Bumper entry expected for Castle of Mey 10k
Organisers of the Castle of Mey 10k are expecting a bumper entry this year, with an increase in prize money for winners of the May 26 run along with additional awards for breaking course records.
With the event now in its 11th year, organisers say it has gone from strength to strength, with an increase in local runners taking to the lanes of Caithness already evident and contestants signing up in numbers for the annual pilgrimage for the UK's most northerly mainland 10k.
Donna Stewart, a member of the event's organising committee, says that the race has always attracted a wide range of entries, each runner often bringing family to support and also participate in the other events available.
"Each has different reasons for running," she said. "And having the support of friends and family can make a significant difference on race day and in the lead-up to the race."
She emphasises that entries for the main event close this year on May 19, while if you're looking to also order a race T-shirt you need to sign up by May 5 at the latest.
For many, the event is not just about the 10k dash – it's also a chance to participate in the many activities laid on for families.
These include the Mey Mile, which is open to anyone (pushchairs, prams and all), although participants under the age of five must be accompanied by an adult.
"Entry of £2 will be taken on the day and the main focus of this event is getting involved – and we mean everyone, regardless of age," Donna said.
"The Mey Mile can be completed as a run or walk and everyone who finishes receives a medal. There are also prizes for the first primary and secondary girl and boy."
As is the case with the main event, the mile run starts in the same place as the main event, heading out of the castle's orchard and up the drive. However, after half a mile it's a quick turn back to the main finish area, affording spectators the opportunity to cheer on everyone.
Unfortunately, one of the events, the Mey Meander walk, has been discontinued this year due to issues with some participants running – not walking – and thus causing congestion in the finishing area.
The main event – the 10k – again sees runners head out towards the coast and then follow the coastline left towards Scarfskerry. They then make their way through the village before turning left towards the A836 and then follow that road into the village of Mey.
A final left turn sees the runners go down the drive towards the castle to finish where they started, heading to the front of the building through the orchard.
Race details and online entry are available at www.northhighlandharriers.co.uk/mey-10k