In short: Tough & hilly but glorious scenery and fantastic support. In full: My second time running this and there appeared to be more hills than last year, or at least that's how it felt. But seriously, a cracking course and excellent support along the way, even in some really remote areas! The new finish is awesome, bringing the spectators closer to the runners for a much more atmospheric finish. practically the whole of the final Inverness section was lined with supportive people. If there was 1 thing I would improve it would be the t-shirt. Would much prefer a technical t-shirt to the heavy cotton one that will only serve to line the drawer but, other than that 10/10. If you only do 1 marathon, make it this one! Date of review: October 5, 2010
In short: A scenic, well organised ultra based on part of the Speyside Way. In full: The run was actually 36.6 miles due to a small diversion. The course was challenging and hillier than I had expected but it was very scenic (and very very wet!). The organisation was excellent and the marshalls (standing about for hours on such a wet day) were cheerful and friendly. A lovely medal and goodie bag with local produce were provided at the end. The finish was excellent, with a final run up to the Speyside Way marker, surrounded by flags. One final thing that made the run special was the personal message from loved ones that were pinned to fence posts at approx the 30 mile mark. This had all been arranged in secret and was a welcome touch to spur everyone on in those last few miles. Will definitely return to this run. Date of review: August 31, 2010
In short: Better than last year but room for improvement! In full: Most things would appear to have been covered given the comments but one thing that I have yet to see is any mention of the expo (though admittedly only read 3 pages of comments so far). Advertised as being open from 6am to 5pm on Saturday and then 6am to 12pm Sunday, I was disapointed to find that, at 8am on Saturday morning there was little more than race registration for international runners and a couple of stalls. The running shop was only just setting up and I was told that they would not be open until 9. Why advertise it as being open from 6 if so little was going to be available until later in the day? I attempted a return visit prior to the race on the Sunday only to find a ghost town!
On a positive note, the locals were excellent, especially those with the hoses - thanks to them all :O)
The medal is also one of the best that I have seen from any running event.
Further areas for improvement:
1. totally agree with comments re relay runners... why not have different starting times?
2. The diversion near to the turning point is a bit soul destroying.. why not start the race further along Princess Street if making up the distance is a problem? Or have some alternative part of the route that at least takes in some more of the city.
The mats at the end, with their random shifts as you run over them are surely the worst way to finish a marathon? Whilst I appreciate that the organisers wish to minimise damage to the stadium, there must be a better surface to do this with? And, given the other comments re the grandstand finish resulting in bottlenecks and various other problems, is this still the best place to end the marathon? Date of review: May 25, 2010
In short: Overcame the problems of last year to stage a cracking 2009 Aviemore Half Marathon In full: This years Aviemore Half Marathon seemed to go much smoother than last years run, from the warm up and entertainment at the start through to the better organised finish. I was delighted that this was the case as the run came in for a lot of stick last year (some of it overly critical). Considering it is held to raise funds for a local charity, it is good to see that it was back on track and there were happy runners everywhere you looked. :O) Date of review: October 19, 2009
In short: Read the comments - Everyone loved this marathon and rightly so! In full: Even with the bus problems (not the organisers fault) there is nothing but glowing reports from this marathon and that surely speaks volumes!
Recovering from the Moray Marathon 3 weeks previously and with a bad bout of flu in between, I knew this was going to be a tough one and I was right. By mile 14 I was beat (I did make it to the end) but I am still positive about the run and the reasons for that are numerous.
The organisation was great.
The scenery was amazing... and that's from someone who has cycled the Great Glen Way... the road on that side of the loch affords THE best view of Loch Ness and the surrounding area for sure.
The medal is lovely.
The stadium finish was a nice way to end the run.
If there is 1 thing I would like to see it is a technical tshirt rather than a cotton one - they are just so much more useful and practical and, I am sure, would be seen at runs for years to come! Date of review: October 7, 2009
In short: Beautiful scenery, excellent organisation and low entry cost. In full: Ran this as my second ever marathon yesterday (Sun 13th September 2009). An excellent course and with an amazing number of thoroughly supportive marshals. Water stations at 3 mile intervals approx as well. The only thing that could improve this would be a technical t-shirt (and availability of XL sizes) rather than the cotton T-shirt provided but I appreciate that this would likely add to the cost. Date of review: September 14, 2009
In short: 'THE' most fun you can have running! In full: My fourth time and certainly not my last... this was the best one yet and the provision of an excellent technical T-shirt and medal was an excellent touch that I hope the Ythan Challenge organisers continue with. I would recommend this to anyone, just don't expect a PB! Date of review: July 2, 2009