In short: Fabulous In full: Even more enjoyable the second time around. The first half was hillier then I remembered, maybe the great downhill sections had clouded my memory of the climbs. This meant that the second half didn't feel as difficult as last year so that was a psychological bonus! Great support again in Dores and during the last couple of miles in Inverness. I have to agree with those who have mentioned the inadequate toilet situation at the start. Luckily I'm not proud and when you've got to go you've got to go, but for those more modest than I, it would have been horrendous! Great tech T shirt as well this year. All in all, another wonderful experience. I can't recommend it enough.
In full: Really enjoyed the whole experience and would recommend this race to novices and veterans alike. The undulating course makes it a little tricky to find a rhythm but also helps to avoid any feeling of monotony. There is a lot of downhill in the first half which makes for a relaxed start. To be honest the hill at Dores wasn't really as bad as I feared having read some previous reviews and it seemed to pass pretty quickly. The fact that it comes at around 18 miles makes for a good psychological turning point when you are over the other side. One suggestion I might make to others who are thinking of coming up next year is to consider staying in Fort Augustus the night before the race. We stayed at the Lovat which was really nice and very runner / child friendly. This is at the South end of the loch and is a friendly wee place. The main advantage is a longer snooze in the morning (our bus left at about 8.50am) a much shorter bus ride (I think it was about 30 mins but it didn't seem that long with pre-race nerves) and consequently much less potential for toilet problems! There is obviously a limit on accomodation in Fort Augustus but if you book early you should be ok and you could always book somewhere in Inverness after the race when your quads are torn to bits! Date of review: October 4, 2011
In short: Great scenery, hard course, and well supported by the locals. Organisers just need to make the start run smoother, although granted...must be a logistical nightmare to ship all the competitors to the start line! Date of review: October 4, 2011
In short: Beautiful, great hills, lovely goodie bag & t In full: We hada lodge near by at Whitebridge so made our own way to the start, drinks and loos at the start so great. Started to rain but hey ho.. lovely run went really quickly, pleanty of drinks stations lots if not maybe too many lucozade ones and not enough water. Overall fantastic, my wee one did the wee-nessie they said it was fun. The sun came out also. MY FIRST AND NOT MY LAST MARATHON Date of review: October 4, 2011
In short: Great race, however, organisation for start needs to improve In full: Great race, scenery, challenge, water/energy stations, cool t-shirt and medal, wonderful fair at end with stovies and oatcakes free to runners! Lots of real pluses. Hence, a shame that the organisers had absolutely no toilets available by the buses at the departure point. This was followed by a two hour sit on the buses. On arrival at the start a hopelessly inadeaqate amount of toilets and a huge rush to start due to late arrival of busses. Ok for us guys who turned their backs and had a quick pee in the heather. However, it is a failure of the organsisers to force women into the embarrassing and degrading situation of having to pee in public at the side of the road as they are so desperate. This neednt have been the case with better foresight and planning. If the organisers sharpened their act in this area it would be a truly suberb event! Date of review: October 4, 2011
In short: A pretty spectacullar course for a first marathon In full: My first marathon and was really impressed with the course, the orginisation and the support which made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. We were well lucky with the weather, Saturday was awful whilst for the race there was no wind and a slight drizzle to start with. The hill at 18 miles seemed to go on forever though, was a tough one and looked like is sapped a lot of legs (mine included). Overall delighted that if it is my only marathon I couldn't have chosed a better one! Date of review: October 4, 2011