Scottish Marathons – how many marathons are run in Scotland?

Shaun Roberts

Most web pages are set up to give out information, but this one was set up to ask for the answer to what I thought was a straightforward question: how many Scottish marathons are there?

I knew of five, initially, and set out to run them all … and got as far as doing three of them. However, in 2012 the number of Scottish Marathons went through the roof. I had thought eight was the latest, but another couple of updates came in, as follows, with the result that I’ve bitten the bullet and decided not to pursue this ever-lengthening list, which as at the end of 2012, seems to stand at eleven races.


Final 2012 Updates:

Tom Matko writes:

March Meadows Edinburgh
April Lochaber
May Cape Wrath
May Edinburgh 
June Strathearn
July Dundee
Sept Moray
Sept Perthshire Highland
Oct Loch Ness 
Oct Glencoe
Sept Shetland Hairst

11 Marathons in 2012 in Scotland

“I have run: Edinburgh, Lochaber, Moray, Loch Ness, Cape Wrath.
I was the fastest person in 2010 to complete 4 of these in 3.22 pace.”


Here’s a link for the Shetland one, courtesy of Carol Jones:

  • The Shetland ‘Hairst’ Marathon on 23rd September, 2012.

… and the extra two:

… but that’s it from me on Scottish Marathons … if you’re having a go, good luck, and enjoy!


Early 2012 Update: It looks like the number of Scottish Marathons is about to go up to eight, with two new marathons being set up in Perthshire, and the Dundee Running Adventure Marathon possibly being resurrected (see note at bottom of page: last run in 2008). More details to follow on this page. Meanwhile here are the two Perth event websites:<

… and here’s the Dundee one:

  • The Dundee Running Adventure Marathon on the 29th of July, 2012.

Edinburgh Marathon
Location:
Edinburgh
Date:
May
Website:
www.edinburgh-marathon.com
Reports:
2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
Recent Strider Times:
2011 	James Garland  	 	3:12:06
2011 	Keri Pearson 	 	3:37:34
2011 	Andrew Thompson		3:49:44
2011 	Kathryn Sygrove 	3:53:54
2011 	Maggie Thompson	 	5:38:08
2011 	Susan Jennings 	 	5:52:06
2010 	Anna Seeley  	 	3:47:18
2010 	Andrew Thompson		4:06:53
2010 	Phil Owen 		4:25:55
2010 	Margaret Thompson 	5:13:19
2009 	Shaun Roberts  	 	3:17:12
2009 	Dougie Nisbet 		4:08:21
2009 	Stephanie Barlow 	4:21:26
2009 	Dave Robson 		5:20:21
2008  	Phil Owen		4:36:39
2008 	Dougie Nisbet 		4:41:12
2008 	Margaret Thompson	5:02:05
2008 	Leena Leinonen-Dooley	5:17:18
2007  	Fiona Shenton	  	3:14:17
Notes:
Starts in the city centre before taking in Holyrood Park, Leith Links and Portobello Promenade, then through East Lothian before a grandstand finish in Musselburgh Racecourse. The course has an overall elevation drop of 40 metres, mainly lost over the first six miles. Shambolically ran out of water in 2009, due to theft – shouldn’t happen again. Shuttle bus back to town – also a shambles in 2009. 15,000 entrants expected in 2010. Rated the fastest marathon in the UK by Runners World magazine.

Lochaber Marathon
Location:
Fort William
Date:
April
Website:
www.lochaberac.co.uk
Reports:
2008 2007
Recent Strider Times:
	
2009 	Phil Owen   	 	4:28:07
2008 	Dave Robson 		4:26:25
2007 	Shaun Roberts 		3:26:23
Notes:
Out and back course from Fort William on the A830 along the northern bank of Loch Eil. Largely flat, though a bit of a bump at three miles seems to turn into something much bigger on the way back! Not closed to traffic, but there’s not much about. 350 ran in 2009, so it’s quite a low-key event, but very hospitable, with friendly prize-giving ceremonies in the Nevis Centre afterwards.

Loch Ness Marathon
Location:
Inverness
Date:
October
Website:
www.lochnessmarathon.com
Reports:
2011 2010 2009
Recent Strider Times:
2011    Fiona Shenton		3:22:32
2011    Dougie Nisbet		4:17:02
2010    Dougie Nisbet	  	4:03:33	
2009	Andrew Thompson		3:53:56
2009 	Dougie Nisbet	  	4:03:31
2009 	Phil Owen		4:16:43
2005 	Jean Gillespie   	4:10:20
2005 	Jane Nathan 		4:10:21
2005 	Clare Outterside 	4:52:39
2005 	Mary Gibson 		4:52:40
Notes:
Point-to-point route through stunning Highland scenery, along the south-eastern shores of Loch Ness, and then across the River Ness to finish in Inverness Queens Park Stadium – be prepared to run past the stadium, though, and come at it again from the other side! All runners transported by bus to the start, departs at 08.00. Shambolic lack of loos on the buses in 2009 – see Dougie’s report! Largely downhill for the first nine miles – hills to get over between 18 and 22 miles. 2,200 finished in 2009. Well-rated event.

Cape Wrath Challenge
Location:
Durness, Cape Wrath
Date:
May
Website:
www.capewrathchallenge.co.uk
Reports:
2011
Recent Strider Times:
2011    Shaun Roberts       3:24:23 *
                   * Landside course.
Notes:
The Cape Wrath Challenge is actually a week-long series of events – 5 days of runs of varying lengths and different degrees of endurance, culminating in an “extremely challenging” final marathon including a climb of over 2,415 feet. Out and back route to Cape Wrath lighthouse, 22 miles then a ferry ride and a final 4.2 mile run-in. The organisers claim: “This could be regarded as the toughest Marathon in the UK”. Runners start in batches of 20 seeded on expected times. Well-supported by locals, with a social program through the week which includes a welcome gathering, a quiz night, Scottish dancing practice, a barbecue on the beach and a final Ceilidh on the Saturday night.

Moray Marathon
Location:
Elgin
Date:
September
Website:
www.moraymarathon.com
Reports:
2011
Recent Strider Times:
2011    Dave Robson             4:37:27

Notes:
Undulating clockwise circuit starting in Elgin – out to Burghead on the coast, along to Lossiemouth and back inland to finish in Cooper Park with the 13th century Elgin Cathedral forming a dramatic backdrop. Passes through woodlands, coastal areas, towns and villages. 250 finished in 2009. Low-key but well-rated event.

Some history:

The Dundee Running Adventure Marathon‘s inaugural running took place in 2008, but this has just been cancelled for 2009. Apparently it is intended to be on again in 2010 (watch this space), but there weren’t enough entries for it to go ahead this year. More details in this news article, and the organiser’s website is here.[25.09.09]
Thanks to Colin for this.

Also, I’ve found references to two more Scottish Marathons online:

  • The Callanish Stones Marathon; and,
  • The North Harris Marathon.

… with contacts to be found on the Stornoway Running and Athletic Club website. But I can’t tell from the info on there whether these two are now defunct or not. Anyone got any info? I’ve emailed the club …

Update from Dianne MacLennan of the North Harris trust:

I’m sorry but at the moment there are no future plans for these marathons.[9.07.09]

Useful update from John McDonald of Scottish Athletics:

A quick trawl through my Fixtures Database brings up Edinburgh; Lochaber; Moray; Loch Ness and, as you say, the Marathon within the Cape Wrath Series. North Harris Trust organised their Marathon on 26 May 2008 and, apart from them paying levies of £40, I haven’t heard from them further. Dumfries have had a bi-annual Marathon which would be due in March 2010, however I have just spoken to the Dumfries Running Club Secretary and so far no planning has been done for a Dumfries Marathon in 2010 – mind you they just had their local Half Marathon at the weekend so no doubt their minds have been elsewhere. Also I haven’t heard from the Callanish Stones event in quite a while so I reckon that is defunct. Trust this helps.
Regards John.[30.09.09]