Lochaber Marathon Route

All those hills yesterday got me thinking about the route of the Lochaber Marathon and what I was letting myself in for.  I hadn’t heard much about the elevation of the route – and only assumed, as it’s along a Loch that it would probably be sort of flat.

I did a wee search and found that the marathon has 600 places – of which around 350 turned up last year, and found this out about it too:

Running alongside Loch Eil the Lochaber Marathon has to be one of the most scenic races in the UK. It is also very flat and offers a good chance for a PB.

Sounds good!  I plotted a rough route of what I thought the Lochaber Marathon route would be, out on www.walkjogrun.co.uk which gives a rough elevation chart once you’ve saved the route.

All in all it looks ok.  I took the opportunity to take a look at some reviews on Runnersworld too.  It got some pretty good ratings so far:

And some comments from the 2009 marathon:

‘Slick organistion’

‘Road open to cars, no segregation,  dodging (slow moving) cars at points.  Lack of marshalling towards end’.

‘A fantastic marathon, excellent PB potential and beautiful highland scenery’.


‘Not a lot of support towards the end to keep first timers going’


‘Very low key and quiet marathon, away from the crowds, bliss’.


‘Cheeky undulations on this simple route with some good scenery. Plenty of water stations but plenty of traffic too, mind those swinging caravans!’

‘Not as flat as you might think, but harmless little undulations rather than any sustained hills.’

‘A relaxed, welcoming marathon in a beautiful setting.  Organisation was perfect: efficient but low key.’

‘The UKs best marathon. Great course, great organisation. Done it 10 times.’

‘Amazing scenery, bit of as bottle neck at the start and we were 2 abreast till around 3 miles with little oppertunity to get past other runners without dodging the traffic at points. Very friendly race, plenty water stations but beware the upward climb around 19 miles if a p.b is your goal. I did enjoy this race’


‘Excellent value for money, weather was unexpectantly hot got a bit sun-burned, the scenic view was excellent and the run was my 3rd attempt at the marathon and my best, I will be back for sure. Thanks to all who made event possible. For sure one of the best.’


‘Quite the antidote to the big city event; less fuss, less crowds, more open road, better air, fantastic scenery. Loved the fact there was no razzmatazz. The free cup of tea and cheese roll at the end seems to sum up the event perfectly.’

‘A friendly and well organised marathon set amongst stunning mountain scenery, with a route that is mostly flat, apart from a slight gradual hill in and out of Corpach, and a long downhill past Banavie that played havoc on sore legs and blistered feet on the way back(as a previous post has mentioned, the footpath here is quite uneven and potholed so you need to keep your wits about you when tired).

Sporadic but loud and enthusiastic support along the road from both tourists and locals. Drinks stations also sporadic and not quite where notes said they would be, and some energy drink / water stations had been amalgamated which caught me out slightly, so next year would make sure carried own drink, particularly sparse in mid-section of route, but lots of water at end.

Police presence and marshalling at busy junctions but very low key over rest of route, leading to some ‘interesting’ manoeuvres from holiday caravans / campervans / motor cyclists! Very busy with traffic in some places and then really quiet in others, so a good chance to take in the mountain and loch side scenery and fantastic views of Ben Nevis on the return section.

Another very hot year and no shade on the route probably added to the blistered feet, and route turned into strong wind for last 1.5m which made for tough going, but gave me a marathon pb by 6min, so definite potential on this course if it was a tad cooler, and overall a successful weekend, well organsised, with plenty of free tea / coffee and sandwiches at the end.’

‘A great local atmosphere, support from locals, famillies and friends coupled with the jaw-dropping mountainous scenery make for race with character.

The race is well organised, with regular sports drinks/bottled-water stops… and the sandwiches, biscuits, teas and coffees laid on afterwards – means that runners get good-value for money and are well nurished / hydrated. It may have been nice to have just one more energy drink stop in the second half of the race – but then taking a gel or two would do.

‘The route is well-marshalled however, as the race has a late’ish start of 11am – it means the busy tourist-route road that it is set one, is very busy with cars, campervands, motor cycles, cyclist – making running a little intimidating/frustrating at times…’

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3 Responses to Lochaber Marathon Route

  1. sniktrunning says:

    Great info post! Not long to go. Starting to get excited about it. I should really get my backside in gear and properly train though.

  2. Pingback: It’s nearly time for me to run the Lochaber Marathon! | Lorn Pearson's Training…

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