The Class of 2013: Team Ardbeg (before the race)

Blimey, running 13.1 miles (mainly uphill) is no easy task. Especially when you write about drinks and you take the ‘research’ part of your job very seriously. Add minimal training, advancing years and a dodgy Achilles/lower back into the equation and, let’s face it, the prognosis for completing a half marathon was not very good.

But when you’re doing something for a good cause, the pain/embarrassment/fear/laziness takes a back seat. As it did last weekend when we, along with 19 other drinks journos and whisky retailers flew to Islay to take part in the Ardbeg Half Marathon. The reason, apart from sampling some bloody good whiskies from the Ardbeg portfolio? Raising money in memory of Alan Lodge of The Spirits Business who died tragically last year of a brain haemorrhage, aged 29.


L-R: Olly Wehring; Marcin Miller, Joe; Harrison; Richard Siddle

The first of those many hills…

Oh how he would have chuckled at the sight of us running/hobbling/pushing wheelbarrows (yes, Sian Deegan and Rachel Ramanathan pushed a wheelbarrow full of that famous Islay peat) up the beautiful but quite frankly gruelling Inner Hebridean terrain in his honour. Mind you, we like to think he’d be proud that our seemingly crazy antics raised over £5,000 for the National Brain Appeal. ‘Nuff respect to Chris Losh who breezed through, completing the course in a very impressive 1 hour 36 minutes and also to Richard Woodard from The Spirits Business who beat his personal best of 30, count them, 30 years ago, coming in at one hour 51 minutes. Hamish Smith from Drinks International and Stephen Smith, Alan’s best friend, also came in under two hours while the rest of us did it between two and two-and-a-half hours (ish) – not bad for a (usually very) merry band of booze bods.

Sian Deegan and Rachel Ramanathan

Team Ardbeg cheer on Richard Siddle

Of course we celebrated with a wee dram or two of whisky – Ardbeg of course. And while we’re thrilled to bits with all the money we’ve raised so far, we’re still hoping that we can get even more. Dig deep people, or at least donate the money you’d pay for your first drink – every penny is going to a fantastic cause. Support Team Ardbeg here:

A well deserved break for the team (after the race). All photos by Phill Williams

With very big thanks to the Ardbeg crew for a fantastic weekend.

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