Shetland Simmer Dim Half Marathon 2017

Simmer Dim StartSimon at Finish

I ran in the Simmer Dim Half Marathon which took place in Shetland on 11 June this year and I feel sure clubmates will be agog to hear about this singular event, writes Simon Hallpike. The name simmer dim is a reference to the absence of darkness in this part of the UK in midsummer - it just goes a bit dim for a short while. This was the tenth running of the race under Race Director Paul Woods who will be stepping down with no replacement lined up yet. To commemorate the occasion, a special t-shirt was given to participants, which, as there were just 74 finishers, has additional rarity value. Expect to see one at a club event soon!

It is a very hilly course, mostly into the prevailing wind along the main road from the capital to the airport. The wind can be very strong, which explains the treeless landscape and the sense of novelty engendered by my Sevenoaks vest - surely that many oaks is a forest? This was my third time running the SDHM and probably the one I enjoyed most. There are some fine views and the EU-funded road surfaces are pothole-free.

The race starts with a bus ride to the race HQ in a community hall nine miles down the main road from the finish on the track at the Clickimin Sports Centre in Lerwick. So there is a four-mile loop from the start until the runners pass the community hall on the way back to the finish. Then there are three big long hills with the top of the last one coinciding with the 11-mile marker. After that it is downhill or flat all the way. That's where two runners passed me even though I thought I was running quite well. Luckily, they were younger runners and no-one else came past before the finish on the Clickimin track. By that time blustery showers had given way to warm sunshine, with runners and spectators sitting around chatting on the infield.

I was twentieth overall in 1:43 which was good enough for 1st M60 - and three minutes faster than my first SDHM ten years ago.

The results are here and here.