Glencoe Marathon 2014

Just got back from a weekend in Scotland after finishing The Glencoe Marathon on Sunday. This was my second marathon my first being The Snowdon Marathon.

The whole race was off road uphill, downhill through a marsh, streams and rocky ground. It had everything. I did it with a good friend of mine who roped me into entering it a few months ago. I know the area from previous adventures, camping and kayaking etc.

The first 6 miles takes you up the beautiful Glencoe pass which is flanked either side by magnificent mountains. Then you go up “The Devils Staircase” which is not famous for it’s flat profile. A long drop down to a small village called Kinlochleven which is the 13 mile point and also the starting place for the half marathon runners. It’s also the place we stayed in over the weekend. Then it’s up again and I would say this is where it started to get really tough for me. At the 19 mile point I was in bits but thankfully there was a fuel station at the 20 mile point where I gorged on Bananas and Cheese (yep a cheeseboard). We then carried on through undulating rocky paths and into a wooded area which mercifully descended to the finish line. A great experience one which I will do again.

We finished and enjoyed a free hog roast roll.

Comments (2)

  • Running for the Pies

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    I loved the event – its become my favourite one I’ve done so far, and that hill out of Kinlochleven wiped me out – when I eventually got to the top (took me 25 mins for that mile) there was a group of around 10 of us all arriving within seconds of one another, all of us cursing it, blowing out of our arses from the walk up it and stopping to eat and drink on the rocks and collect our senses whilst savouring the view. Having said that its pretty amazing looking back across to the top of the hills on the other side of the valley and realising you’ve done the lot under your own steam.

    One runner was not so fortunate – I don’t know if you saw them but in the aid-station at the derelict croft there was a runner on the ground in the tent in a survival bag :( and a 4×4 ambulance crawled past me a few miles beyond that, I can only assume to pick them up… It made me realise that the location is remote and if you don’t respect the environment you can come a cropper quite easily if the temperature drops when the wind increases and the rain sets in.

    The stretch down from the top of the staircase to Kinlochleven was like running crack for me: a long downhill that’s ‘technical’ so demanded concentration on the choice of every step: I wanted it to never end! Even the hills that I hate with a passion did not seem so bad because of the views – that and the fact everyone around me seemed to find them just as tough.

    Everyone I met was incredibly friendly and seeing the gathered cheering spectators along the way at the aid stations was a terrific boost. I’m pretty sure I will be back for future runnings!

    Next summer there’s the inaugural Fort William trail mara… I’ve booked my ticket for that already :)

    Hope you’ve recovered and are now planning for your next adventure.

    Neil

  • Phil

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    I saw the casualty. I was In grind it out mode at that stage. It really is a stunning place. I’ve been for a few runs since and pleased to say I have no injuries.

    Fort William trail marathon? I might have to have a go. :)

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