In short: Did I enjoy it? Well, yes. When you knock 22 minutes off your PB then it has to be goo. In full: I found the constant running on the camber a little difficult and it would have been nicer to have been given a bit more room by some of the drivers (especially the lorries). I can't fault the organisation though. Top class. Date of review: April 27, 2007
In short: Friendly, well-organised, beautiful race. I've run this one twice, it's my favourite marathon. Suits those seeking the loneliness of the long-distance runner rather than pack animals. In full: Lochaber is beautiful even in the rain. Fort William is a really friendly place and there was a great atmosphere in the women's changing rooms both before and after the race. Although I went on my own, there were plenty of people happy to chat and try and dispel some of the pre-race nerves.
There's a larger than average proportion of vets, so I didn't feel embarrassed exposing my cellulite and while it got a bit lonely at the back of the pack sometimes, there were a surprising number of enthusiastic supporters out on the course.
The medal is a bit tacky but Lochaber T-shirts are respected and valued items and there are loads of photos both on the Lochaber A site and on marathon-photos (far nicer mementos than your average medal).
Lots of people stayed for the prize-giving (though with 70 prizes, probably half of them were prize-winners) which helped to make the race feel very inclusive.
Leave the crush in London to the masses, this is the marathon for those of us who prefer solitary running in beautiful surroundings. Date of review: April 27, 2007
In short: Fastish out and back scenic course. In full: Based at the sports centre the organisers had arranged the start on the shinty pitch (wet and muddy with the persistent drizzle). A simple placard signified the start point just before the stand and after an inaudible briefing we suddenly set off (no gun or klaxon). The field was a serious one, lots of club runners and few if any charity shirts. The start of the course winds it's way around the backstreets of Fort William eventually popping out onto the A830. From here its an out and back run with some lovely views although the low cloud made for limited visibility on this occasion. My Garmin clocked 415metres of ascent. The water stations were frequent, handing out those nice small bottles with sports tops that are easy to carry and drink out of without sloshing water all over yourself. There were a good number of Lucozade stations as well - something I always think is a good counterpoint to all that water. Jelly baby man on the mountain bike was a useful innovation too, given the roads weren't closed off he was certainly risking a lot to keep runners sugared up.
The support was better than I'd expected and the small numbers of people scattered along the course generated a huge amount of support and positive energy - the cheer from supporters on the grandstand was a nice reward at the finish. Respect points to the mad local who had a sound system blaring at the bottom of his land and the young lass who was using her bedroom stereo to belt out some motivational tunes. Hope their neighbours understand it was in a good cause. This was a very informal affair - turn up, collect your number and run. No frills but a fast course with great PB potential. I lopped 27mins off my previous time. Post race treat - Crannog Seafood Restaurant. Fast service great food. Date of review: April 26, 2007
In short: Great scenery, great marathon weather. In full: A great run, fabulous scenery, lack of crowd support may not help beginners, good water stations, a marshall or two would help at crossings, secure baggage storage could be addressed as there weren't many lockers. Date of review: April 26, 2007
In short: BEAUTIFUL UNDULATING COURSE,WELL WORTH THE TRIP UP TO SCOTLAND In full: WELL ORGANISED RACE,COULDNT WANT FOR BETTER ORGANISATION,OR HELPFULNESS OF MARSHALLS AND FIRST AID SUPPORT ECT,LACK OF CHEERING CROWDS DURING RACE MADE UP FOR AT THE END BY A STAND FULL OF PEOPLE CHEERING YOU ON EVEN AFTER 5HRS!!!!!! Date of review: April 25, 2007
In short: Despite the weather a thoroughly enjoyable experience. In full: A very enjoyable and well organised race with excellent drink stations. I feel a marshall or 2 in the final couple of miles would be welcome and especially at the Farm Foods store exit where both myself and a lady in front of me were almost hit by cars exiting the store. Not one to moan about medals but expect marathon medals to be decent. Date of review: April 25, 2007
In short: Well organised, but a bit exposed in places. In full: A good event overall, but felt a bit exposed when stuggling around the 20 mile point in the wind and rain. The relatively small field means that the average runner might feel a wee bit depressed being passed by all the speedy club runners. Perhaps not a good first time race. Date of review: April 25, 2007