In short: Beautiful But Brutal! In full: I choose Loch Ness for my first marathon due to the senic surroundings and wasn't disapointed. The whole event from bus pick up in Inverness to the finish was organised very well. Great support when needed, crowds gave you a much needed lift and I will be back one day.
Can someone please do something about that hill at Dores though! Date of review: October 1, 2014
In short: One of My Favourites. In full: My running buddy Katherine & I arrived for this on the Saturday and tragedy struck right away as someone had picked up my case by mistake from the bus. A couple of heart attacks later a friendly face turned up at the bus station very apologetic. We all seen the funny side and from that moment on everything was great, from our friendly hotel owner to the race itself. We were transported to the start by buses laid on. Quite a large loo queue but this was made quite entertaining by a hilarious organiser on a megaphone trying to speed up the queue process “You’re only supposed to wee not read the Sunday papers in there” The race itself got off to a great start. The first 4 miles were down hill so a pleasure to run. Also the course was not too congested so really could start at a fast pace plus there was more chance to enjoy the scenery without worrying about bumping into another runner. The fun soon came to an abrupt end at the first unexpected hill at mile 5 which was quite a challenge, from then on the course was quite undulating to say the least especially as you hit the next killer hill at about mile 18. One thing I would advise is get in some hill training if you’re going to attempt this race. The scenery along the route is just breathtaking even if the support is a little sparse though this is soon compensated as you hit Inverness town were the supporters are out in full. The last mile is just beautiful as you run along the river Ness towards the finish. It was all very emotional and we were both in tears at the end. I can’t really fault this race as the organisation, the pasta party and even the goody bag are all top notch, and to top it all we both got PBs which just added to the magic. We didn’t spot the monster but Katherine bought us matching Nessie wrist bands which I will now always glance at during dull days at the office. I’ve ran quite a few marathons and I can’t recommend this one enough. We will return at some point if only for the loo queue entertainment.
In short: Will definitely return to this fantastic race! In full: This was a beautifully organised race along a fantastically scenic route. The runners were friendly and of mixed abilities so it would be perfect for newcomers. However, it is undulating throughout with a couple of killer hills particularly at Dores so proper training is required if you want to truly enjoy yourself! As this race requires runners to be dropped off in the middle of nowhere (you run all the way back to Inverness) there aren't many places that supporters can watch from although there were a few locals who supported from the front gardens as we ran through the villages. Once you hit Inverness there was lots more support and finally a couple of miles on the flat! Whilst the terrain may have made it on the tougher side the tarmac under foot provided a perfect running surface so at least this didn't add to our woes and the smaller field made it a lovely alternative to a big-city marathon where you feel like you're constantly tripping over everyone! I will definitely be returning to this lovely race. Date of review: September 30, 2014
In short: Best marathon I have ever run In full: I only ran Loch Ness as the man promoting it at London looked me up and down and said I could run the 10k! Loch Ness has been my fourth marathon but apart from the man who should never judge a book by its cover, the marathon is fantastic. Excellent organisation, well looked after and every volunteer, sponsor and all those that make Loch Ness should be very proud of themselves. Yes the course in some places isn't the easiest but the downhills and the views make up for it by far and to finish it off I got a pb and not only a pb but knocked 20 minutes off my time! Date of review: September 30, 2014
In short: So where were you Nessie? In full: Travelled up from the South Coast to Inverness to run this marathon, & was not disappointed. The pasta party the day before was well organised & the food plentiful. On the morning of the event, the coaches took us to the start like clockwork. A bit of a wait at the start & fortunately the weather was fine, however, it is exposed & I wonder what plans the organisers would make if conditions were poor, to protect the runners from the elements.
As for the race itself, I was prepared for the downhill start, however, was not prepared for all the inclines. There are quite a few short sharp hills which were unexpected. The actual hill at mile 18 was not as hard as I thought. However, I am an experienced marathon runner. This was my 79th marathon - it was also the most difficult road one that I have done, so PBs are not going to happen here, unless you have only run a few marathon. Water stations, gels & sustenance were plenty & the t-shirt, medal & goody bag at the end great. I couldn't eat the meal given at the end, just can't eat after a marathon. It was appreciated & all included within the price.
As for Nessie. No sign of her, though one of her little helpers gave me a great Nessie medal at the end. Date of review: September 29, 2014
In short: Fast and Scenic In full: Well organised with buses getting you to the start. Very scenic along the loch although no sign of nessie. The majority of the run is surprisingly downhill/flat. There are a couple of hills at mile 5 and mile 19 but nothing to worry about. Not that much support along most of the route due to the road closures but once you hit the outskirts of Inverness the atmosphere is fantastic. Great medal, t-shirt and goody bag. The only thing that left me disappointed was the pasta party the day before. Expected larger portions and better quality. Managed a PB so obviously recommend the race. Date of review: October 15, 2013
In short: Mostly flat, a fast course with a friendly atmosphere. Worth the trip! In full: First time doing this race. Like a few others, I was filling in time while my husband did the marathon. Impressed by organisation and the number of (clean!with paper and handwash!) portaloos at the start area. NB - the start is a long walk from the finish ( we had booked accomodation close by with finish in mind)and there is no public transport to speak of at this time on a Sunday - had to pay for a taxi to get me there. Shuttle bus from finish are TO the start would have been a nice touch.Managed to aggravate an injury so not quite a PB but a decent goody bag, great weather and Inverness City Centre (around the finish area)is beautiful! Date of review: October 10, 2013
In short: Super friendly, amazing value and stunning scenery as standard In full: This was my first marathon and what a way to kick things off.
My running buddy and I arrived from Bristol on Friday night and ignoring all advice stuffed ourselves with curry and a couple of pints at one of Inverness' finest before hitting the sack at our super comfortable and hospitable B&B. Saturday was spent dealing with the aftermath of the curry, a trip to watch Inverness Caledonian Thistle v Hibs and taking in carbs in various forms (including at the excellent pasta party).
After an early night it was an early start to get the coach from the running village. All very smoothly organised and nice to compare notes with other runners (2 fellas from Denmark) on the bus. Tip: go to the toilet while you are at the village before you get on the coach. The queues for the portaloos by the start had to be seen to be believed.
There was a excellent atmosphere at the start and it was great to get underway. Water and gel stops came thick and fast. The water bottles were the perfect size to hold while running and I found that making a bottle last between each stop kept me well hydrated. The gel stops had a choices of blocks or a thick gel. The blocks worked best for me and they had been handily opened ready for easy access.
Support was good considering the remoteness of the route and what it lacked in numbers was more than made up for in enthusiasm.
The miles whizzed by chatting to a variety of runners. The race entered a different (and harder) phase at about 19 miles with the hill after Dores. I was glad of my hill training in Bristol at this stage but overall, even with the undulating nature of the course, it feels like you are mostly going downhill.
The miles after Dores we generally either downhill or flat and the support became greater the nearer you got to the finish in inverness. To be honest I wasn't really in a state to fully appreciate the last mile being completely depleted, but once through the finishing line and with a couple of bananas inside me it was great to kick back, enjoy having finished (03.43.52) and watch others arrive home.
The organisation of this race is incredible and for £40 (2 x three course meals, bus to start, very good quality running shirt and goody bag) it was an amazing value. I wouldn't hesitate to do it again.
In short: My favourite marathon. Organisation is second to none. The course has a couple of hills but is more undulating. The scenery is amazing. Marshalls are very supportive. Crowd support can be sparse in places but overall is good. An amazing race. Date of review: October 6, 2013