In short: hard on those hills but was a good event. Scraped a sub 4 by seconds , but wouldn't rate this as a PB course. Also just a note to say that chap who collapsed at mile 22 is fine (friend of mine) and says thanks for all who helped Date of review: October 5, 2010
In short: Tough & hilly but glorious scenery and fantastic support. In full: My second time running this and there appeared to be more hills than last year, or at least that's how it felt. But seriously, a cracking course and excellent support along the way, even in some really remote areas! The new finish is awesome, bringing the spectators closer to the runners for a much more atmospheric finish. practically the whole of the final Inverness section was lined with supportive people. If there was 1 thing I would improve it would be the t-shirt. Would much prefer a technical t-shirt to the heavy cotton one that will only serve to line the drawer but, other than that 10/10. If you only do 1 marathon, make it this one! Date of review: October 5, 2010
In short: A very well organised race and a thoroughly enjoyable weekend. In full: A quick downhill start but between 6 and 9 miles a series of hills took there toll on my legs which began to cramp and so the remaining 16 miles were run/walked in some discomfort but I still finished well inside the 4 hours. Fantastic scenery and well worth the trip for what is a tough but great marathon. I'll give this one another go when I have forgotten how hard the hills are. Date of review: October 5, 2010
In short: Exhilarating, friendly race - and the hills aren't THAT bad (honest)! In full: I'd done this race before in 2007 and due to inexperience and less-than-great training finished in a painful 5.30-something. So I came to it this year with much better training, a target of 4.30 and a (vague) plan.
The buses left on time and there was just enough time at the start to put baggage on the lorries and go to the loo. By the time I'd done that there wasn't quite enough time to get to the right area and the start was quite muddled, with a lot of people not quite ready and some still queueing for the loo. But with a comparatively small field it soon spread out enough to run comfortably and without the bottlenecks you get in some of the bigger city races.
The course was isolated, with little support over much of it, but glorious in its gorgeous landscapes and "interesting" in its hills! Loch Ness is known as "the hilly marathon" but if you've trained on hills it's really not that bad. The worst hill is the long, slow slog up from the shores of the loch just outside Dores, at about 18 miles - but we just kept plodding and it didn't slow us down too much.
The water stations were plentiful and well spaced-out. The marshalls were great - helpful (but firm when necessary to chivvy us along to the start!).
The new finish line is much better than the old one, so you don't feel like you're running round in circles at the end. The atmosphere coming into Inverness was amazing - I managed to high-five my husband as I went past and sprinted across the finish in 4.19!
My only minor quibble would be that the changing facilities and showers in the sports centre are a bit basic, but the showers were at least hot and very welcome!
All in all, a great race - and I've already signed up for my next marathon... Date of review: October 4, 2010
In short: Hard- but fantastic! In full: Superbly organised race. Thanks to everyone involved for making this such a great day! Scenery fantastic, support along the way was great, especially at Dores. Everyone very friendly. Hot meal and shower at the end is a great finish to a brilliant (but hard) race! Thoroughly recommended! Date of review: October 4, 2010
In short: My favourite race! In full: Fantastic organisation, couldn't fault a single thing. Magnificent route, fantastic crowd support and hot showers and free food afterwards. Date of review: October 4, 2010