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