In short: Good for quick time - very flat course In full: Flat road marathons are not my usual race, I much prefer multi-terrain or undulating for the added interest. That said, the Moray Mara runs through some beautiful countryside, and past many golf courses and fenced off trees. The marshals were all very encouraging, and special thanks to the lovely couple who let me use their work loo when I was bursting! I'd have hugged you, but didn't think you'd appreciate a stinky runner that close... As mentioned by a couple of other reviewers, a great little race, well organised, but could do with a few minor improvements. Signs for the car park would be very useful, especially if you're not a local; some isotonic drinks or jelly babies at the (incredibly plentiful) water stations; some lone portaloos along the course (maybe every few miles by some of the water stations, then the marshals can benefit too). I had a terrible 12 miles looking out for somewhere to pee along the route, but trees all seemed fenced off with barbed wire, and other likely spots were golf courses teeming with people - wearing bright colours is not exactly subtle when trying to wee "in the wild" next to a surprisingly well-used road! Other marathons (including small ones, I've only run one "big city" race) have had handy portaloos, public toilets or understanding pub owners along their routes for runners "caught short". On the positive side, not being able to run due to full bladder meant that I was able to negotiate stairs without too many problems after the race! :) Overall, a very fast road race, well provisioned with water stations and friendly marshals, and with tasty butteries at the finish. Date of review: September 9, 2013
In short: Small, friendly, scenic, cheap - and potentially fast - course In full: Loved this event (I did the marathon). The organisation worked like clockwork and it was pretty much perfect as far as I was concerned. The wind was a factor in places but the mildly undulating course and cool temperatures made for PB potential for sure. The scenery was varied (woods, coast, rolling fields, town) and I thought it was a very appealing course.
Yes, there were relatively few portaloos out on the course, but for £18 for a full marathon, with fewer than 200 starters, I wasn't expecting much in the way of frills. This was not a big deal to me at all. If you want loos every mile, then go and run a big city marathon with 30,000 others. The technical t-shirt provided seemed pretty decent and made me even more impressed with the bargain price.
Also - Elgin is a small town. Finding the town hall (for packet pick-up and the marathon start/finish area) was very easy, especially if you have glanced at Google maps in advance, or have a sat nav. I didn't have an issue with the lack of signage.
If you're after a small, friendly, well-run and ruggedly scenic race with a relatively flat and fast course, then I'd give this one a go for sure. Recommended. Date of review: September 6, 2013
In short: Well organised set of races but a few things missing that would improve the event In full: This was a first time at the Moray Marathon (Half for me, full for my wife) after being repeatedly invited up by family. Overall its well organised and the flat course is promising for fast times. The organisers can't control the weather and this year the wind was a significant factor - at times on the last four miles it was very strong into you face and hard to keep going. The coaches, drinks and marshals all worked well. We had a few minor niggles that would help make this a better event. 1) No directions to the event/parking. We are not locals and were astonished that there were no direction signs to the HQ/parking. I have never encountered this at any other event (over 100 races). If we hadn't asked our relatives we would have been struggling to find it. 2) No jelly babies/cake/isotonic drinks on the drinks stations. Most marathons and extreme events do this, so it was a surprise to see none on the many water stations. Was this because it was a championship race? 3) Few toilets on course. Runners will need to go from time to time during a race and a portaloo every 2-3 miles is not much to ask. Other than that we really enjoyed the race/day and were happy with the T-shirt/medal and food at the end. Thanks! Date of review: September 4, 2013
In short: Small, friendly 3 in 1 event in the beautiful north of Scotland In full: I have run all 3 of the races over the years but this year I tried the marathon for the first time. It was a small friendly event much more enjoyable than the big city marathons. The marathon runners pick up the half runners just after half way so you won't be running on your own. Great organisation and value for money. Date of review: September 6, 2011
In full: This was my first running race and would definitely do it again! My friend and I ran the half in 2hrs 5 mins - we were both very happy with our times. We ran in our Maggies running vests and made a fair bit of sponsor money for our efforts. Fab refreshments and food afterwards and you could even get a massage if you wanted! Great day and hope to be back next year. Date of review: September 6, 2011
In short: Very well organised, beautiful location In full: A great event, with a stiff wind it was a challenging course for many. Undulating but not a nightmare. Very good organisation, however the water station at mile 22 ran out, it was a warm day though - perhaps a bit underestimated. Thoroughly recommended. Would do again. Date of review: September 12, 2010
In short: Scenic, friendly, low-key In full: I had no real targets for this race other than to enjoy the run (though I'd have been a bit peeved if I hadn't managed sub-4!), and enjoy it I did. It's a very small, low-key affair which makes a very pleasant change from the big city marathons, and as such it feels much more friendly and intimate. The scenic route makes it worth doing - some country lanes, a stretch along the Moray coast, and back through a forest. Water stations were plentiful - in fact there were so many I even skipped a few, something I've never done before!
Only a couple of slight niggles - yes there was adequate changing facilities at the start, but at the end (when most runners are desperate to get into clean dry clothes!) what had previously been the female changing area seemed to have become a communal area - I ended up trying to towel down and change in the toilets, not a pleasant experience. Plus I would happily pay a bit more on the entrance fee to have a few of the water stations replaced with energy stations.
Other than that, a well-organised friendly race that I would happily come back to do again. Date of review: September 7, 2010
In short: Really well organised race and a lovely course! In full: Having done the Half Marathon a few times and the 10k once, this year I decided to try the full marathon. As always, the organisers came up trumps. The races are always well organised, from the start in the Town Hall with good toilet and changing facilities, to the well marked and marshaled route with water stations aplenty.
The marathon course begins in the Cooper Park and takes a lovely route to Burghead and along the coastline. Although the race is run on the road traffic does not interfere due to the plentiful signage, drivers taking due care and showing respect for the runners.
The course is gently undulating and really is worth doing. If you like small, friendly races, you'll love this! A pretty fast field on the whole but a good number of more leisurely paced runners too.
Finish is again in the Cooper Park and the later start of the half marathon and 10k mean that the faster marathoners are coming in at the peak time, I would imagine with lots of crowd support.
The names of incoming runners are announced, the finish is well manned, as is the route, with first aiders, and then it's on to the Town Hall for sandwiches and a hot drink/juice. The massage service at £5 a go for charity is also well worth it.
Another great day out. Well done to the organisers - the fact that it's the 29th year says it all! They know how to do it in style!!! Date of review: September 6, 2010
In short: 20 minute PB for me - Full Marathon In full: i knocked 20 minutes off my houston marathon PB this year from 3:22 down to 3:02. One of the organisers daughters runs with me in houston texas and made me very welcome. I ran in my brooks mach 11's and can only report mild calf soreness, compared to my it band agony in my previous marathons. I hope to go under 2 hours in the Minnesota marathon in october. A great bunch of runners especially the scots ones ;) Date of review: September 5, 2010