Runner prepares to take on half marathon for 25th time

Graham Laing, 63, completed the inaugural Inverness Half Marathon in 1985 in a time of 1:04:37.

Marathon man: Graham Laing will compete at the Inverness event.
Marathon man: Graham Laing will compete at the Inverness event.

The first ever male winner of Inverness Half Marathon will lace up his running shoes to face the event for the 25th time.

Graham Laing, 63, completed the inaugural event in 1985 in a time of 1:04:37.

He still holds the third fastest time for the event – with the current 1:04:27 record set by Robbie Simpson in 2018.

Mr Laing, who is continuing to make a comeback following a hip replacement in 2016, has competed in races around the world.

He took fifth place in the first London Marathon in 1981, with a time of 2:13:59.

He represented Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane in 1982, where he came seventh in the marathon in a time of 2:14:54.

Mr Laing was also part of the Aberdeen Amateur Athletic Club ten-man relay team in 1982 that broke the world record for running the 850 miles from John o’ Groats to Land’s End in 77:26:18.

The retiree, who coaches primary school children in athletics for Highlife Highland at Inverness Leisure, is also a coach at Inverness Harriers Amateur Athletics Club.

He has been helping to prepare his runners who are taking on the half marathon and 5K on the same day.

Mr Laing said: “Although my fast times are behind me now, I’m excited to take on my 25th Inverness Half Marathon.

“It’s a great course, well-organised and you always have plenty of support from the Highland crowd.

“The Inverness Half Marathon is one of my favourite events and it’s been a pleasure to help others prepare for it and the 5K. I wish all the best to everyone taking part – I’ll see you on the start line.”

The half marathon will take place on March 8. Entry closes on February 18 subject to race capacity.

For more information, go to invernesshalfmarathon.co.uk.