When: March 20
First man: 1:06:26
First woman: 1:20:28
Last finisher: 2:57:56
No. of finishers: 901
Type of race: Road
RW rating 2011: NA
A small post-industrial town in the middle of Scotland might seem an unlikely setting for an international race, but if you happen to be in Alloa at the end of March that's exactly what you'll find.
The super-fast of Scotland flock to this event year after year - amiably followed by a broad spectrum of ages and abilities - for its impressive route, warm welcome and high-end organisation.
Runners leave Alloa behind them for the majority of the race, the triangular course meandering through villages including Blackfaulds, Knowfaulds and Inglewood, and covering several manageable (but significant) undulations in the early miles.
Though the locals sometimes seem more bemused than enthusiastic, the race is obviously welcome here; one group insistently handed out chocolate next to a sign proclaiming, 'Real athletes eat Mars bars.'
A little before halfway, the course hit the lengthy 'back straight' along the foot of the stunning Ochil Hills, historically known as the gateway to the Highlands. The road was open to traffic but heavily policed, leaving little room for overtaking but creating an environment that felt safer than it looked.
When the route finally turned again at mile nine, the most challenging terrain still lay ahead - and where some PB ambitions were reeled in by a long and taxing climb, rewarded only by a brief downhill respite.
Despite the sporadic crowd support, nothing in this event detracts from its wide-reaching appeal. Everyone is made to feel like 'real athletes' - with Mars bars at the finish to prove it. David Haines
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A clockwise route takes runners from Gordonstoun School, through woodland and rural villages, and past lochs in the town of Elgin, before finishing up at the stunning Cooper Park.