This year’s Inverness half marathon looks like being one of the biggest and most competitive in the 31 year history of the event, but anyone wishing to join the action has only until midnight on Tuesday (17th February) to sign up.
Many of Scotland’s best road runners will join the large numbers of participants of all ages and abilities who have already registered for the race, which takes place on 8th March, but a late surge is expected before the deadline is reached.
Hundreds more will take part in the accompanying 5Km fun run which is open to people of all ages and abilities, including wheelchair entrants and children accompanied by adults.
The half marathon regularly produces fast times all the way through the field which is a factor in it’s enduring popularity.
Race Director Malcolm Sutherland, said:”Looking at the results over the past few years it seems to be a good race for anyone aiming to run a fast time. If the weather conditions are decent, there’s no doubt it’s fast course.”
Men’s title-holder Robbie Simpson (Deeside Runners) is unable to compete this year because he’ll be in Austria at the time, but the five men who finished immediately behind him in 2014, are all planning to return.
North cross country champion John Newsom (Inverness Harriers), who was runner-up last year, will be joined once again on the starting line by 2011 winner Andrew Douglas (Inverclyde AC), Gordon Lennox (Forres Harriers), Graham Bee (Inverness Harriers) and George French (Garioch Road Runners).
Ireland international Nicola Duncan (Portobello Running Club), who last year was just six secs outside the women’s course record of 1:13:21 set by Kenya’s Cathy Mutwa in 2007, has been struggling to overcome injuries and may not defend her title.
Jenn Wetton (Central AC), who was third last year then went on to win the Scottish marathon title in September’s Baxter Loch Ness race, has entered along with Megan Crawford (Fife AC), Hungarian orienteering international Fanni Gyurko and other top runners such as Shona McIntosh (Hunters Bog Trotters), Sarah Liebnitz (Inverness Harriers) and Jessica Oliver-Bell (Shettleston Harriers).
Sutherland added: “It’s great that so many of the top runners keep coming back and we’ll be delighted to see them in Inverness again. There’s also a lot of new faces and hopefully others will sign up when they realise just how competitive a race it’s likely to be.”
The top three men and women to finish will share a cash prize fund of £1200 with a further £1650 in sports vouchers being distributed to the leading veteran age group winners and to the leading clubs.
The first member of Inverness Harriers to complete the course will be presented with the Graeme Moffat Memorial Quaich.
More information about the Inverness Half Marathon & 5K Fun Run, which takes place on Sunday 8 March, is available at www.invernesshalfmarathon.co.uk and updates will also appear on www.facebook.com/InvernessHalfMarathon and @NessHalfMar on Twitter.