CalMac Strikes Again
This is a late submission on the Heb3 series, which as some of you may know, involves running 3 out of 5 half marathons held between May and July in Stornoway, Benbecula, Skye, Barra and Harris. Having long heard tales of yore from the likes of Archie Cameron, who ran some of these races back in the 80s and 90s, I decided to give them a go this year when I knew my degenerating legs were still capable. I chose Stornoway, Barra and Harris as my three races. The races themselves were the easy bit, despite climbs of up to 1400 feet into a strong headwind. Travel was the main obstacle. The flight to Stornoway was delayed by a combination of too many passengers on board, an overloaded baggage hold and a pilot who didn’t seem too sure of where he was going. Barra was complicated by the CalMac ferry strike. A special race ferry departed from Oban about 1:30 on the Saturday morning, ensuring our arrival around 6:30. All of this was good enough to ensure I struck camp early enough to get an hour and a half’e sleep before the race start. Harris was relatively straightforward and simply involved a 5 hour dash up to Uig one day and a similar dash back down the following day.
The events themselves were brilliant, fantastic scenery with lots of hills and a great atmosphere. Special mention should be made of Barra, which must have absolutely the best post-race food anywhere (whole poached salmon and herring, anyone)? The ceilidh was superb and not only did I win my first individual prize for umpteen years, but a raffle prize into the bargain. The Heb3 series coordination and results is suitably disorganised by HBT’s Ivor Normand and I declined to take the brown T-shirt on offer, the blue being much more acceptable.
A great series of races that I’d thoroughly recommend.