Almost 200 men, and boys aged over 12, registered at the inaugural Men’s 5K on Saturday 23rd November, helping to raise over £2000 for their local Hebridean Men’s Cancer Support Group.
Organised as one of this year’s local Movember events, and aimed at raising awareness of male cancers whilst also raising valuable funds in the process, the event also saw a number of entrants taking part in their own specially grown ‘Movember’ moustache.
Addressing the entrants, Steven Munro, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Community Sports Development Officer, made mention of how the Men’s 5K surprised organisers with its staggering number of entrants, spectators, and support and assistance received by local businesses and volunteers. Steven said, “It’s worth remembering that through your efforts, all monies raised will go towards providing valuable aid to local men and their families affected by cancer”.
Sandy Matheson, Chairman of the Hebridean Men’s Cancer Support Group, launched the race and entrants, made up of male individuals and teams of all ages and fitness levels, began the route at 1pm from the Stornoway Rugby Pitch. They then travelled out to Cuddy Point, followed the River Creed up to the Iron Well, continued round past Gallows Hill junction and looped back down towards Cuddy Point, to finally finish at the Rugby Pitch. Volunteer marshalls with walkee-talkees were stationed at various points along the route to encourage and assist entrants, and ensure first aid could be obtained if required.
To enable maximum participation from all ages and to suit all budgets, entrance fees were charged at Adults (over 18) £5, Under 18’s £3 and Teams £10, and although entrants were requested to register in advance of the event, a number of men did register on the day itself. Registration Forms were available at a variety of locations as well as being available to download online. Sponsorship forms were attached to Registration Forms to encourage entrants themselves to raise additional monies. T-shirts featuring the Men’s 5K logo were also specially commissioned and were sold at £8 each to help raise additional funds and further awareness of the event.
In order to avoid traffic and parking congestion, arrangements were made with Lews Castle College to allow entrants and supporters to park their vehicles at the College car park. Entrants were also able to take advantage of changing and showering facilities at the All Weather Pitch at Smith Avenue, and a free shuttle bus for those requiring transport to the event.
Men’s health information and refreshments were offered at the Finish Line to entrants by Health Promotion staff, and afterwards, courtesy of the Lewis & Harris Rangers Supporter Club, free soup and Movember ‘man-wiches’ were also offered to entrants at their Stornoway branch.
The overall winner was Michael MacMillan who achieved an impressive 18 minutes 17 seconds, followed by Lewis Grant with 18 minutes 18 seconds, and Mark MacIver with 18 minutes 24 seconds. The winning team was ISL (Tony Wade, Lewis Macleod and Robby Ross) with a combined 1hour 33 minutes 16 seconds.
The event was promoted throughout the Western Isles via press releases, information and posters. This included local press and community newspapers, shops, workplaces, websites and social media.
Organised by the NHS Western Isles Health Promotion Department and Comhairle nan Eilean’s Sport & Health Department, the Men’s 5k is now expected to become an annual fixture for men in the Western Isles, and build on this year’s success.
With sponsor monies and donations continuing to
be received daily, organisers expect the final figure to exceed £3000.
Organisers would like to sincerely express their thanks to a number of local companies who have provided sponsorship and assistance towards the event. These include The Hebridean Men’s Cancer Support Group, MacMillan Cancer Support (Stornoway branch), The Stornoway Trust, Autoparts Stornoway Ltd, MacGregor Industrial Supplies, Lewis & Harris Youth Club Association, Scottish Water, Mathiesign, Stornoway Golf Club, Car Hire Hebrides, Lewis & Harris Rangers Supporters Club, Lews Castle College, Donnie MacMillan, Keith and Donna Bray, Mairi MacSween, Catherine MacInnes, Leslie Graham, Karen France, Kirsty Wade, all volunteer marshalls, NHS Western Isles and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. We look forward to next year! Cancer, don’t get scared, get checked