In short: Lovely fast run along country roads In full: No real problems here. Sure the parking was further away than last year, but a gap in the hedge next to the caravans took you straight to a toilet block and within a minute or two walk of the finish line. Made sure I got closer to the front this year to avoid getting hemmed in and it helped a lot :) Date of review: June 7, 2010
In short: Great run through country lanes, villages and towns. In full: Small marathon with around 158 runners (although half and 10km later in the morning which attract more people). Good mix of club runners and generall runners although most people do finish sub 4:30. Starts in the city before going along country lanes, through old fishing villages, past Silver Sands holiday park and Lossiemouth airbase, before running through Lossiemouth itself - very popular with golfers. Around the harbour area and back onto the country lanes before returning to Elgin itself. Plenty of long stretches of flat / undulating road with a few inclines thrown in although these aren't too bad. Water stations every couple of miles with water in bottles and they don't run out! T-Shirt given out in the town hall before the race when you pick up your race number. Medal, banana and orange juice carton at the finish + tea etc in the town hall I think. Commentator generally announces your name and number and where you're from. Excellent organisation from all involved - plenty of marshalls showing you the way and water stations well manned. Only downside was no date on the t-shirt although the medal does says 2009. Well worth doing especially if you want an uncluttered run so that you can run at your own pace. Date of review: September 15, 2009
In short: Lovely urban & country race taking in a bridge that gets longer every year! In full: Sure that bridge is getting longer -took forever to get across the first time. Little too crowded for the first 5 miles to honest. Not sure why they can't have the runners on the left hand side of the road in Barton and the traffic on the other side (especially around 7 miles). Too much crossing over there which results in maybe an hour sitting in a traffic jam for those who deicde to go for a drive. Great marshalls and organisation. Agree there were less portaloos this year. There is a toilet block near the finish though if anyone didn't know. Date of review: June 14, 2009
In short: Enjoyable run around country lanes In full: Wasn't 100% sure where the start was but just followed some others and found it. We lined up before the lead car and wheelchair athletes had got through so had to part for them. A little bit congested for the first mile but then things spread out and it was far easier to run at your chosen pace. Not sure why they had an early water station (plastic / polystyrene cups) and it was raining anyway so not overly hot thankfully. Nice finish in Jubilee Park with subdued crowds lining the road up to the finish. No problems with chip return or getting a medal / bottle of water. Car park was easy to exit along a single lane road that others (locals?) decided to use in the opposite direction. Plenty of friendly marshalls.
In short: Better than last year except for being more crowded... In full: The queues for parking seemed to be a lot longer this year. Even so, I got parked within 100m of the gate :) Still too man people walking the opposite way up the footpaths to the runners (especially those with pushchairs). Made getting to the start a bit of a slog, especially with a few minutes left. Couldn't actually get to where I wanted to go without climbing a barrier so ended up further back in a very crowded area. To be honest, they need a waved start as there are too many runners of varying abilities all ovber the place. The first 2-3 miles involve a lot of weaving or speed changes which don't help your race plan. Finish was better this year although I misjudged the end. Saw the castle gate and sped up not realising it's the second bigger gate that heralds the finish! Still hate those cobbles - precarious to run on to say the least. Did actually drop my weird shaped chip off this time. Still no signs about chip return and it was blind luck that I saw two people with bin bags collecting them. Really nice medal :) Shame there wasn't a t-shirt, but these were £5 outside the castle (left my money in the car 2 miles away) Date of review: March 29, 2009
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: Lovely run along cycles paths with plenty of water and trees In full: Congested start and first 2-3 miles but once things started to spread out, easy enough to get a good running pace. Loads of trees, lakes, canals etc to see. Minimal support en-route but excellent marshalling and organisation overall. Date of review: July 23, 2008