Time is running out to sign up for the 30th Inverness Half Marathon on 9 March, with less than a month until entries close. One runner who's already signed up is 31-year-old Nicola Duncan (pictured).
The Portobello Running Club member is originally from Galway but has been living in Edinburgh for the last decade. Formerly a tennis player, Nicola took up running about six years ago but it's only over the past 18 months that she has been training seriously. Her progress has been so rapid, however, that she is now on the verge of being picked to represent her native Ireland in the marathon at this year's European championships in Zurich.
Nicola's plans include a trip to Inverness in March where she hopes to improve on her previous best half marathon performance. She said:"Quite a few people have told me that the Inverness course is fantastic and that it's one with potential for fast times. My best time is 1hr 16min 29secs but I feel as though I should be able to go faster given the right conditions."
Nicola has never been to Inverness but has happy memories of her last trip up north when she won the Scottish half marathon title at Elgin in September.
On current form she will be difficult to beat in the battle for the £1,000 top prize in Inverness. She may also test the current women's course record time of 1:13:21 set by Kenya's Cathy Mutwa in 2007.
Race director Malcolm Sutherland is delighted Nicola has decided to come to Inverness. He said: “Nicola is a very talented athlete and we are privileged that she has chosen to compete in our race. We have been fortunate in attracting many top class runners here in recent years and this continues the trend. It promises to be an exciting day.”
While the half marathon is the premier event on the Inverness programme, the Global Energy 5K fun run and the Global Energy 5K Team Attack are also attracting strong interest.
To enter the half marathon, 5K or Team Attack, visit the event website