In short: Love it! Love it! Love it! In full: 4th time I have done this one and its well worth the journey from London to Inverness. Brilliant organisation. Brilliant scenery. Love it! Date of review: October 22, 2011
In short: Amazing race, excellent organisation, beautiful scenery, but very lonely course In full: This was my first marathon, I had only run half marathons before (PB of 1:52 this year).
The organisation really impressed me. A whole fleet of buses to take us to a surreal start in the mist up on the moorland. Beautiful medal. Some post-race food. Ample drinks stations and Lucozade orange was a good choice. Timing device in the race number which I prefer over a chip attached to the shoe as I'm always terrified of that falling off.
I was expecting a hilly course, but I wasn't expecting it to be as hilly as this. The first 9 miles are downhill but there are a couple of sharp uphills thrown in there as well. The "flat" miles 9-17 along the lochside are in reality a little undulating. Miles 18-20ish killer uphills - more than one. The hardest thing about this race though, for me, was the loneliness aspect. Running beside Loch Ness is fantastic, I like the quietness of it at times, but until the village of Dores at mile 17/18 where the whole village is out in force, support is limited to the occasional person who has come out of a house to clap for runners. That support was really welcome and the long lochside miles without that were psychologically very hard for me. It's not until mile 24 that you come into Inverness and civilisation, and support.
Overall, this is a really great race and I would do it again, but it's hard. I'd imagine there are easier first marathons out there. Date of review: October 20, 2011
In short: A magnificent and atmospheric weekend In full: Brilliant and sometimes quirky support - always raised a smile. Coming into Inverness, the encouragement was so uplifting. And Dores was something else. Top marshalls and organisation. It's getting to be a bigger field every year? Date of review: October 19, 2011
In short: superb race, very well organised In full: this was the first time I ran the race and would definitely do it again. The start was well organised an d as I got there early there was no problem with the loos. The weather was perfect for running, 15 degrees cloudy and rainy. The first 5/6 miles were downhill and the run along the side of the loch was great. There was a monster of a hill at 18 miles but once that was out the way it was all over. Date of review: October 13, 2011
In short: Beautiful race with unexpected PB potential. Runners never crowded right from the start. Excellent commemmorative technical shirt in the goodie bag. In full: 2nd year I have run this marathon. The weather was greyer than last year & not such good views of the Loch but the scenery was still great. I have run a PB both years, this time slashing 12 minutes off my time and in the face of advancing age (60+). You might think looking at the course profile that PBs were unlikely but my experience tells me the opposite. Firstly the first 5 miles is almost all downhill apart from a couple of modest bumps. Secondly there is plenty of room to run right from the start. Finally its pretty cool there in early October so I started at a brisk pace which seemed to have bedded in well by mile 5. Great, vocal support scattered along the route & outstanding at the end. You're likely to get a name check too. Everyone should do this run, I'll do it again. Its a great excuse for a week/weekend in the Highlands. Date of review: October 12, 2011
In short: Lovely race In full: A long bus journey to get there but the atmosphere at the start with the pipes and drums squirling in the mist was really motivating. It's a tough course but I think it can be quite fast if you can cope with downhill running and hold back sufficiently over the first half. The hill at Dores is really not too bad if you put in some hill training. Most of the course is quiet and very scenic but with good support at the hill and then coming into Inverness up to the finish. Great organisation, there is an inevitalbe lack of Portaloos at the start though. Nice soup! Managed a PB so I was well chuffed. Thanks to all marshalls, other volunteers and the organisers. Date of review: October 10, 2011
In short: This is perhaps my favorite marathon. The scenery, even in the rain, is brilliant. The marshalls, residents and other runners are friendly and supportive. It's not the flattest course but it's one that you'll remember for the right reasons. Date of review: October 9, 2011