Russell said : The first Sunday in September can mean only one thing, a return to Elgin for a second ride on the Moray Marathon rollercoaster. In true tcheuchter tradition the Moray Marathon is quiet and unassuming, rural and sometimes hard to understand but shake it hard enough and you might be surprised to learn of it’s ‘Scotland’s oldest running marathon’ status.
The itinerary was simple (and somewhat similar to the previous year albeit without a tortuous night in the aptly named Thunderton Hostel) – train up on Saturday, a night at the cheapest B&B in town, run, train homeward straight after.
Parts 1 and 2 of the itinerary ticked I soon found myself gathered with a sparse throng of runners (151 if counting is your game) on the start line. The klaxon sounded and the colourfully clad running conga began dancing its way out of Elgin towards the Moray Firth. A route of a some undulations, three spectators, many fields of varying crops, thirty or so trees, a tarmac road, a fanciful cloud of flies, the occasional flash of sun and a hearty breeze. After 25 miles of unmemorably spectacular scenery all thoughts are soon usurped upon sight of the 13th century Elgin cathedral, a gothic masterpiece and more importantly only 500m from the inflatable finish line.
A lope to the line in 3hr32.46, bag collected, dash to the train station for the journey home and gleeful thoughts of a return next year to complete the hat-trick.