Two Tortoises travelled north for the inaugural Fort William Marathon. Anne Noble and Matt Pearce.What a great day it turned out to be! Whilst Southern Scotland got damp weather and England got battered by wind and rain, the Highlands got blessed with perfect running conditions! No wind, no rain, perfect temperature, sometimes cloudy, sometimes sunny! Great!
Now to the race! We all knew it was going to be hilly and multi-terrain……and up hill for the last 4 miles! Doh! So setting off slow and pacing yourself on the mid-section was the order of the day!
It starts and finishes at the Nevis Resort car park. The first third is up and down hills, mostly on tracks and occasionally on very narrow paths and trails….. With fantastic scenery!!!
The middle third comes after you turn at the Commandos Memorial, where the race joins a road for a welcome downhill stint to Spean Bridge. Then it’s along the canal towpath for a long flat section.
The final third sees you finish the flat on the canal, down Neptune’s Staircase (which was a brilliant bonus!! As I thought we were going to run UP it!!!) then down the hill towards Fort William….. Turn here and head for home! Just then you get the best view of the race…. Right there in front of you Ben Nevis North Face (4406ft) and Aonach Mor (4006ft) (cue…..English Boy getting goose pimples!!!). Then it’s uphill for the last 4 miles on roads/paths/tarmac cycle paths/trails and the last mile on mountain bike singletrack!!! (That was quite good fun) Glad I saved lots in the tank for the last 4 miles though!
If you fancy a change from flat road marathons…. You’ve gotta give this a go! I really enjoyed it! And no pressure for a fast time either!
Oh and the benefit of running a marathon slower than you would normally……. I can still walk downstairs after it!!
Matt Pearce 3:29:37 23rd position & 10th male vet
Anne Noble 4.25.58 145th position & 3rd female senior vet
Did I mention the goody bag?…… You also get a wee dram for your efforts!!!