Illustration: Edward Emery

Dreaming of sun, sand and dipping your toes in the water as you stare out of the library window on what is, I expect, another grey, grey day in St Andrews (as it is when I sit and write this now). Dream away, but might I suggest that you redirect those dreams to a run along the silver sands of St Andrews this summer?

Each year on the 3 June, the annual Chariots of Fire Beach Race is held on West Sands, as hundreds recreate the famous scene from the film, Chariots of Fire. Chariots 2018 gives runners a unique opportunity to run along the iconic beach of St Andrews, resplendent in white and no doubt humming the iconic theme tune their head. The memorable soundtrack from Vangelis can be heard along the entire route from start to finish.

With fantastic support from local businesses and a chance to give back to the local community to whom we owe so much, this is a real heartwarming community race. I don’t think you could find another summer event that involves some light exercise, a great prize at the end and whose proceeds go wholly towards charity.

For those who are familiar with the film, Chariots of Fire tells the story of two athletes competing in the 1924 Olympics. One of its iconic scenes sees the characters running across West Sands, before crossing the first and 18th holes of the Old Course.

A unique race at a very special location, the event attracts new and returning runners from all corners of the globe, who love the friendly, local community event. Runners are encouraged to wear all white, in the interests of maintaining the striking image against the backdrop of the North Sea.

All proceeds will go to local St Andrews charities that are soon to be announced (the event has advised that those interested keep a lookout on the Chariots Facebook page). Last year, the race raised £5,790 for Worldwide Cancer Research.

Upon the finish line, each adult runner will be gifted a bottle of Eden Mill beer (or Irn- Bru for teetotallers!), a fudge doughnut and a medal. Entry is £18, with a £2 discount for members of Scottish Athletics, and race t-shirts can be ordered ahead and picked up on the day.

A simple 5 km out-and-back, the event prides itself on welcoming everybody, from the experienced runners looking for a unique and individual event, to the first-timers. Running barefoot is also optional, for those interested in maintaining accuracy to the film, or simply wishing to dip in their toes as they run.

Sign up is online, and entries close on 30 May. There are limited places, so if you are around St Andrews this summer, then sign up soon. The first 200 spots will be sold for a discounted price of £16.

For further information and signing up, please visit this website: https://www.entrycentral.com/chariotsbeachrace

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