Girvan Half Marathon 2019
I have heard good things in the past about the Girvan Half Marathon and decided to enter the event which was held on Sunday the 14th of July 2019. Waking up on that morning there wasn't a cloud in the sky, a glorious day lay ahead and after some porridge and a coffee for breakfast it was into the car for a drive down the A77.
After a nice and scenic drive I arrived in Girvan, I wasn't sure exactly where I was going but the parking was well sign posted and there were volunteers to give advice where needed. The start area was a short walk from the parking in Hamilton Park, home of Girvan Junior Football Club. The race would begin at noon on the track which runs around the football pitch, before heading out onto the main road and following an undulating route through Dailly and back before finishing on the track at the side of the football pitch.
At noon the field assembled and after a short briefing the race was underway. Although I had driven over an hour for this race, it was good to see plenty of familiar faces as well as plenty of runners wearing the vests of clubs local to the shop around Glasgow, there was a particularly large turnout from Bellahouston Road Runners who use the event as one of their club championship races, meaning the field had a strong covering of purple throughout!
The temperature felt as if it peaked just as the race got underway and with a lot of climbs I knew this run was going to be hard work. The first four miles were a fairly steady climb through rolling countryside, with mile four having an elevation gain of 102ft according to Strava.
After mile four the legs felt a bit heavy, but as we reached Dailly the next two miles were predominantly downhill, a bit of respite from the hills and a chance to make up a bit of time. The marshals on the course all gave great encouragements and the water stations seemed to appear at the perfect times, due to the energy zapping heat the water was particularly refreshing!
Miles seven through to nine were another gradual climb alongside the railway line down the B741, when we turned off the main road there was steep downhill before a rise back to the B734. This was the road we started on, I was on the home straight, the only problem was that the home straight was three miles long!
This part of the run was my favourite, as we headed back towards the finish in Girvan the views were sensational. As well as lovely countryside, you could see right out to Arran and Ailsa Craig, as I took in the awesome surroundings the next couple of miles ticked away. As we turned off the road and into Hamilton Park to finish, there was approximately 200 yards to go. Stewards, spectators and runners who had already finished lined the way, cheering everyone on to the finish line, the energy was electric!
For me Girvan Half Marathon lived up to the hype. A great event, on a challenging and scenic route, well organised with a great atmosphere. This event will undoubtedly get bigger and sell out quicker in the coming years. I would highly recommend giving this race a go, so keep your eyes peeled for entries to the 2020 event opening.
Rating: 5 Migos out of 5.