Alloa Half Marathon

Sunday 18th March 2018

Well the training is almost over and it’s time to think about that final weekend training run ahead of for many Tortoises there first Half Marathon.

You should use this last weekend run to test out your race day kit, if you are using gels on race day do they fit in your kit pockets, are you running with a belt, have you trained with a running belt?

While it is a good idea to reduce mileage in the week leading up to the half marathon you should do some low mileage easy runs, on Thursday 15th March the club run that night will be a slow three miles, it would be an idea to commit to that nights run.

If you have club kit wear it with pride before during and after the race.

The below are transport details plus some race day tips

Night Before

Pack your bag don’t forget gels, safety pins, change of clothes, think about the weather take kit for dry and wet conditions, get your breakfast together, be prepared, no alcohol, eat sensibly and have an early night.

Remember to charge your watch.


This year the race starts an hour earlier at 09.00 therefore it’s an early start.

Our transport is provided by Shuttle Coaches of Kilwinning, the coach will leave The Walker Hall at 06.45am, and the journey is expected to take no more than ninety minutes, leaving plenty of time for number collection and getting changed.

This is an engine running and on the road time, the coach will be at the Walker Hall from 06.30

You will need to think about breakfast, its over two hours before the run when we leave Troon, you may want to bring bananas, Lucozade, water etc. onto the coach, you will need to eat something before the race, try and eat something before getting on the coach.

Bring a pound – we will be doing sweepstake guess your time, the closest to the official time posted by the organizers wins the pot.

The coach will leave Alloa around 13.00 (though we won’t leave anyone), the pick-up location after the race will be confirmed to everyone before you set foot on Clackmannanshire tarmac.

The return timings leave’s four hours between the start and end of the race, it’s likely everyone will be finished changed and ready to depart before 13.00pm, if that’s the case we will head away.

The coach will have toilet facilities.

Note if you leave valuables on the bus it’s at your own risk.

On arrival

Ahead of the race you should receive an e-mail from the organizers with race day instructions, check your spam if you have not received the mail, the mail will probably also include what your race number will be.

Race numbers are collected from the Leisure Centre car park next to the start/finish, the first job will be to collect your number and safety pins.

Once you have your number proceed into the leisure center where you can get changed, note it can be very busy in here so its worth at least having your shorts on in advance!!

Inside the leisure center our area will be next to the bar by the pool tables, there are toilets close by here and usually quite a bit of space to spread out, when you are ready to venture outside all our bags will be stored in the large gym, note this area is not secured we will pile our bags in a Tortoise pile but if you leave any valuables phones etc its at your own risk, personally I usually put mine on silent and leave in my bag, being a trusting sort, but this is your own choice.

It’s worth bringing an old jumper to wear over your running kit ahead of the start, just before the start you can take off and leave at the side, the organizers usually collect these and give to a local charity, there are enough Troon charity shops to purchase one if you don’t have an old item.

Another tip would be don’t expect toilet roll in either the outside toilets or inside the leisure center, the organizers do their best but it’s so busy – bring your own, just in case

There is no need to rush to the start line as the race is chip timed so relax and take your time on arrival at the leisure center.

The Course

Don’t start to fast!! The run is chipped timed so your time only starts once you run over the starting mat, it’s worth starting a little back anyway, and it often means you are overtaking people towards the end, which is always a good feeling.

Alloa is one of the biggest half marathon races, it’s unlikely you will be running many miles on your own so settle into a group and enjoy.

The first part of the race is through a housing estate, note there will be parked cars, this section last’s I think for less than two miles, its then out onto much wider roads where there is pretty good support, you then head onto some good paths and away from the town.

There are some good long stretches where you just run the miles, there are good views of the hills to take your mind of the running.

The Hill – ok everyone goes on about the hill at mile eleven – it’s just a hill ‘get over it’ there is a road sign at the top focus on that don’t walk, run and when you reach the top it’s just over a mile to the finish!!

People only stress because its mile eleven

After the race

Bask in the sense of achievement – you did it enjoy it

Download to Strava and watch the Kudos arrive.

Once changed there is a snack bar inside the leisure center where hot drinks and sandwiches can be purchased.

Once changed you can head back outside to cheer your fellow Tortoises to the finish.

Back at the coach we will have a group T Shirt photo then head back to Troon.

On arrival, back in Troon if anyone wants to enjoy a light refreshment (wine or coffee) or two, we will head to The Anchorage to finish off the day and compare stories.