In short: Great location; unique route; well organised, this one should be on your "bucket list" In full: Very special race; incredible convoy of buses to the start and definite PB potential. Yes the bus journey took longer than planned, and yes it was a bit tight for time from arriving to the gun going off, but on the plus side it meant less time waiting in the rain. Like others, I did struggle to find a restuarant in Inverness on Saturday night, note to self - book a table in advance - problem sorted. I also left it late to book accomodation and struggled to find somewhere, note to self - book your accomodation well in advance - problem sorted too! I may have been lucky as my bus was at the back of the convoy and therefore nearer the baggage trucks and the start line. Yes there were not enough loos at the start, but have you ever been to a race where there are enough loos to cope with all those nervous bladders? Yes there is a morale and energy sapping hill at 20 miles, but the first 5 miles are downhill and fast to balance this out. Given the remote location you can't fault the level of support. Plenty of drinks stations, although I'd prefer more water than lucozade, that's my only minor grumble. Nice flat finish; decent goody bag and great T shirt. For me the key point in any review is whether the writer will be back --- not only will I be back, but this is one I'd recomend to anyone. Date of review: October 7, 2011
In short: Great Race! Great support! In full: My 2nd Loch Ness, other than the bus journey taking forever at the start (which I knew about from last year!), brilliant race and well organised. The support even in the pouring rain was fantastic. We maybe mad for running but the supporters are brave for standing there for hours! Stewards and youngsters handing out the drinks always smiling! Well done to all and see you next year!! Date of review: October 6, 2011
In short: Lovely scenic route with positive challenges In full: Im fortunate enough to be surrounded by hills where I live so have plenty of practice and was prepared for the ones Loch ness had to throw at me (if I remember correctly circa mile 4,6,8, 18 and a bit more at 20 are the main ups) - needless to say my training had paid off and was able to enjoy the route - not over crowded and the scottish weather means that despite the uphills this one still creates PB potential. Plenty of water and lucazade stops along the route with local supporters dotted along the way (big support in Dores which gives you a great buzz at the 18 mile point). Toilets very busy at the start but there was a loo on the bus - recommend using that unless you want to a wilderness wee (lots of potential areas for this too and seemed to be popular option for quite a few runners). No spectators at the start - basically because you are dropped in the middle of no where - but well organised and not overly busy at the finish - ie fine for getting parked close by. Entry fee includes bus transport to the start plus hot food at the finish (which I was surprised but I actually really enjoyed) so feels reasonable value really. Overall really enjoyed this race which gives you a fantastic opportunity to spend some time once you have finished in a really beautiful (albeit often a bit wet and drizzly) part of the world Date of review: October 6, 2011
In short: Easily Beats Edinburgh As Best In Scotland In full: My 3rd Loch Ness marathon and enjoyed everyone so far. Marshalls and water station staff were fantastic again. Finish area was good and much better t-shirt than previous ones. The only down point was the bus journey again, 2nd year in 3 we were late at start, this needs to be looked at. Overall still my favorite marathon, even better than London or Paris. Date of review: October 5, 2011
In full: The LNM was my first marathon and what a day I had. I was one of the unprepared runners who needed to have an unscheduled pit stop on the way to the start but there was a fantastic atmosphere on the bus and we all slow clapped the ones who needed a second stop. The race was hilly but being my first marathon I don't have anything to compare it too. I will say I ran past a lot of people walking the infamous Dores hill and my time was 4:05. I talked to lots of other runners on the day and most said it was hillier than other runs they had done so I guess you have to just enter and make your own mind up on this one.
I think some of the gripes about toilets at the bus pickup are a bit harsh as I did the run with 2 other LNM virgins and we made a point of getting to the pickup early so we could use the toilets at the other side of the field before getting on the buses. My only gripe is the start was a bit of a bottle neck and cost me the sub 4 hour time but I will know for next time and I will just start nearer the line.
The support in the early stages was fantastic when you consider the weather and the little kids handing out the water were ace, I made a point of choosing the smallest to get my bottles from (even if it meant bending down). I saw so many funny sights and one which still makes me chuckle. A girl's bra was rubbing and she just hoisted up her top and presented her boobs to the stunned first aider who tried to say something but she just said "Och, just do it!!!" He applied the plaster and she went on her way, very funny.
Anyway - I'll be back next year and It will be a sub 4 hour this time.
% star race for me. Date of review: October 5, 2011
In short: If you only run one marathon do this one. In full: My first ever marathon. Expected severe hills but all were milder than those on my training runs. Beautiful scenary and fantastic people. What an amazing weekend. Date of review: October 4, 2011
In short: Don't listen to scary stories about hills - this race has great PB potential In full: I have run 14 marathons - 5 of them being at Loch Ness. My 3 best times are at Loch Ness. Basically you roll downhill for 12 miles - have a wee mole hill around 18 miles then a pleasant canter along the river to the finish line. No problem! Well almost no problem. So, if you want a PB sign up for next year's race :) Date of review: October 4, 2011
In short: Challenging undulating hills great atmosphere and organisation In full: My second marathon and so much better atmosphere and organisation than Edinburgh in May. They could learn a lot from Loch Ness. Great camaraderie and friendly marshalls. Big thanks to the marshall who gave out chocolate fudge at 21 miles. Good finish superb medal. Hydrating before bus journey gives some urinary challenges! Expect very sore legs after from the undulations. This event is a great advert for Scotland. Date of review: October 4, 2011