 entries in the first year and 70 last year which means runners can be on their own for long stretches (suggesting the event might be one to do with a buddy) although organisers are hoping to promote the event more widely and increase numbers this year. The goody bags include a quality medal, technical t-shirt, a Swannay Brewery beer, Orkney fudge and oatcakes and other goodies. And the day is rounded off with an awards ceremony and ceilidh with an impressive supper.
More details of the St. Magnus Marathon and 10K at runABCScotland's race listing.