Gillian said : I’d heard so much good stuff about the Aviemore Half that I booked up early and had been looking forward to it all year. …as October came round though, I was barely back from injury and not really Half-fit, but I so wanted to do it that I planned to do the distance in run/walk intervals.
It was all well organised – you get bussed out to the start, which is in the middle of the forest, and there’s a big barn to wait in once you’re there, with tea, coffee and digestive biscuits, and there’s enough facilities up there in the woods too, porta-loos, bag drop etc and a warm-up routine near to the start time. I think there was a piper too. It really is Half of two halves… The first half is on trail-like paths through beautiful forestry land & lochside scenery, really uplifting, this-is-why-I-run-type stuff (perfect for a comeback run!). The second half is rural road running, but again woodland or waterside, and you are well into the last mile before you’re hitting the outskirts of the town.
I had been told that this race was pre-dominantly downhill, but I was sceptical, sounded too good to be true! It doesn’t feel as though the journey out to the start takes you up to any great height, but right enough, once you’re running, the vast majority of the time you are looking down a track or road ahead of you that is gently sloping downhill…there is one (manageable, although I didn’t) hill around 3-4 miles, but other than that, it is all true about the downhill! The finish is on the grass in front of the big hotel and then there’s water, banana, shortbread & medal, which was fine.
I’d definitely recommend it, it’s just a pleasant run, with great PB potential with it being so flat/downhill. I went up with my pal for her first half, and I think it’s a wee beauty to do as your first one. The only thing to note really is to get your accommodation sorted well in advance as there are limited B&B’s in Aviemore, and some only take 2-night bookings on race weekend.