In short: Beautiful course - Mind those hills! In full: I chose Loch Ness for my first marathon, as I preferred the thought of a scenic route, rather than a city route. I wasn't disappointed. The views were stunning from the start, which feels like the middle of nowhere. Although I finished slightly slower than my target at 4:47, I had a great time and the cameraderie amongst the runners was great. I wasn't affected by the main bus delays, getting the bus from Drumnadrochit. The bus struggled up the hills but made it with the encouragment of 70 odd runners in the back! We were the first at the start so were able to relax and partake of the coffee provided. For future reference, I would have run the first half a bit slower, leaving a bit more for the slog between 17&21. Once up there I couldn't get my pace back up, but I kept going at a slower pace, and was delighted to finish my first marathon with a good stadium finish. Goody bag was light of stuff with 2 heavy tins of soup! T-shirt great, and it was great to be able to take photos on the winners podium, with family. Date of review: October 6, 2009
In short: A stunning event with a bit of bite In full: This event has gone from strength to strength and it is great to see son many runners and such huge support this year. The route is stunning and testing giving a great sense of achievement as you finish on the stadium track.
This event is meticulously organised and the logistics normally great. It is pity that the bus company let us down, but we are hardy lot and the great cameraderie at this event meant that it did not spoil the atmosphere.
In short: Fantastic scenery and lots of "undulations" In full: This was my first time running a marathon and I have to say I really enjoyed myself. There were lots of well spaced water and lucozade stations and I've very glad I did some hill training - but in my mind there were only two killer hills and I just walked up them to save energy. The remaining "undulations" were okay from a beginner perspective. The hill at mile 17 is very tough mind you (its one I walked up) - but overall the scenery was so wonderful it made the miles fly by. General support was fading slightly by the time I finished (just over 5 hours) - but I still felt great as I crossed the finish line. A good race for beginners providing you put in the hill training. Date of review: October 6, 2009
In short: Gorillas in pink compression socks In full: This is a really nice marathon, beautifully unpretentious, vibey, serene, challenging event. Good organisation and well supported by the local community. Personally, I would to salute the gorilla in pink socks around half way. You were my marathon special moment. Date of review: October 5, 2009
In short: Great Race In full: 22 members of my running club made the journey up for this race and those going for PBs and target times almost all achieved them. The delay was one of those things but the laughter on the bus made the time fly by. Arriving at the start it did look a bit chaotic, but the excellent organisation made sure the buses and luggage had gone and getting across the line and into our stride was easy. The run route was excellently marked and well marshalled by the local Honda Goldwing Owners Club. Support in the villages was excellent and raised the morale at those crutial times. The fact there was a 10K race as well was excellent for groups like mine as it encouraged others to travel with us. My only negative is I would have liked a changing area in one of the marquees just so I could have sat down and changed into so dry clothes in comfort. I would also comment on the excellent medical staff on hand, and the well run baggage tent. Great race guys and thanks for an excellent weekend. Date of review: October 5, 2009
In short: Absolutely loved it. Makes a change from big City marathons but tough hills at tough points of the race make it a challenge In full: If you want to run a marathon along an amazing route and don't need crowds cherring you on to keep you going then this is the one for you. Although it is more downhill than up, the undulations really take their toll on your legs and there are some tough hills at times when you could do with flat !! This is a race definitely worth doing and one that you will remember for a long time! Date of review: October 5, 2009
In full: My first marathon and couldn't have chosen a better one! Wasn't too bothered about the delay with transport, it just gave more opportunity to talk with lots of new faces. I was warned in advance, although a mainly downward run, the hills come at wrong places during the race and make it really testing. Have to mention a charming lady who helped get through the final 8 or so miles. Thanks K, WON'T FORGET YOU. Date of review: October 5, 2009
In short: Lovely race, friendly, well marshaled and carribean weather! In full: I don’t know what the poster wants when he says that the scenery wasn’t very glorious...herds of wilderbeast majestically roaming maybe? It looked pretty spectacular from where I was running especially looking back up the Loch as we were about to leave it behind...even the tree lined roads mentioned were uplifting to me...as for the run itself there were a few big hills to contend with but the scenery and friendliness of the organisers and those who turned out to watch made it feel a lot more bearable. There was a mix up at the start with the buses but that meant I had a good laugh getting to know some fellow runners sat around me which was good fun...our bus even broke down a few times on route which meant we were the last ones in! Overall a superb race, wonderful goody bag and a personal best of 4hrs26mins as well...hurrah! I will probably be making the trip again one day. Date of review: October 5, 2009
In short: A downhill marathon with the wind behind you all the way. In full: I don't know why people do not rate thos course for a PB. It is downhill and the prevailing wind is behind you. Add beautiful weather for running and it was a fast course yesterday.
Not sure how they managed to get the buses wrong, but some people on my bus (Fort Augustus) ended up walking up a mountain before the race started; not ideal preparation.
Otherwise a great day with great facilities at the finish and an appreciative crowd. Date of review: October 5, 2009
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