In short: Very well organised, beautiful location In full: A great event, with a stiff wind it was a challenging course for many. Undulating but not a nightmare. Very good organisation, however the water station at mile 22 ran out, it was a warm day though - perhaps a bit underestimated. Thoroughly recommended. Would do again. Date of review: September 12, 2010
In short: Scenic, friendly, low-key In full: I had no real targets for this race other than to enjoy the run (though I'd have been a bit peeved if I hadn't managed sub-4!), and enjoy it I did. It's a very small, low-key affair which makes a very pleasant change from the big city marathons, and as such it feels much more friendly and intimate. The scenic route makes it worth doing - some country lanes, a stretch along the Moray coast, and back through a forest. Water stations were plentiful - in fact there were so many I even skipped a few, something I've never done before!
Only a couple of slight niggles - yes there was adequate changing facilities at the start, but at the end (when most runners are desperate to get into clean dry clothes!) what had previously been the female changing area seemed to have become a communal area - I ended up trying to towel down and change in the toilets, not a pleasant experience. Plus I would happily pay a bit more on the entrance fee to have a few of the water stations replaced with energy stations.
Other than that, a well-organised friendly race that I would happily come back to do again. Date of review: September 7, 2010
In short: Really well organised race and a lovely course! In full: Having done the Half Marathon a few times and the 10k once, this year I decided to try the full marathon. As always, the organisers came up trumps. The races are always well organised, from the start in the Town Hall with good toilet and changing facilities, to the well marked and marshaled route with water stations aplenty.
The marathon course begins in the Cooper Park and takes a lovely route to Burghead and along the coastline. Although the race is run on the road traffic does not interfere due to the plentiful signage, drivers taking due care and showing respect for the runners.
The course is gently undulating and really is worth doing. If you like small, friendly races, you'll love this! A pretty fast field on the whole but a good number of more leisurely paced runners too.
Finish is again in the Cooper Park and the later start of the half marathon and 10k mean that the faster marathoners are coming in at the peak time, I would imagine with lots of crowd support.
The names of incoming runners are announced, the finish is well manned, as is the route, with first aiders, and then it's on to the Town Hall for sandwiches and a hot drink/juice. The massage service at £5 a go for charity is also well worth it.
Another great day out. Well done to the organisers - the fact that it's the 29th year says it all! They know how to do it in style!!! Date of review: September 6, 2010
In short: 20 minute PB for me - Full Marathon In full: i knocked 20 minutes off my houston marathon PB this year from 3:22 down to 3:02. One of the organisers daughters runs with me in houston texas and made me very welcome. I ran in my brooks mach 11's and can only report mild calf soreness, compared to my it band agony in my previous marathons. I hope to go under 2 hours in the Minnesota marathon in october. A great bunch of runners especially the scots ones ;) Date of review: September 5, 2010
In short: Flat scenic half marathon but ran out of water at three water stations In full: I did the half marathon, normally I would have targeted a PB as it's a great, fairly flat course, but I had a bit of an off day. The race is very friendly with a nice atmosphere but it was a disgrace that the final three water stations had all run out of water - not good at all and it's just as well the hot weather didn't last for the whole race or people would have been really struggling. Date of review: September 5, 2010
In short: Stunning scenery, serious PB potenial, flawless orgaisation. In full: Never ran such a small race before (200ish) and a bit apprehensive, however everybody you spoke to was incredibly friendy.
The scenery was really good - hills, sea, bit of forest. Not many people out on the course and you will run on your own in parts, but hey-ho. Superb, family atmosphere at the finish line.
Real PB potential - depends on the wind on the coast, if it's calm or behind you, PB is on. if it's a headwind, maybe not. Really only two climbs (not big ones) and the biggest one is only 3 miles in so quickly forgotten.
Exceptionally friendly staff.
If you fancy a race in Scotland with great scenery, more distilleries in a 20 mile radius than you can shake a stick at and the chance to run your fastest ever marathon, go for this one. Date of review: September 5, 2010
In short: A shame the later water stations ran out ... Fast and flat, but exposed to the winds In full: Overall, this was a *reasonably* well organised race - not quite as good as the organisers seems to think - that offered very good value for money. The strong head- and cross-winds for two thirds of the course made achieving a fast time a real challenge, although the course is mainly flat and in the right weather it would have excellent PB potential.
The race organisation was wanting in the provision of toilets at the start of the race (I think the swans in Cooper Park pond might turn yellow over the course of the next few days ...) plus the lack of water at the final three water stations for marathon runners finishing in the second half of the field. I'm sorry that I didn't get there sooner as well, marshalls, but there's no need to be huffy when I ask when the next station that has some water is going to be! (The majority of marshalls were both encouraging and efficient, and I suppose I was the umpteenth person to ask where the water was, but ... after 20+ windy miles my forbearance gets a bit depleted.)
Otherwise this was a good race - I would happily pay an extra £5 or so entry if it meant that these problems were avoided. Oh, and if someone turned the wind machine off ;-) Date of review: September 5, 2010
In short: Lovely route. 2nd year in a row I've had a PB here despite strong head winds. Will be back next year. In full: This is my local race and it seems to bring out the best in me as both times I've run it I've got a PB (3:10:07 this year). There's a few undulations and a couple of tough hills, but nothing too bad. The big problem this year was the strong head wind for the majority of the course and this definitely added a few minutes to my time. The finish in the Cooper Park in front of Elgin Cathedral is special. The anonuncer did a sterling job giving most runners a namecheck. Looking forward to next year but hoping for a less windy day. Date of review: September 5, 2010