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The Barrathon - A Runner's View

The run starts, oddly enough, going downhill from Castlebay and it's not long before you meet the first series of hills. Racers shouldn't feel any sense of achievement having negotiated these, as they are merely a small taste of the horrors awaiting. There follows a few miles of flat and steady uphill running. Some competitors may start to feel comfortable during this period, but they should note that there will probably be a force 8 gale about to start at any moment. In a fashion unique to Barra, wind and rain will at all times be directly in your face - potential runners should train for this by running whilst pushing a wardrobe. Assuming you have completed the first 12 miles without troubling the emergency medical services, you will come to the climb of Heaval!! The site of this hill automatically regresses you to being the four year old child who needs a cuddle from Mummy. Your legs will turn to iron and every sinew of your body will hurt, blood will bubble behind your eyeballs, making you blind to the beauty of the scenery. Eventually, you will arrive at Castlebay School, where somebody will ask, how are you feeling? Luckily for them, you'll be too exhausted to let them know the exact truth.

Donald Harold (2006)