THE first Strathearn Marathon was hailed a resounding success.
It was held last Sunday in what turned out to be very good running conditions: mild temperatures, very light breeze and only a touch of rain.
The race route followed B roads around the Strath, starting and finishing at Cultybraggan Camp.
The hilly course was never going to be suited to anyone looking for a fast time but it presented a stiff challenge to experienced runners and newcomers to marathon running alike.
Local pipers Bob Bolton and Willie Nicol set the runners off with a rousing tune and turned up at points around the route to boost racers along.
Strathearn Harriers were assisted in organising the inaugural race by Comrie Development Trust, Comrie First Response, Run4It, Crieff Hydro Hotel, Strathearn and Auchterarder Community Sports Partnership, Comrie Fruit Shop, Target Health and Fitness, Comrie Pipe Band and Muirhead Red Squirrel and Wildlife Sanctuary. Catering was provided by the Comrie Allotments Association and race photography was provided by FM Photography.
The whole event was helped by a small army of willing helpers and supporters at every turn and water station along the way.
A lot of a careful thought and planning went into the organisation of the race and the organising committee was delighted with the positive feedback from runners, some of whom said it was one of the best marathons they had ever run.
One runner described it as a “great wee race, impeccably organised with very friendly marshals as well”.
Another said: “Great organisation and great support from all the marshals, with their cheering and provisions (on the course and the post-race cakes)!
“Thanks to everyone at Strathearn Marathon who made the event such a momentous occasion. It was an amazing event and was made even more special by the marshals and organisers who supported us all the way.”
First placed man was Will Beauchamp (Sheffield Running Club) in 2.45.05. Second was Chris McCann (unattached) in 2.57.24 and third was Gavin Harvie (Kirkintilloch Olympians) in 2.58.05. Although Will Beauchamp was running for a Sheffield club, he is originally from Crieff.
First lady home was Gail Murdoch (Carnegie Harriers) in 3.12.25, followed by Isobel Burnett (Carnegie Harriers) in 3.28.09 and third was Julia Drewer (Ferranti AAC) in 3.44.11.
First local man was Martin Purvis of Crieff, who finished in 22nd position in 3.38.11. Second local man was John Davidson (Strathearn Harriers) in 3.44.50. John was running to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust and has raised over £1000.
First local lady was Rhian Evans (Strathearn Harriers) of Crieff in 3.39.52.
Second local lady was Elaine Moffat (Strathearn Harriers) of Comrie in 3.57.11. Elaine underwent back surgery last year. She was accompanied across the finishing line by Nicola Watson and Karen Prentice, both of Strathearn Harriers, in a close finish. Karen ran the London Marathon in April and was delighted to beat her London time on her home turf.