Entries close tonight for Global Energy Inverness Half Marathon

Inverness Half Marathon

Scotland international Andrew Douglas (handicap -3.9) holds a record which is unlikely to be broken when the Global Energy Inverness half marathon celebrates its 30th anniversary next month (9th March).

Entries close at midnighton tonight for the Highland capital's first big running event of 2014 and although a number of Scotland's top runners will be taking part none of them is likely to emulate Douglas's  performance when winning the 2011 race.


There was nothing particularly spectacular about the Caithness man's time of 1hr 7min 53secs, there have been 15 faster winning performances since the first race in 1985, but what is more impressive is that Douglas finished an amazing 6mins 33secs ahead of his nearest rival. The second-placed athlete still had more than a mile to run by the time Douglas had finished.


It is, by far, the biggest winning margin in the history of the popular race which in its first year attracted  around 400 entrants, but now has more than 2,000 taking part.


Douglas, 27, who has also finished second, third and fifth in his three other appearances in the half marathon over the past eight years, was unaware of his record.  He said: "I never realised that was the case. I remember it was a very cold day but I just seemed to get into a good rhythm out on my own at the front."


The Edinburgh-based athlete, who competes for Inverclyde AC, is eagerly looking forward to returning to Inverness and is hoping for another good performance to set him up for April's London Marathon in which he is aiming for the 2hr 19min qualifying standard needed to be considered for Scotland's Commonwealth Games team.


He said:"I don't know whether 2hr 19min is a realistic target for me at the moment, but I should have a better idea after the half marathon. There’s likely to be a good field at Invernessand hopefully we can all work together and make it a fast race."


Race Director Malcolm Sutherland is delighted Douglaswill be returning to battle for the £1,000 winner’s prize. He said: “It’s great that many of Scotland’s best runners, like Andrew, come back to Invernesson a regular basis. It proves that these guys enjoy the fact that we have a great course which offers the potential for fast times.


“There seems to be quite a lot of people, of all levels of ability and experience, who participate in the race on a regular basis. We  aren’t aware of anyone who has competed in all 29 previous half marathons, but Graham Laing, who was the first winner, in 1985, has only missed a few of them and he is entered again this year.”


The leading men and women will be competing for a prize purse worth £3,200, plus trophies, while voucher awards and trophies will be presented to the top veterans in the over-40, over-50 and over-60 age groups. There’s also a team competition with prizes for the first three men's clubs and the first two women's sides.


Two other races will be held along with the half marathon. The Global Energy 5K Team Attack, is open to clubs, businesses, or even groups of friends who can enter teams of four. Prizes will be based on the cumulative time of the four runners. And the Global Energy 5K fun run is open to individuals. Places are still available in both.


Highland Hospice is the official charity of the Global Energy Inverness ½  Marathon, 5K Team Attack and 5K Fun Run


Entries for the half marathon, 5Km and Team Attack close at midnighton Wednesday 19th February. Full details can be found at www.invernesshalfmarathon.co.uk