Scotch whisky and a Highland fling (about: 2005)|
W. W. from Melbourne, Florida (9/8/05)
11-50 previous marathons
| 1 Moray Marathon
Elgin, County Moray, is in the heart of Scotland's malt whisky district. Distilleries are everywhere, including next door to race headquarters. The race organizers are very friendly. They treat visitors like celebrities. My wife (who also ran) and I wish there had been an expo or pasta party or some other chance to socialize with them more. The well-marked course is a big loop which starts next to the ruins of a medieval cathedral, wanders out to the coastal town of Burghead, follows the coast road to the harbor in Lossiemouth, then returns to Elgin. Winding country roads, quaint villages, wheat fields, shady lanes, cattle and sheep farms plus views of the North Sea kept the course interesting while gently rolling hills made it challenging. Although intersections were well protected, the entire course was open to traffic. The race marshalls insisted that we run on the left side (with our backs to traffic). I suppose the adrenaline shots I got when speeding cars passed within inches helped my pace some. We're glad we carried our own gel shots and electrolyte drink. The water points were every two miles, but only had water; no Gatorade, fruit or anything else. We also wish there had been some spectators. The area residents seemed unaware of the event. Although some locals complained about the heat (60's and 70's), after training in Florida, we thought anything under 80 degrees was great. In general, most participants were fast runners. Over 60 per cent finished under 4 hours. Then we learned why they ran so fast: the prizes were bottles of Scotch whisky!