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Hairst marathon this weekend

ORGANISERS of Shetland’s Hairst marathon, taking place this weekend, had to rejig the route competitors were to take because of a weather forecast of strong southerly winds.

Instead of running the 26.2 miles from Mossbank to Tingwall, the 17 runners (15 male and two female) will now set off from the Tingwall hall at 9am heading to Mossbank.

The route will take them along the A970 to Voe, Brae, past Scatsta and then on to Mossbank.

Ten competitors (eight female and two men) participating in a half-marathon will start from the lay-by outside Voe at 10.30am to join the rest of the field for the second half of the route.

Following on from the success of the Simmer Dim half-marathon event earlier this year, Shetland Athletics Club was keen to put on a full marathon.

Seen by many as Shetland’s first ever marathon event, organisers point out that in the past a marathon event had been laid on by the RAF in Unst when runners completed a route that led from the station in Saxa Vord to the Belmont ferry terminal and back to Saxa.

Organiser Paul Woods said the Hairst marathon had attracted three runners from the Faroe Islands and one member of 100 Marathon Club, in East Kilbride.

He called on motorists to be aware that athletes will be on the north mainland’s main road on Saturday morning.

“The main road will have mile signs throughout the route and regular caution signs. The organisers hope drivers will exercise caution when travelling south in particular, and giving runners room when they can,” he said.