In short: Lovely scenery and amazing organisation! In full: Probably the most organised and friendly race I have ever done! With the convoy of coaches taking everyone to the start point,high up in the mountains (beautiful!), it could have been a logistical nightmare,but it was completely seamless and relaxed. The route was lovely and more hilly than I had expected! But the frequent and well stocked water/feed stations and encouraging marshals were a great help! Also really good to see lots of first aid stations along the way if anyone needed assistance. Great medal,t-shirt and goodie bag at the end,and free soup if you wanted. I highly recommend this race and am very impressed by everything about it! No PB for me though! Might try a flatter course next time! Date of review: October 3, 2014
In short: Great marathon for a first-timer! In full: This was my first marathon, so was quite nervous beforehand. Shouldn't have worried. Stayed in a lovely lodge in Drumnadrochit, so arranged for the pick-up here. This was no problem, and was on the bus for less than a minute before we were off. Journey took about 40 mins to the start line, but the other runners were really friendly (and from all parts of the world!) Start was in the middle of nowhere, but eerily quiet and scenic. Loo queues were long, but went down quickly. Quick warm-up with Brian Burnett, and then we were off. Amazing scenery the whole way, with undulating hills and the loch on your left-hand side the whole way. Frequent water / gel stops. My only gripe was that the bottles didn't have sports tops, so I had to slow down to drink. Will remember to carry my own bottle top next time however. Great support near the end that carried me over the line. Full goody bag, any nice t-shirt too. All in all a fantastic day, with my family running in the 5K and 10K too. This just made it even more special. Definitely recommend it to other first timers! Date of review: October 2, 2014
In short: Beautiful But Brutal! In full: I choose Loch Ness for my first marathon due to the senic surroundings and wasn't disapointed. The whole event from bus pick up in Inverness to the finish was organised very well. Great support when needed, crowds gave you a much needed lift and I will be back one day.
Can someone please do something about that hill at Dores though! Date of review: October 1, 2014
In short: One of My Favourites. In full: My running buddy Katherine & I arrived for this on the Saturday and tragedy struck right away as someone had picked up my case by mistake from the bus. A couple of heart attacks later a friendly face turned up at the bus station very apologetic. We all seen the funny side and from that moment on everything was great, from our friendly hotel owner to the race itself. We were transported to the start by buses laid on. Quite a large loo queue but this was made quite entertaining by a hilarious organiser on a megaphone trying to speed up the queue process “You’re only supposed to wee not read the Sunday papers in there” The race itself got off to a great start. The first 4 miles were down hill so a pleasure to run. Also the course was not too congested so really could start at a fast pace plus there was more chance to enjoy the scenery without worrying about bumping into another runner. The fun soon came to an abrupt end at the first unexpected hill at mile 5 which was quite a challenge, from then on the course was quite undulating to say the least especially as you hit the next killer hill at about mile 18. One thing I would advise is get in some hill training if you’re going to attempt this race. The scenery along the route is just breathtaking even if the support is a little sparse though this is soon compensated as you hit Inverness town were the supporters are out in full. The last mile is just beautiful as you run along the river Ness towards the finish. It was all very emotional and we were both in tears at the end. I can’t really fault this race as the organisation, the pasta party and even the goody bag are all top notch, and to top it all we both got PBs which just added to the magic. We didn’t spot the monster but Katherine bought us matching Nessie wrist bands which I will now always glance at during dull days at the office. I’ve ran quite a few marathons and I can’t recommend this one enough. We will return at some point if only for the loo queue entertainment.
In short: Will definitely return to this fantastic race! In full: This was a beautifully organised race along a fantastically scenic route. The runners were friendly and of mixed abilities so it would be perfect for newcomers. However, it is undulating throughout with a couple of killer hills particularly at Dores so proper training is required if you want to truly enjoy yourself! As this race requires runners to be dropped off in the middle of nowhere (you run all the way back to Inverness) there aren't many places that supporters can watch from although there were a few locals who supported from the front gardens as we ran through the villages. Once you hit Inverness there was lots more support and finally a couple of miles on the flat! Whilst the terrain may have made it on the tougher side the tarmac under foot provided a perfect running surface so at least this didn't add to our woes and the smaller field made it a lovely alternative to a big-city marathon where you feel like you're constantly tripping over everyone! I will definitely be returning to this lovely race. Date of review: September 30, 2014
In short: Best marathon I have ever run In full: I only ran Loch Ness as the man promoting it at London looked me up and down and said I could run the 10k! Loch Ness has been my fourth marathon but apart from the man who should never judge a book by its cover, the marathon is fantastic. Excellent organisation, well looked after and every volunteer, sponsor and all those that make Loch Ness should be very proud of themselves. Yes the course in some places isn't the easiest but the downhills and the views make up for it by far and to finish it off I got a pb and not only a pb but knocked 20 minutes off my time! Date of review: September 30, 2014
In short: So where were you Nessie? In full: Travelled up from the South Coast to Inverness to run this marathon, & was not disappointed. The pasta party the day before was well organised & the food plentiful. On the morning of the event, the coaches took us to the start like clockwork. A bit of a wait at the start & fortunately the weather was fine, however, it is exposed & I wonder what plans the organisers would make if conditions were poor, to protect the runners from the elements.
As for the race itself, I was prepared for the downhill start, however, was not prepared for all the inclines. There are quite a few short sharp hills which were unexpected. The actual hill at mile 18 was not as hard as I thought. However, I am an experienced marathon runner. This was my 79th marathon - it was also the most difficult road one that I have done, so PBs are not going to happen here, unless you have only run a few marathon. Water stations, gels & sustenance were plenty & the t-shirt, medal & goody bag at the end great. I couldn't eat the meal given at the end, just can't eat after a marathon. It was appreciated & all included within the price.
As for Nessie. No sign of her, though one of her little helpers gave me a great Nessie medal at the end. Date of review: September 29, 2014
In short: Fast and Scenic In full: Well organised with buses getting you to the start. Very scenic along the loch although no sign of nessie. The majority of the run is surprisingly downhill/flat. There are a couple of hills at mile 5 and mile 19 but nothing to worry about. Not that much support along most of the route due to the road closures but once you hit the outskirts of Inverness the atmosphere is fantastic. Great medal, t-shirt and goody bag. The only thing that left me disappointed was the pasta party the day before. Expected larger portions and better quality. Managed a PB so obviously recommend the race. Date of review: October 15, 2013