26-05-11 MOK 2011
Campbeltown and Kintyre gears up for MOKRUN!

This weekend Campbeltown will see 750 runners take to the streets of the Royal Burgh on the Kintyre peninsula as entrants from near and far compete in the annual 10k and Half Marathon races.

Voted the top Half Marathon in the UK along with being No 1 for Atmosphere and No 1 for beginners by Runners World readers it’s easy to see why so many people are keen to enter, compete, and flock to this beautiful part of Scotland.

Since its birth in 2006 the MOKRUN (as it is commonly known) has gone from strength to strength. Entry opened for the 2011 races in November 2010 and within two months it was full, with all 750 places snapped up – 4 months before the event! Who knows how many competitors this race could attract if the entry was opened up further? But the key is in the size, being manageable and not losing that distinct feel the whole weekend has to it and the committee have worked hard to ensure the event is very much about the competitors.

The Half Marathon route meanders from the Main Street of Campbeltown out in to the countryside before competitors enjoy a 2km stretch on the stunning Westport Beach before heading back to Campbeltown via the Moss Road and more beautiful rural lands.

The 10k meantime starts at the same point but focuses on running from one side of Campbeltown Loch to the other before finishing on the town’s Kinloch Green. A predominantly flat course that sees lots of encouragement along the way by local and visiting spectators alike.

More than a race – a weekend full of things to do

But this is much more than a race. It’s a whole weekend of events lined up to ensure everyone experiences that truly magic community feel that Kintyre has. There is a new friendship run introduced on the Saturday this year that gives ANYONE (whether they are running on Sunday or not) that is intended to be a fun run/ warm up and a chance for runners to stretch their legs, meet others who will be taking part in the MOKRUN races and generally catch the race vibe ! A free bus will take participants to Westport Beach and collect them from Machrihanish after the run. The bus will leave from the Aqualibrium in Campbeltown at 1030 am and the run will start from Westport Beach car park at around 11 am. The run should take less than an hour in total. Refreshments will be served at Machrihanish after the run. The bus will return to Campbeltown, with an estimated return time of 1pm. A special tour of Springbank Distillery has been organised for the Saturday afternoon too at 1pm and THI have just announced there will be a FREE historic tour of Campbeltown on the Saturday afternoon too. The tour is completely free and will be taken by a local guide who will provide you with a brief history of the town centre, its rich heritage, its people and its stories. The tour will leave Campbeltown Tourist Information Centre at 2.30pm and is open to everyone.

Later that day Rosie Swale-Pope MBE will talk to a sell out audience of her trials and tribulations as she run round the world. As Blind Adventurer Miles Hilton-Barber said “Rosie Swale-Pope’s epic ‘Little Run Around the World’, apart from being the longest unsupported run in world history, is undoubtedly one of the most astounding, inspiring and life impacting feats of human endurance ever undertaken’”

Following the talk a pasta party has been organised with only a few remain places left. Both the talk and pasta party will be held at the Aqualibrium – the £7.5million iconic building that sits overlooking Campbeltown Loch. Competitors can also enjoy a free swim at the Aqualibrium over the weekend.

The races take place on the Sunday at 10.30am and there evens room for children’s races too – that is if they are not being entertained by the Funky Chicken! There’s also a kids festival at the Aqualibrium’s Soft Play Area which starts at 10am and includes children’s race, picnic and kids music ‘jam’ before finishing at 4pm. Call 01586 551140 for more information.

AND if that’s not enough there is a post party Ceilidh in the town’s Victoria Hall that sees local musicians Ceann Loch Ceilidh Band perform to a sell out crowd of 400!

Add to all of that the Kintyre Songwriters Festival which is being held on the same weekend and runs from Friday through to Sunday night and aims to showcase and promote the song writing and musical talent in Kintyre. It also aims to encourage a new generation of local songwriters and musicians, by means of donations to local musical groups/organisations and the presentation of an annual memorial quaiche at Campbeltown Grammar School for original folk song. For more information see http://www.kintyresongwritersfestival.co.uk/

The race itself and those competitors

It’s interesting to note the wide ranging location of the competitors. While there is a huge uptake in Kintyre itself - 244 entries are from Kintyre itself ranging from 210 in Campbeltown to 21 in Tarbert and 66 more travelling from within Argyll – a staggering 59% all of entrants will travel from outside Argyll. Add to that that nearly 25% of ALL entrants are from outside Scotland alone – 170 from England, 6 from Wales, 2 from Northern Ireland and 2 from Australia, 1 from Canada and 1 from India!! It highlights how well this race has progressed in five years since its birth.

Rest of Argyll------66
Wales --------------6
Northern Ireland --2

Some quotes from Runners World

RW - "It was good enough for Paul McCartney and Wings, so it's surely a perfect setting for a race. the lure of this weekend-long festival of racing lies in the overall event experience as much as the race itself. Sure, the flat route along Campbeltown Loch and Westport Beach is a feast for the eyes, but how many races do you know that offer a post-race ceilidh and a song-writing festival?"

RW "The finish area has a positive carnivalesque atmosphere with everything from whisky-tasting for the grown-ups to face painting and a milk bar for the kids. And everybody's invited to swing a (tired) leg at the post-race ceilidh."

"This race makes it into the beginner category for much of the same reasons as it made it into the atmosphere and half-marathon top 10 - it's just a race that's really good fun to run, the vibe is friendly and the scenery is enough to distract from any fatigue."

Some statements

A spokesperson for South Kintyre Sports Council said “This is a huge event for Campbeltown and Kintyre. For the MOKRUN to have the prestige of being voted the number one race in the UK highlights the terrific community spirit we have and the massive commitment the MOKRUN committee make each year to host this event. The great thing about the MOKRUN weekend is it doesn’t remain stagnant. It listens to feedback each year and looks to improve on the year before. The addition of the Friendship Run on the Saturday this year is a perfect example of how the committee are looking to expand the weekend’s activities. As a committee we are only too happy to support the efforts of the MOKRUN committee in anyway we can and on behalf of South Kintyre Sports Council we would like to wish everyone the very best of luck for this weekend.”

MOKRUN race director Elaine McGeachy said “On behalf of the MOKRUN committee I'd like to thank everyone in the community for always coming out to support the event and making it what it is, come rain or shine! We also wish to thank the many businesses, groups, organisation and supporters of the event for all their help and we look forward to those not competing coming along and encouraging everyone”

Here at the Kintyre Forum we would urge those not taking part to come out and support what is a truly wonderful event for Kintyre. Outside the Music Festival this is arguably the biggest event to come to the town and we encourage everyone to support the efforts of the MOKRUN committee.

See you all on Sunday!

Read all about the event on the KINTYRE FORUM by clicking HERE.

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