views of Portobello Beach

On The Beach

The first weekend of June promises decent weather and races in great locations (and on appropriate terrain). The great locations include Benbecula Half Marathon on Saturday where organisers wax lyrically about their event: "The route takes you clockwise around Benbecula over a fairly open and undulating route. It leads through the flower rich machair grasslands, with the noisy oystercatcher, lapwing and redshank calling to their young to be alert as you pass by.

"After 3.5 miles, you turn to cut across the islands through the blacklands. Here it is not uncommon to see hen harriers and short-eared owls hunting during the day for food for their chicks. You turn east, just before nine miles where again the birds provide most of the noise. After 10 miles you'll be finally heading back to the school, turning left at the second entrance into the carpark and towards the finish line on the running track."

Runners at the Vale of Leven 10K can also expect a scenic course through Balloch Castle Country Park with views of Loch Lomond while Stirlingshire's Killearn 10K offers a multi-terrain route with tarmac, forest path, farm track and open grassland.

On Sunday the action moves to the beach at both St.Andrews and Portobello. The Chariots of Fire Beach Race starts and finishes on West Sands in the Fife university town where both Vangelis and a piper will provide the musical inspiration. Meanwhile in East Lothian the 4-mile Portobello Beach Race takes runners on to the beach to head in a westerly direction towards the Cats and Dogs' Home before returning along the tide line to the Joppa end and a finish on the Promenade.

The biggest field of the weekend will be at Alloa Half Marathon where 2,000 plus will finally get the chance to run in the shadows of the Ochils after the Beast from the East caused a postponement earlier in the year.

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