Gallus Running
Barrathon

Barrathon

Length
21.1 Kms
Elevation gain
283 m
Max elevation
105.2 m
Difficulty
****
Rating
****
Type
Loop
Route id
546
Main road
0 Kms
Country road
21.1 Kms
Dirt road
0 Kms
Dirt path
0 Kms
Trail
0 Kms
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Directions to start point
Cost :
The cost is around GBP 30.
When :
The race occurs at the end of June.
Length:
21.09 Kms
Start :

The start is on the main road in Castlebay just along from the ferry terminal.

End :
Outside the islands community centre.
Style :
Loop
Size :
300

The total race number is generally under 275 due to call offs.

Elevation :
283 m
Max Elevation :
105.2 m
Entry opens
Entry opens in late January and sells out in minutes. About 20 minutes in 2019.
Website
RACE DESCRIPTION - Barrathon
Getting In
This is popular race and does sell out really quickly with only about 300 space available. When we say quick we mean in terms of minutes rather than hours. There is a a waiting list, but being on it doesn't mean getting in.
Getting there
We took the Calmac ferry from Oban which is the main route. Beware though as this is a nearly 5 hour sail though the boat is nice enough. You can also take the plane from Glasgow and take the opportunity to land on the famous beach landing runway. This is an expensvie option and places on the place fill quickly.
Expo
No expo but number pick up at the community centre where they also sell event tees in a variety of colours.
Pre-run
The whole island is good for a pre-run along the main road. Be watchful for traffic, but generally not an issue and some really beautiful places to run. Our run took us up to the airport and the famous beach runway.
Race day
If you are driving to the start then there is a large free car park across from the start line. If you are needing your car before the end of the race then park elsewhere as the exit to the car park is closed until the run is finished.
The number pick up is in the community centre and is available the evening before or on the morning of the race.
Race starts about 10:40, before which the runners are led by a piper from the community centre to the start line.
Once off, the route starts on a small decline before bending right and heading up the first of the hills. At this early stage you will start to see the runners beginning to separate. This hill is not too long and shortly after reaching the top you are rewarded with the views of some wonderful beaches. For the whole race the route is out in the open - there is nowhere to hide on the Barrathon so beware.
The single track undulating road heads north before taking a turn and heading inland to the east. This part is a slow uphill until you reach the island's reservoir where the downhill takes you down to meet the airport road. This is around the
11 Kms
mark and from here things get a little tougher.
The route follows the east coast heading south and the hills are a little higher and a bit more frequent. You are up and down to the sea level several times with some lovely scenery. Then the big one arrives.
At
17.7 Kms
the 11 mile marker laughs at you as you face the big climb. You have just completed one of the bigger climbs and are now on the wee short flat bit. It's only about
0.8 Kms
to the top, so head up and smile as you never know who will be out with a camera trying to capture your pain. A water stop at the top of the hill is very welcome as is the steep down into Castlebay.
A couple of small ups in Castlebay to go before the much welcome finish line appears. Given the size of the island this event is very well supported though the crowds are small.
A super friendly event and save some energy for the ceilidh in the evening.
The finish
Small but very noisy crowds welcome the runners in. Water is there as is soup and some bread. In 2019 there were no medals, instead you were given customised drinking mats. These were very nice and at least won't end up hidden away somewhere in your house with all the medals. And some local toffee.
Where to stay
This is a small island and space in hotels and bed and breakfast is very limited. Ideally you would stay in Castlebay, but the availability is limited. If you are staying further out then you will be a short drive to the start line as the island is small. Lots of parking beside the start, but the roads are closed for a while during the race itself. So you may have to wait for the remaining runners before getting away.
Route directions
Kms
1
Start line in Castlebay

0
2
First of the climbs

0.9
3
Stunning views of the beach

2.7
4
Start to head inland

5.4
5
Start of a downhill shaded by trees

10
6
Past the airport road

10.9
7
Past the hotel, where some stop for a beer

11.7
8
The climbs start

16.9
9
The big climb of the route starts

17.7
10
The finish outside the community hall

21.1
Start and finish
Barrathon. Runners getting nervous before the start
Runners getting nervous before the start
Start and finish
Barrathon. Finisher coming in past the coast guard
Finisher coming in past the coast guard
Start and finish
Barrathon. The start approaches
The start approaches
Start and finish
Barrathon. The piper to the start line
The piper to the start line
Start and finish
Barrathon. The finish line
The finish line
Start and finish
Barrathon. Hand in hand at the finish...true love.
Hand in hand at the finish...true love.
Start and finish
Barrathon. The crowds at the finish
The crowds at the finish
Start and finish
Barrathon. One of the younger runners
One of the younger runners
Start and finish
Barrathon. The castle at Castlebay
The castle at Castlebay
Start and finish
Barrathon. The start of the run
The start of the run
First hill
Barrathon. Just out of the village and the climbing starts
Just out of the village and the climbing starts
First beach
Barrathon. Road beside the ocean
Road beside the ocean
First beach
Barrathon. One of the many gorgeous beaches
One of the many gorgeous beaches
First beach
Barrathon. The Atlantic
The Atlantic
First beach
Barrathon. Looking back along the road
Looking back along the road
First beach
Barrathon. Bends and small hills
Bends and small hills
More beach
Barrathon. Road is mostly flat....flatish
Road is mostly flat....flatish
More beach
Barrathon. Long stretches of slow climbs
Long stretches of slow climbs
More beach
Barrathon. Gentle hill
Gentle hill
More beach
Barrathon. Across to the beach
Across to the beach
More beach
Barrathon. Almost heading inland
Almost heading inland
More beach
Barrathon. Never too many beach photos
Never too many beach photos
Heading inland and east
Barrathon. Long sections of gradual climb
Long sections of gradual climb
Heading inland and east
Barrathon. Approaching reservoir
Approaching reservoir
East coast
Barrathon. One of the sections down by sea
One of the sections down by sea
East coast
Barrathon. Road around the sea
Road around the sea
East coast
Barrathon. Downhill sectoin
Downhill sectoin
East coast
Barrathon. A long straight
A long straight
East coast
Barrathon. Not really the east coast, but that is where we tookk the picture.  This is the coaster given to finishers.
Not really the east coast, but that is where we tookk the picture. This is the coaster given to finishers.
East coast
Barrathon. Past the hotel, where some stop for a beer mid race
Past the hotel, where some stop for a beer mid race
East coast
Barrathon. Just past the church
Just past the church
East coast
Barrathon. Looking back towards airport road
Looking back towards airport road
East coast
Barrathon. About the 7 mile mark
About the 7 mile mark
East coast
Barrathon. St Barras church
St Barras church
Up and down
Barrathon. Some long straights
Some long straights
Up and down
Barrathon. Sea, beaches and hills.  The Barrathon in a nutshell
Sea, beaches and hills. The Barrathon in a nutshell
The hill
Barrathon. The BIG hill ahead
The BIG hill ahead
The hill
Barrathon. The wee hill
The wee hill
Looking back up the hill
Barrathon. All done and easy to the finish
All done and easy to the finish
Looking back up the hill
Barrathon. Top of the hill looking back
Top of the hill looking back
Looking back up the hill
Barrathon. Road into Castlebay
Road into Castlebay
Looking back up the hill
Barrathon. Start of the wee hill before the big hill
Start of the wee hill before the big hill
Vatersay beach
Barrathon. OK it is not on the route, but it is on the coaster they awarded at the end.
OK it is not on the route, but it is on the coaster they awarded at the end.
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