The Inverness ½ Marathon, 5K Team Attack and 5K Fun Run races attracted an enthusiastic crowd of supporters who turned out in their hundreds to encourage competitors in all the races, some of whom came from as far afield as Australia, Denmark Poland and Spain.
Those taking part from closer to home included well-known faces from the UK TV screen. Colin McCredie is best known for his TV roles in Taggart and River City and in Danny Boyle’s film Shallow Grave, and is currently starring in CBeebies popular pre-school show Woolly and Tig. He ran the 5K Fun Run riverside route with his wife Simone and his daughters Betsy (5) and Maisie (8) – the respective face and voice of the much-loved children’s character Tig who guides young viewers through the world of new experiences with the help of eight-legged sidekick Woolly. They were running to help raise money for the event’s official charity – Highland Hospice.
Colin commented: “We arrived here on Friday and have had a fantastic weekend – Inverness is in such a beautiful location. We particularly enjoyed exploring the city’s NessIslands. But the highlight has been taking part in today’s 5K Fun Run and raising £600 for Highland Hospice. The event has a brilliant family atmosphere and we’re all delighted to be heading home with our medals. We weren’t sure Betsy was going to finish the race because so many people wanted her to stop and chat – but she made it and has her medal to prove it!”
The family, who sadly have firsthand experience of watching a loved one fight cancer, were taking part to help raise the profile of the work of hospices and the ever present need for fundraising.
Highland Hospice Events & Community Fundraiser Carola Highet said, “The atmosphere at today’s Global Energy Inverness 1/2 Marathon was just phenomenal. It was lovely to see so many people coming out to run in support of Highland Hospice. Special thanks to our celebrity supporters Colin McCredie and his daughters Maisie and Betsy who supported us by coming up from Glasgow to do the 5K Fun Run. And to HappyNess comedians Ray Bradshaw and Rob Deering who both ran the ½ Marathon.
“This event will make a huge difference to our patients and their families and we are extremely grateful to Global Energy Group for choosing us as this year’s official nominated charity. We look forward to announcing how much has been raised for Highland Hospice in due course.”
Two other recognisable visitors at this weekend’s event were comedians Ray Bradshaw and Rob Deering. Seen regularly at the HappyNess Comedy Festival in the Highland capital each year, they agreed to fit the ½ Marathon race into their day’s schedule ahead of performing at Eden Court in the evening.
Rob said: “I had a great run and finished in 1’35” which I’m delighted with. It was a lovely route and it’s inspired me to consider coming back to try my hand at the Loch Ness Marathon in the future.”
Ray felt his time of 2’22” was a good result considering he was running with a two day hangover and had only tacked 4.5 miles since running a marathon last year! “I was wonderfully (or should that be woefully) underprepared! Fortunately, everyone was in great spirits and it was nice to have folk to run (and walk) and chat with. Handing out sweets on the route was a fabulous idea!”
Global Energy Group was race sponsor for a third year. The company’s Communications Director, Alastair Kennedy commented: “We had a great line-up of athletes this year and, as ever, it was thrilling viewing at the finish line. With so many people taking part in this year’s races, we know that a lot of money will have been raised for many worthwhile causes.”
Race director Malcolm Sutherland of Caledonian Concepts was delighted with the turnout this year. “The fact that so many people came along today helped to make the event’s 30th anniversary extra special” he said. “It was also encouraging to see a few celebrity faces among the crowd and we’d like to thank them for coming to join in the action. We hope everyone had a great day, and will come back and take part again next year.”