We have been away, enjoying a long weekend on Islay. The Islay half marathon is one of Tom’s favourite races (mine too, for that matter) — not only does it take place in a wonderful location, but the local support is tremendous — every year the folk of Bowmore put on a marvelous post-race spread for the runners (whisky included), and the race sponsors, Ardbeg, offer a dizzying number and variety of prizes. Ardbeg also happens to be one of Tom’s favourite tipples — the prize of a bonus dram or two is not to be sniffed at, and he was taking this race quite seriously.

The runners assembled at the start line:

And set off, up the hill and out of Bowmore.

It was a warm day, and I was particularly impressed with the efforts of the chap in the giant pink costume, who was running in support of a Parkinson’s charity.

Bruce and I went for a walk . . .

(Bowmore harbour, with the Paps of Jura in the distance)

. . . and timed things to return to the finish line before Tom came in. . .

. . . in a very creditable sixth place!

The pink-costumed chap rolled in, still in good spirits, a bit later.

Being sixth, Tom just made the prizes – the first time he’s done so. There was much whooping and cheering from me later on in the village hall.

He was pleased too . . .

. . . and a few drams went down later in celebration, as you might imagine.

Well done, Tom – Slainte!

19 thoughts on “Islay half marathon

  1. Excellent finish, Tom! And lovely photos, Kate. I’m running in the 1/2 marathon in Montréal (Canada) in a few weeks and am well out of shape – looks like I’ll be channeling Tom when I’m gasping through (and finishing well out of the top spots, certainly). Lovely that you both support each other so – the two of you just make me smile. The shots of Islay are just grand. I’ll be in the UK in November but folks tell me it’s not really the time to go to Scotland… I may have to not listen.


  2. Congratulations Tom! Very well done, indeed! I’m a knitter and runner and hope to run my first half marathon next year, this year I’m sticking with the 10K’s. I love that I get both knitting and running inspiration from your wonderful blog, Kate!


  3. Amazing!! Very well done Tom!! My brother is a runner as well so I kind of know what it takes to participate in marathons. I can imagine how proud you all must be with this result!


  4. Thanks excellent! Extend my congrats to Tom! Our house is gearing up for a full marathon soon. I’ll be happily wandering around Chicago (not quite as scenic as Islay). :)


  5. Ooh how exciting! We and some friends have been planning a whiskey and wool tour of Scotland (to include Islay, of course). Scheduling that in line with this lovely race might be just right.

    Well done to Tom!


  6. Wonderful! Reminds me of the days when my son ran cross-country races, and the enjoyable daytrips into the Virginia and Maryland countryside that they involved. It looks as though you’re having a good summer. Do you take knitting along for the journey?


  7. Hooray, Tom! Way to go! (as we say across the pond) Looks like a lovely area and village. I admire all the stone houses. My house is constructed from stone, in a kind of Scottish style, I’m told. It was built by one of four brothers Rutherford who immigrated to this area from Scotland in the 1820s. The date on the keystone over the front door says 1832, a relatively young house by Islay’s standards, no doubt.


  8. Wowzers, that’s brilliant! We should so conspire to get Jim and Tom entered in a race together somewhere. Then we could get up to mischief while they run! :D


  9. Yaay for Tom. That is a very good finish. The Chicago Marathon is coming up in October and my daughter and son-in-law have been training for it. This is the 2nd or third time they’ve run it and go through lots of grueling practice for months. Let’s hear it for ALL the runners because they are so dedicated to their sport!!
    Thank you again for all the wonderful photos. Islay is a most beautiful town.


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