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: Enjoyed this race In full: This is my first time doing this particular race and thoroughly enjoyed it. Car park very well signposted for the event (nice touch! - parking is one of my biggest worries when racing in a strange town). Registration easy, plenty water stations - though it would have been nice if the bottles were opened before being handed to the runners. Good course - reasonably flat, a few gentle ascents and equally gentle descents, even the hill at mile 11 was neither as long nor as steep as I've encountered on other courses. And I got another shiny new PB! Date of review: March 22, 2010
In short: Perfect Highland Scenery and Highland Hospitality In full: This is only my third half-marathon and so far it has to be my favourite - outstanding scenery, very smooth and (nearly) faultless organisation, loved the pre-race refreshments - a nice touch! Course was well signposted and the stewards and other volunteers did a sterling job and were very friendly into the bargain. Only real quibbles: a)not enough signposted toilets at the start; I missed the pre-race warmup queuing for the loo, only to discover there were a handful of portaloos out of sight at eh other side of the field. b)Bag collection at the end was very easy and hassle-free, however there was not enough room to strip out of wet kit comfortably wihtout getting in at least half-a-dozen other people's way. However they are only small quibbles in what was otherwise a very enjoyable event. Oh yes and another PB for me despite having only just gotten over a cold! Date of review: October 19, 2009
In short: Very special - will remember this for a long time In full: As a relative newcomer to running in general and particularly with this being my first ever marathon, I had felt a certain amount of trepidation before this event. I needn't have worried - apart from the bus situation ('nuff said already, I don't need to say any more) this has been the best event I've entered so far. From the very friendly and supportive fellow runners (with special thanks to my hostel room-mates Liz and Anne, you know who you are, ladies!) to the efficient and smooth organisation, to the course itself. I loved it - perfect weather, beautiful scenery, supportive locals, even the two-mile hill couldn't dampen my spirits (even if it did kill my quads!) And as the final bonus I smashed my target time and finished in 3.45 (and I could have shaved a couple of seconds off this if I hadn't slowed to high-five the gorilla! Cheers mate - really made me smile when I needed it most! :D ) All in all, a near-perfect day - I'm sure this has spoiled me for other events. I will certainly be back in a couple of years! Date of review: October 9, 2009