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Loch Ness Marathon – Leon Hicks shares why its his favourite marathon

It’s been a while since my last update and that’s due to not running many miles since my 100th in April. Probably only about 150 miles.

My journey to this year’s Loch Ness Marathon started at 7.55pm on Friday evening when I was collected and driven… yes driven… to Manchester where I stayed overnight and then continued our way up to the host town Inverness with a couple of pit stops. We arrived Saturday afternoon to collect our numbers.

Leon Loch Ness number

It has become a bit of a competition amongst our companions to see which one of us gets the lowest number, because the earlier you enter, the lower the number. Mine was 42 – a winning number.

We then set off for our hotel for the evening, so I had a nice early night ready for a nice early start.  

As you really need to be at the start for 6.45am, the alarm went off at 5am! Good job I’m an early riser. 

The best start to a marathon is Loch Ness when your taken by coach three quarters of the way around the Loch with awesome views. The start this year was great, no wind or rain, not too cold and after a long queue for the loo, we were off to the sound of bagpipes. 

Leon Loch Ness start

Downhill for the first four miles; what more could you ask for. ‘Hills’ I hear you say. Well there are a few hills but nothing that will kill you anyway.

On every marathon I think you learn something new. For me it was don’t forget your running pants, bring more than 1 pair of running socks as I had a hole on one and ended up with a large blister. This marathon also served as a reminder to ‘do some bloody training!’ Believe it or not running a lot of marathons and then stopping for a few months isn’t training. 

I love this marathon but I can’t put my finger on why… all I can say is that if I only ever did one marathon then this is the one I would pick. I’ve done it five times in the last six years. 

I did struggle for the last 2 miles but was happy to finish in 5:20. 

Then it was the nice 599 mile drive home… yes drive… getting home at 1:35am and getting up for work at 5am. Mad I tell you… mad. 

Was it worth it? Hell yes. Every time.

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