In short: A great run in perfect conditions In full: Despite the 'blustery' day before, the weather conditions on the day were perfect for both running and showing off the scenery along the route. The Loch Ness marathon deserves its reputation as being one of the most picturesque in the UK.
This was my first Loch Ness marathon, and my third marathon in total. My training had gone well and I was quietly optimistic of a good time for me - specifically to break 4 hours for the first time. I was therefore ecstatic, and frankly surprised, to finish in 3 hrs 40 mins :-)
In my view, the trick to this course is pacing. The first few miles are generally downhill, followed by a flattish section along the bank of Loch Ness. Then there is a hilly section at around 17-21 miles; not hideous hills when fresh but tough enough to really hurt when you are tired. The final few miles are fairly flat.
So I ran the first 17 miles really steadily and I enjoyed the wonderful scenery (it really is amazing), was sufficiently fresh at 17 miles that the hills were bearable, and then knew I just had to keep running to the end.
There was a mess-up with the transport at the beginning, which was a real shame. But apart from that, organisation was good. Spectator support in the villages along the route was good and the grandstand finish at Inverness was a highlight.
All in all, a great day and I expect I will run this marathon again in the future. Date of review: October 5, 2009
In short: Fantastically undulating! In full: Shame about the bus mix up, no fault of the organisers. Gorgeous views of the Loch, didnt see the monster though. Weather turned out to be perfect after a stormy night. Lovely friendly marshalls and a great finish in the stadium with everything you needed close at hand...which is a good thing when you can hardly walk at the end. A PB of 13 minutes so happy days for me :-) Date of review: October 5, 2009
In short: Undulating course but quick in correct conditions In full: Okay - let's deal with the buses first. Supposedly two broken down buses caused the other 18 or so to be delayed leaving by 1hr 45 minutes which was odd. I arrived at the stadium around 7:30am and assumed that when one bus was full it would leave and so forth rather then them all going in convey. Anyway - at least once at the start the sun was out and the organisers gave enough time for people to change, go to the toilets and warm up.
The course is described almost like a downhill course and on the profile it looks downhill / flat. When running it felt more undulating with some rolling hills and more uphill than I expected. That said it was straight with few turns apart from near the end.
It was a bit disconcerting to see the stadium but then have to run around it and I didn't notice a 26 mile marker which would have been nice. It was good finishing on the track with the crowd in the stadium though.
I would have liked to see water along with the Lucozade sport at the drinks stops - I have noticed a tendency in races to have mainly sports drinks only and few water stops. I find that eventually I need a change from the sports drinks.
We were lucky with the weather as it was about perfect for racing. A brief shower at one stage but mainly sun. The day before was terrible so it could have gone either way.
Overall it was good race with a nice course and definitely has the potential for a good time. The organisation is good and with a few minor tweaks would be perfect. A great way to finish a season. Date of review: October 5, 2009
In short: Wonderful Scenery, Terrible Groin In full: Really enjoyed this race, was looking at a really good time until mile 20 when my groin started really hurting... still quite pleased with 3 hrs 27 mins Date of review: October 5, 2009
In full: My first marathon, apart from the mix up with buses,, thought it was very well organised. Thanks to the paramedic who rubbed my leg down with KY! Also to the fellow runner who helped me when I injured my ITB!Couldn t have finished with out their help! Loved the whole day. Date of review: October 5, 2009
In short: The Hills Are Alive... In full: Bar the bus cock-up this is one of the best organised races I've done. The scenery is magical and the course, is well.... different. If you plan on doing this in the future make sure you get some hill training in! Date of review: October 5, 2009
In short: Lovely views, and very friendly people! In full: I'm doing it again this year.... it must be good if I'm prepared to put myself through another 26 miles of pain :) Date of review: May 5, 2009
In short: Lovely hills + scenery In full: I really enjoyed this race, it was everything I hoped it would be, scenic, a little hilly and memorable. The downsides were few, but among them was the last couple of miles to the finish. Once you crossed the river and could see the stadium psychologically you were ready to finish, so it was quite a kick when you realised that you had to run past the stadium, out onto a road, round the other side and then into the stadium from the opposite side.... my running partner was nearly in tears at this point... I'm sure there must a better way of managing the last couple of miles from the bridge.... The food at the end was very welcome and it certainly hit the spot. The Baxters goody bag was excellent, however I was shocked to see that some people had just 'dumped' theirs at the side of the road! I'm sure they could have politely said 'no thank you' when they were handed one, rather than it go to waste... shame on them ! Date of review: November 30, 2008