In short: GNR does it again In full: My third GNR and I still love it - although I have come to realise that I should stop trying to get a PB on the course and run at a pace where I can enjoy the atmosphere. In my first year, I was blown away by the whole ocassion. Last year I enjoyed it so much more - but then I was running at half my normal pace helping my wife round. So this year in an attempt for a PB from the much improved start (but then I was in the Red Zone) I was working so hard I found it difficult to enjoy everything that makes GNR special - the crowd, the kids, the keg of beer at 10 miles (next year I will take some), sweeties, ice lollies, unofficial waters stops, the band, unofficial bands, stereos in gardens, hose pipes, etc.
Yes, there are some things that can be improved and I'm sure the new start didn't work for everyone - but then it will never be possible to please 50,000 people. Particularly when there is such a mix of ability and personal aims.
I love it and I'll be back again next year. Date of review: October 4, 2006
In short: Who needs BUPA? In full: This is the second time I have run this race and the first since BUPA dropped the Great Caledonia Run and moved to Edinburgh. Their loss. The organisers of this race have worked hard to create a fun family day. The weather helped generate an excellent fun atmosphere. Organisation was slick and the addition of Championchip timing was a good extra.
If you are thinking of doing this race don't overlook how long it actually takes to get to Balmoral from Aberdeen and the fact that parking is a good 40 min walk from the start area. Date of review: May 1, 2006
In short: What a great race In full: Not as tough as I thought it might be but what a great race / event. The start was a bit weird and I'm not sure why we all went in from the front and not the back but was we got started I guess it didn't matter. Couldn't understand why people were avoiding the mud early on - going through the middle was actually easier and quicker. Well most of the time - I came a bit of a cropper trying the same at the start of the Wetlands but it is all part of the fun.
Access to showers at the end was very welcome particularly as I was staying in a hotel. I would have loved to have seen there faces if I had turned up as I was. Binned my socks and shorts at the end and am still trying to get the mud out of my running top.
Looking forward to next year. Date of review: October 25, 2005
In short: My first hill race. Hard work, but very rewarding. In full: Between 1 and 3 miles I really wondered what I was doing in this race. I had underestimated the intensity of the first climb. However, the sun was shining and I looked up for a few moments to take in an amazing view across Aberdeenshire. If only I could take the time to stop and look around. No such luck - there was two more peaks and another 4 miles home!
Organisation was great. Well done to all involved at Garioch Road Runners. I particularly enjoyed the home bakes and a cup of tea at the finish.
Off to Hellrunner in a couple of weeks, but it has a lot to live up to better Bennachie. Date of review: October 4, 2005
In short: Another well organised Moray Marathon event In full: Man was it hot. Last year it was the wind, this year it was the heat that took its toll on a number of runners on the course. I ran the 1/2 marathon and thought that once again this was an extremely well organised event. Plenty of (much needed) water stations, excellent and friendly marshalls (particularly the older lady welcoming everyone to Lossiemouth) and good reception facilities at the end of the race. Again with plenty of water. See you all next year. Date of review: September 5, 2005
In short: A good new race albeit with a small field In full: Congratulations to Rotary Club / Red Cross for this new race in the north east. Let's hope it stays on the calender, although a clash with the Peterhead 10k should be avoided. Good facilities and well organised it was a shame that early weather may have detered a few. Just two grumbles - via GPS I measured the course as 6.5 miles (as reflected in the additional 2 mins to many anticipated finishing times) plus plastic cups at water stations doesn't work. Paper cups or bottles please. Hope to see this race again next year. Date of review: August 29, 2005
In short: Well organised race, but Aberdeen has more to offer In full: My first Dyce marathon. Congrats to all involved at Aberdeen Metro for a well organised event. However, with half the race being based on the Aberdeen airport industrial estate it is unlikely to attract. Aberdeen and the environs has a lot to offer it is a shame it is not captured here. The timing of this event it ideal between Stonehaven and Elgin, but could be so more attractive. Date of review: August 12, 2005
In short: 1st half is tough, but a well organised race In full: Very tough race with hills from the start and out to 4 or 5 miles. Second half is easier, but you need to save something in reserve. That said I got a new PB - so pretty pleased. Date of review: July 4, 2005
In short: Something for everyone - great for runners and their families In full: Again a well organised race from parking and registration right through to the goodie bags at the end. Stewards and water stations were plentiful and pleasant. The crowd was good once you got into Portsoy and then there's the Boat Festival for the family as they wait for you to arrive. Put this on your race calender. Date of review: June 27, 2005
In short: Live and learn - start nearer the front next year In full: This is a great event. 2004 was my first time and I just didn't beleive how difficult it would be to get past slower runners. However, the main thing is to take it all in. The start (get there early), the Tyne Bridge, the local support (which is awesone and includes offers of beer in South Shields!) and the last mile - the shortest and longest mile. The crowd makes it short, but it is still a mile. At least in 2004 the wind was at our backs. Run it, enjoy it and be happy with whatever time you come home in. Date of review: September 28, 2004