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Issue 35 - The Miller's Tale

Whisky Magazine Issue 35
November 2003


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The Miller's Tale

This will be the last time I refer to the Ardbeg-sponsored Islay half marathon. Until next year's race, that is. Although it would not be unfair to suggest that the word 'race' is too strong a term for my approach to the run.

Thank you to all my sponsors whose generous donations will help many people living with Alzheimer's.

I have never run a competitive race before so I was unsure what to expect. I certainly didn't expect to spend the night before sitting in the crowded bar of the Harbour Inn, drinking several pints of Guinness and listening to whippet thin, sinewy, experienced competitive racers recounting tales of bleeding nipples. And worse.

Nor did I expect a full fry-up for breakfast. As we waited at the starting line, the thought crossed my mind that my body is more of a ruin than a temple...

What I was looking forward to was the end of the race. The retrospective glow. But, curiously, I found the run very enjoyable because so many Ileachs had turned out to wave and to cheer us on.

There is an element of timelessness to Islay that has often been referred to in the pages of this magazine.

I would say that the tranquil, unspoilt nature of life on the island applies to the half marathon, too. Seeing 130 runners of all ages and all shapes and sizes queuing up to watch a padlock being removed with the aid of a hacksaw so we could register in the purple caravan sums it up perfectly.

We dragged our weary limbs up to the Mariner's Hotel. As is far from unique in these ...

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