The Inverness Half Marathon, sponsored by Inverness-based Global Energy Group, takes place on Sunday, 17th March and is a much anticipated date in road running circles.
For serious athletes, it’s the first event in its class in the Scottish running calendar and provides an excellent launch pad for the rest of the season. For those with new running goals, months-long training programmes or a general enthusiastic approach towards getting fitter, the three races on the day – the Inverness Half Marathon, 5K Fun Run and 5K Team Attack – allow participants to choose a race option suited to their own ability and style.
Global Energy Group Communications Director, Alastair Kennedy, was delighted to announce that the company was continuing its sponsorship of the event for a second year. He commented: “The importance of a healthy lifestyle has never been more prevalent, and we’re keen to help people set themselves achievable fitness goals.
“We’ve worked closely with the event organisers to develop an exciting race programme to suit all levels and abilities, and have included bumper cash prizes as well making this one of the most lucrative events on the Scottish road running circuit.
“We hope many people choose to come along and enjoy the event and get involved in helping good causes, particularly one as deserving as The ARCHIE Foundation.”
The event takes place in the heart of the Highland capital of Inverness with runners competing along the banks of the picturesque River Ness and in the shadow of the city’s imposing castle.
Opting for one of three races on the race, runners have the choice of setting themselves an individual challenge for or competing with friends or colleagues – in teams or in a supporting role. For most the reward will be that of personal achievement or satisfaction, but for a few there are significant cash prizes to be won as the event is one of the most lucrative on the Scottish competitive road running scene.
The first male and female half marathon runners across the finish line will walk away with £1000 each and there are team prizes for the first three men’s clubs and the first two women’s sides. And for the first time this year there will also be team prizes for the fastest male, female and mixed teams in the 5K Team Attack event. Incentives for other categories and races will be announced in the run up to the event.
Race Director Malcolm Sutherland of Caledonian Concepts said: “We are really pleased with the line up for this year’s programme, and with entry levels so far. And we’re delighted to be in a position to offer such great monetary prizes for so many of the races.
“We appreciate there can only be a few prize winners on the day, but we hope all the other runners will feel like winners in their own right having completed the race they trained for, with many perhaps achieving a personal best.”
Mike Dignan, Jog Leader with the Inverness Leisure Jog Scotland Group, said: “We are delighted to have been involved in this unique piece of work to promote the Global Energy Inverness Half Marathon 2013.
“The Jog Scotland Group formed in January 2012 and we already have in excess of 600 members, many of whom were complete beginners when they joined. But with their dedication and with encouragement from Jog Leaders, in excess of 30 are undertaking the Global Energy Inverness Half Marathon as their first venture into distance running. Many others who are still on the path of building up the miles are taking part in either the 5K Fun Run or 5K Team attack events.
“Good luck to each and every one of them – it’s great to see so many supporting this fantastic local event.”
Last year’s event saw competitors raise a total of more than £86,991 for a range of good causes, and this year’s Global Energy Inverness Half Marathon will once again be promoting The ARCHIE Foundation as its official charity with participants who choose to fundraise for this cause helping to improve the lives of sick children and their families across the North of Scotland.
The ARCHIE Foundation’s Chief Executive David Cunningham said: “We are so grateful that the Global Energy Inverness Half Marathon has chosen us as its official race charity for a second year.
“As we strive towards our goal of building a Highland Children’s Hospital in Inverness, we are overwhelmed by this marvellous gesture of support. We know that many of the runners will be taking part to help make this vision for the Highland’s Children a reality and we are extremely grateful for that.”
The local economy is also set to benefit from the event, as the runners and spectators on the day are expected to inject significant financial income into the area.
In 2012 the races attracted entries from across Scotland, the UK and with some participants coming from as far afield as Denmark, Germany and the United States. More than eight out of ten of those who participated said they would return to compete again, and many who travelled to the event from outside the area said they would choose to revisit the Highlands again in the future.
Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and the Global Energy Inverness Half Marathon is a great event for runners of all abilities. Whether you take on the full half marathon, or opt for the 5K fun run or team event, there is something for everyone to come and enjoy at what truly is a family event.”
The new-look 5K Team Attack race will bring an additional competitive aspect to the event, with prizes up for grabs for three winning teams – the first male, female and mixed teams over the line will all be awarded prizes. Friends, colleagues and club mates are encouraged to field four-person teams to train and challenge for the fastest cumulative time over the 5K course.
The popular 5K Fun Run is open to people of all ages and abilities including wheelchair entrants and children accompanied by adults.
Over 2,500 runners are expected to participate in the Global Energy Inverness Half Marathon which is likely to attract a number of Scotland’s top runners who are aiming for Commonwealth Games marathon qualifying times this Spring.
Anyone wanting to take part in any of the races can now enter online at www.invernesshalfmarathon.co.uk.