In short: Enjoyable half, very well organised, friendly race. In full: My 2nd time running the half marathon, and got a PB this time. Really enjoyable race with great organisation. Buses take all the runners to the start point for the half which is at Gordonstoun. Changing facilities and toilets are available there with a bus to take belongings back to the town hall. Lots of water stations along the way, pockets of spectators and friendly marshalls. Lovely finish running past Elgin Cathedral and into the Cooper Park where the commentator announces the names of the incoming runners. Fine spread at the Town Hall afterwards, and nice quality t-shirts given out too. Will probably be back again next year. Date of review: September 13, 2008
In short: Very nice race, despite baffling registration process... In full: This was a lovely race and a nice day out, seems the organisers have been doing it for many years now, all the other reviews here are very positive (as is this one) but one thing that really confused me is why not send out the race numbers in the post with the information blurb instead of making people turn up super early to collect them? This would have saved a whole heap of hanging around, having to get to the Town Hall an hour or so before the race and queuing up for your number, instead you could’ve just turned up, with your race number in place, and have got on the bus to the start! No messin’, me and my partner must’ve been waiting for nearly 2 hours prior to starting the race! I mean everyone was lovely just seemed a little bizarre and labour intensive to me that’s all. No other real issues, lots of water stops, great marshalls, lovely countryside route (not mind blowingly spectacular but pleasant enough), shame there were a few crazy tractor drivers who actually nearly drove in to me and several other runners, but you can’t legislate for that I guess. Weather was pretty much perfect. The finish was grand, nice touch with the commentator reading out everyone’s name, but no sign of any of the alleged “goody bags”, just a banana and some orange juice (and I was in the 10K) along with the medal and the t-shirt that was given at the start of the race (also a bit odd). Also would’ve been good to indicate that there was food and drinks available for free, this was not obvious as it looked like a café to me! Would certainly do again as it’s fairly local, but I know there are better out there. Date of review: September 12, 2008
In short: Lovely scenic marathon through woodland, and coastal villages... In full: Decided to do this more as a training run for Berlin that anything else. Got to the town hall before 8:30am to pickup my number and no problems whatsoever with that. Friendly people at the desks in the hall. Things filled up around the entrance later when the half marathoners etc started to turn up, but separate registrations points for the various races. The start was easy enough to find although the speakers were a bit back at the finish line and not easy to hear. The marathon started on time running out of the park, past the cathedral and through the streets until the first tree lined hill. Not to hard and eventually out onto the country roads. Few cars going past but most slowed and went around the runners. The temperature was nice and cool and the wind didn't really hit home until around Burghead with another twisty hill that I felt was harder than the first. A few mile run through Hopeman etc up to Lossiemouth, taking in views of Silver Sands and the extremely quiet RAF base. Then around the Lossiemouth harbour before heading out onto tree lined country roads again before finally reaching the first Elgin houses. Straight downhill after that (and a little straight bit + crossing a road) and this took you right to the cathedral and a few 100 yards from the finish. Commentator announced my number, name and where I was from which was a nice touch for my two supporters! Medal, carton of orange juice and banana were provided with apparently free tea + food in the town hall although I didn't partake in that. T-shirt was given out when you registered - nice grey cotton with "Moray Marathon" logo in one corner.
Overall, great organisation. Plenty of marshalls showing the way and cheering you on. Water stations every 3 miles and no problems at the start or finish.
Shame more locals didn't know about it to come out and cheer - my family members only knew about it as I was doing it. None of them had heard anything - so generally very few people about so more like a long solo training run in parts.
Could have done with some signs on the last downhill stretch to be honest. At the marshall stopped the traffic to let us cross the road, but wasn't 100% sure if I was going to the right way as no-one was in front of me, so I just kept going and hoped for the best.
In short: Friendly, good all-rounder. In full: Not sure I'd recommend the marathon for first-timers, as unless you're sub 3 hour-timing you'll spend a fair amount of the race on your own. It's not too tough a course, a couple of challenging hills, but overall probably easier than the other 2 marathon routes I've done (Loch Ness 2007 and Edinburgh 2006 - before the route for that changed.) The course was scenic, particularly the sections running through woodland. The long section along the coast was pretty tough - especially as we were going in to the wind and because it's the middle section where you're well in to the race, but the end is not in sight! I'd echo the previous comments that it seems a bit harsh that the goody bags, and much of the food - are taken by the 10K runners before the marathoners finish. There was just sandwiches left for most of the marathon runners. All the basics were covered really well though. Medal and T-shirt both great. And the bonus of having a small field is that it is super-friendly, everyone does take the time to chat to each other. I'd definitely do it again, but will be ticking off another new route or two first! Date of review: September 8, 2008
In short: Nice route, freezing North wind! In full: Did the Half, very scenic on the coastal section and with some nice single track roads on the last stretch. A few busy roads involved on the route with fast / crazy motorists dodging between the runners, but mostly the traffic was considerate.
Organisation overall excellent and plenty of water stations and supplies handed out by friendly volunteers. Little / no spectators apart from ones who knew folk running, but thats maybe cos it was bloomin' freezin in the wind!
Got a nice medal and good quality t-shirt, but I did wonder where the advertised 'goody bags' went? My support said all the 10k runners got one but there were none left for the Halfers or Full Marathoners. Not a major gripe as there was free food back at the town hall, but a Mars bar or something sugary to snack would have been nice at the end.
Finish line was in a very nice park, with loads of car parking space and all facilities just a short walk away. More toilets would be useful in future as the number of people entering this event seem to be increasing each year. Date of review: September 7, 2008