In short: Will be back in 10 years In full: Ran this as the last part of my 60th birthday present as a way of demonstrating that the ageing process hasn't applied to me. This was the chattiest, friendliest marathon I've done. What with the long sections out of public view, runners could get down to their own pacing and work along with each other to get through the distance. The scenery was wonderful, every time I come back to Scotland, I am struck by the wildness of the landscape and having the chance to run 20 or so miles along the Loch was a real pleasure. Support in terms of drinks stations was impeccable, I would be a little more concerned how they would have handled a real medical emergency out in the wilds though. Organisation at the finish was also really good with easy spectator access and, maybe a pity, but mainly only friends and family of runners watching. Now for the negatives , firstly the buses, it's the organisers' responsibility to make sure their suppliers don't let them down so one to look out for there and secondly, communications with the organisers were very poor, I'm still waiting for my information pack, even after being promised it 3 times. As for the race, a pefectly timed run brought me in 42 secs under 4hrs , a pw that I was very happy with. So, a good day out and I will look to celebrate 70 years age here. Date of review: October 5, 2009
In short: Deserves every plaudit and accolade despite this one off bus issue In full: The bus problem actually worked in our favour as an earlier start would have led to different kit selection which would then have to have been carried or discarde. Every cloud.. Tougher than expected. Glorious scenery for most of the course if you took the time to gaze left or right, up or down. Great hydration and water very soon after sports drinks so all were catered for. Fantastic support throughout when in any village or hamlet, great turnout from Macmillan. Wonderful atmosphere in the stadium. Good t-shirt, cracking medal. Didn't feel like the soup and meal which I know others appreciated, good touch tho'. Might summon up the energy to do again Date of review: October 5, 2009
In short: Pleasant enough run - but not the wonderful scenery I'd been expecting In full: The organisation at the start was poor - bus drivers blaming the organisers and the organisers blaming the bus companies. It is crucial to get this right as The Highlands do not offer many transport options for those in work on Monday and a 50 minute delay must have put a lot of people under pressure (me included). Apart from this hiccup the organisation was excellent.
It would help if the numbers could be posted out with the details. Or at least an option offered (at a cost if necessary).
The run itself was gently undulating with three noticable climbs, but I wouldn't say this should put people off. It depends what you are used to I suppose.
For me the scenery was disappointing and the course rather dull in places. We seemed to run for miles along a tree lined road with nothing to look at, apart from the occasional glimpse of the Loch. For such a beautiful part of the world I hoped for better.
What was impressive was the friendly welcome from everyone in Inverness. It was a shame we couldn't enjoy the hospitality afterwards as we had to rush to catch a flight. Hope our taxi driver enjoyed the Baxter's soups as we couldn't take them on the plane!
In full: Absolutely fantastic, my first marathon and a great day, perfect conditions and a very friendly race. Loved every minute of it, even the sore bits, and finished with what I consider a respectable 4.38! Would definetly do this again, even the mix up at the start with the buses was no big deal, and it made it somehow more entertaining! GREAT! Date of review: October 5, 2009
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