In short: Enjoy a bus journey through great scenery to the start, and then run back alongside the Loch. More than just a run, it's an experience. In full: Because this race starts in the middle of nowhere, there is only one way to go and that is head for Inverness. You can't go wrong here because if you slow down you can enjoy the scenery more, but if you speed up you can achieve a PB. It's undulating and on reflection it could be a race to run a slower first half. The up hill stretches more than make up for the speed you are tempted to clock on the down hills. In other words keep a steady pace rather than trying to gain time by over doing it on the descents. Gordon Ross' suggestion of an out and back course would deny runners the sense of achievement of running the 24 mile length of the Loch.
There is little room for improving this race. The entrance to the stadium is a very sharp right, with a kerb. I cramped up here and it really breaks the pace you have worked hard to achieve. Perhaps using the main entrance and shifting the finish line to the opposite end of the track might make for a more polished finale. Also there were very few toilets at the finish. Perhaps a couple of portaloos in the runners enclosure would relieve the problem! The expo was rubbish. Runners are on the hunt for free stuff....that's why we go to the expo's. Not a lot on offer here except over priced running gear...including the sale rail where you'd expect some bargains.
It is more than a run. The bus journey, the pasta party, the post race meal, the location, traveling to Inverness by train (great to see snow so early) and a course that only occasionally can accommodate the crowds, simply because it is in somewhat of a wilderness. Make a weekend of it if you go and savour the event. Date of review: October 10, 2009
In short: Very special - will remember this for a long time In full: As a relative newcomer to running in general and particularly with this being my first ever marathon, I had felt a certain amount of trepidation before this event. I needn't have worried - apart from the bus situation ('nuff said already, I don't need to say any more) this has been the best event I've entered so far. From the very friendly and supportive fellow runners (with special thanks to my hostel room-mates Liz and Anne, you know who you are, ladies!) to the efficient and smooth organisation, to the course itself. I loved it - perfect weather, beautiful scenery, supportive locals, even the two-mile hill couldn't dampen my spirits (even if it did kill my quads!) And as the final bonus I smashed my target time and finished in 3.45 (and I could have shaved a couple of seconds off this if I hadn't slowed to high-five the gorilla! Cheers mate - really made me smile when I needed it most! :D ) All in all, a near-perfect day - I'm sure this has spoiled me for other events. I will certainly be back in a couple of years! Date of review: October 9, 2009
In short: A great race, in beautiful place as long as you run at the right pace. Marshalls, other runners and the spectators were very supportive. The weather was close to perfect. I just tried running too fast in the first half of the race, and paid for it. Date of review: October 9, 2009
In short: Great scenery, great people, great race, great tim had by all. In full: Apart from a mess up by the bus companies it was a very well organised event and one which i am glad to call my very first marathon. Ill be back. Date of review: October 9, 2009
In short: Fun, Fab & Fantastic!!! In full: Exceptional marathon in every sense. My 2nd Loch Ness (and 2 PB's - so can't be that bad!)- and it won't be the last. A big thank you to all the helpers/marshalls who were very friendly and encouraging. Great scenery. Goodie bag & medal were brill, too. Tee shirt was nice, but would prefer a technical tee even if it means paying a higher price for entry. Well done Baxters - see you next year :o) Date of review: October 8, 2009
In full: Perfect weather , Stunning scenery , well organised except for the buses from inverness and the one in front of ours breaking down . Thank you to all the villagers young and old for your support and especially the old lady who gave me some jelly babies at 23 miles ! see you next year . Date of review: October 7, 2009
In short: Great scenery spoilt by great incompetence In full: As background information to my comments, I would like to point out that I travelled from Germany to do the race, and spent a lot of time and money doing it. So maybe you can understand if I am a little more critical than other people.
1. There was no record of my pasta party ticket which I had ordered. fair enough.......these things happen.
2. The bus fiasco. I guess you have heard enough about this, but my comment is simply this: couldn't they of sent someone around the buses informing us of the problem? Would that have been so difficult? We waited for over an hour. The toilet on the bus was full and disgusting and........well, you know.........Why use buses at all? Why not start and finish at the stadium? Out and back course? Is it because of traffic regulations? Other cities manage it!
3. I informed the organizers when I entered the race that I had my OWN Champions Chip. Imagine my surprise when I found another race Chip in my race envelope despite this. I had already had so much hassle and was so tired I couldn't be bothered to report this, so I just ran with BOTH chips.......thinking that I couldn't go wrong........but I was wrong..........you guessed it.....
4. There are no race results and consequently no photos for me. I have no idea why. I had 2 chips and neither seemed to have worked. Hmmmmmm
All these problems in themselves are not SERIOUS I guess(except for the buses fiasco)and I am fully aware how hard it is to organize a biggish race, but taken all in all, they were more than annoying. I wouldn't do the race again because of them.
There were positive aspect of course - above all the scenery, the bagpipes and the excellent food but the organizational incompetence (which I have never experienced in any other race) unfortunately put the dampeners on those aspects. Date of review: October 7, 2009
In short: Glad I chose Loch Ness as my first marathon In full: Good atmosphere around Inverness and the Loch all weekend. Fantastic scenery for the entire 26 miles made up for aches and pains that were brought on as a result of the never ending hill at 17-18 miles. Whilst I wasnt expecting much in the way of crowds, the villagers came out in force and really helped me along the way. All in all, a great weekend that I would highly recommend. Date of review: October 7, 2009