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Western Isles Island Games Association
Comann Geamannan Eileanach nan Eilean Siar
 

    Rhodes 2007    

Half Marathon Bronze Medal for Ladies Team 

Half Marathon

Three Western Isles competitors took part in the World Island Games Half Marathon in Rhodes, Andrew Joyce (SRAC), Shona Morrison (NUAAC) and Doleen Galbraith (SRAC). They were all experienced half marathon runners but they were about to experience something about as far removed from a Heb3 event as they could get! Even by Rhodes standards this was hot - around 40 in the shade with a strong wind blowing! In other words they were about to run 13.1 miles in the equivalent of a giant hair dryer with the sun beating down on them. Apprehensive? I don't know about them but I certainly was!

Half Marathon

The first 1000m was round the stadium and all three quickly settled into a steady rhythm and tried to run their own race.

Half Marathon

Half Marathon  Half Marathon

Half Marathon

Half Marathon  Half Marathon

  Half Marathon

The main part of the race was an out and back along the coast road round the city of Rhodes. They ran into the old city and past scenic beaches and harbours full of massive cabin cruisers - a spectacular setting by any standards. Not that they were doing much sight seeing! Survival was the order of the day - they drank at every opportunity and made good use of the water filled sponges to try and keep cool.

Half Marathon  Half Marathon

Andrew started off strongly and appeared to be going well when he came out of the old city with about 5k to go. As you can see he still had a spring in his step - however, that must have been show boating for the camera! He said that from there on in, he began to struggle - not surprisingly the conditions were beginning to get to him! He was certainly not looking quite as fresh by the finishing line and was disappointed to finish in 24th place with a time of 1h 28m 02s. He had nothing to be disappointed about though - just completing the race in these conditions is a major achievement, especially for someone who is more used to a colder, wetter climate (remember what happened to Paula Radcliffe in Athens!).

Half Marathon  Half Marathon

Half Marathon  Half Marathon

Doleen set off strongly and looked pretty relaxed as she ran through the old town to the half way point. She was able to maintain a strong pace as she came back through the City of Rhodes. She just kept on clocking in sub 7 minute miles all the way back to the stadium. Although she looked pretty tired as she came down the finishing straight with 500m to go, she somehow found the energy to put in a magnificent sprint finish the next time round! She had ran superbly to finish in 5th place in a time of 1h 31m 20s.

Half Marathon  Half Marathon

Shona had set herself an ambitious target of a new PB. She had settled down towards the back of the field as they left the stadium. After three miles, she was running well but had fallen back in to last place - it looked like the heat was going to be too much for her. By the 10 mile mark, she looked all in as she grabbed one more sponge to squeeze over her head in an attempt to cool herself down. It must have been one of those magic sponges! She picked up the pace and began to pass other runners - even some of the male athletes who were running the same course at the same time. By the run up into the stadium, she could even manage a big smile for the camera. Her strong finish had earned her 12th place in a time of 1h 41m 08s. She may not have ran a PB but she had earned a better prize! Doleen and Shona had won the Ladies Team Bronze Medal! Well done ladies - a magnificent effort!

Half Marathon  Half Marathon

Only those who have taken themselves to their absolute physical limit can truly appreciate the feeling that strikes when you complete something like this. When you have trained for months for a single event and you cross the finish line exhausted, knowing that you have given everything you have (more than you thought you had!), raw emotion can take over. Tears come - a strange mixture of total exhaustion, happiness that its all over and sadness that its all over. Shona had given her all and was helped over to the shade of a giant umbrella to recover. She was soon surrounded by team mates and friends and there were tears and hugs all round! Perhaps Team Western Isles should seek sponsorship from Kleenex next time!

Half Marathon

Half Marathon

Half Marathon

Half Marathon

Half Marathon

Paul Smith takes big air!
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Comhairle nan Eilean Siar logoDonnie at the Western Isles Track and Field race


 
WIIGA Logo WIIGA Flag

Western Isles Island Games Association
Comann Geamannan Eileanach nan Eilean Siar