Shuffling Along . . . . .

Race Report “Loch Ness Marathon” 4th October 2009

by on Oct.05, 2009, under Race Reports

Medal 2009

Medal 2009

This was my 4th time running of the Baxters Loch Ness marathon. It’s one of my favourites due to the scenery & the fact I don’t much care for running city marathons. This year it was a bumper year for entries for the marathon with over 3,500 this led to a few problems with the logistics of the race. When I arrived to board the coach to go to the start of the race at 7:30 some of the coaches hadn’t turned up, this led to around 100 of us with no seats on the buses & having to stand up for over an hour it took to get to the start. The knock on effect of this was the race start had to be delayed from 10am until 10:50am. I suppose this is just an unavoidable consequence of the race becoming so popular over the past few years.

4 years medals

4 years medals

As an aside from this we couldn’t get a hotel any nearer to the start than 40 miles! So if your thinking of doing it next year book your hotel nice & early. Our total mileage including 3 trips to the hotel and back was 960 miles, was it worth it? Yes I love this race from the pipers at the start, the great support from the locals along the way and the stadium finish it’s got the lot. We arrived to register on Saturday and it poured down most of the day, even on the day of the race (Sunday) it rained most of the morning up until we got off the coach when it suddenly started sun shining and the sky became blue as if someone had ordered the weather. The race start had a great atmosphere about it with a nice relaxed feeling & people chatting, we even had a nice cup of coffee or tea to warm us up and plenty of port a loo’s for the weak of bladder. Again this year the race was chipped which I like, it’s nice to have an accurate time even if like me your doing it as part of training for another race. Just before the start the pipers walked down through the crowd of runners as we all clapped then, the Scots are a very patriotic people after all and what race would be complete without the pipers?

The start of the race was all down hill for maybe a mile with overall around 4,000 feet of decent throughout the course, as opposed to 3,260 feet of climbing.

Boleskine House

Boleskine House

aleister-crowley

Aleister Crowley

Most of the race is what you could describe as undulating with most of the early hills being short & sharp. One interesting aspect of the course for me is where it passes the house where Alistair Crowley (October 12, 1875 – December 1, 1947) once lived, known by the press of the day as “The wickedest man in the world.” he was said to have stood in Boleskine burial ground across the road from Boleskine house at night, looking out over the Loch. Boleskine house was later bought by Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page. The head stones in Boleskine burial ground hold some strange inscriptions. One headstone has the marks from three musket rounds the redcoats fired at a theif who stole a loaf of bread!
Around mile 16-18 you get a longer hill which is a nice change from the shorter hills of earlier on. Every small village we passed through had what seemed like every resident out to cheer us on our way which is always nice. This year we even had a Gorilla who kept showing up at various points blowing a horn and waving, don’t know what that was all about but it made a nice change! The course is particularly well served by the drinks sponsors Lucozade sports drinks and Highland Spring water with one or other at about every 2-3 miles throught the course. I didn’t take my usual Camelback this time as it isn’t really necessary to carry water, provided you get on with the drinks provided. The course has plenty of loo’s too which are clearly marked along the way.

As you near the finish of the race the course turns left over the Ness Bridge and round the back of the stadium, then into the finish of the race in the Queens Park Stadium. At the finish your handed your t-shirt, medal, bananas, a cake, and a very nice goody bag (see pictures). Every runner also gets a ticket for a meal at the end which includes soup and a roll and a jacket potato with chicken curry & some oat cakes! It’s a great end to a very good scenic race & I’ll certainly be back, all being well next year.
Early Bird UK club member entry by 1 May : £38
UK club member entry between 1 May – 14 September : £43

http://www.lochnessmarathon.com/

Medal & T-shirt 2009

Medal & T-shirt 2009


1 Comment for this entry

Leave a Reply

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!