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Glen Coe Marathon

Length
42.5 Kms
Elevation gain
1241.1 m
Max elevation
547.4 m
Difficulty
*****
Rating
*****
Type
Point to point
Route id
550
Main road
1.5 Kms
Country road
2.2 Kms
Dirt road
14 Kms
Dirt path
16.8 Kms
Trail
8 Kms
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Directions to start point
Cost :
The cost for runners in 2019 was 35 GBP.
When :
The race is held in the first half of September.
Length:
42.5 Kms
Start :

Red Squirrel Camp site just outside the village of Glen Coe.

End :
At the Glen Nevis Centre
Style :
Point to point
Size :
300

307 people started the race in 2019 with 15 not finishing.

Elevation :
1241.1 m
Max Elevation :
547.4 m
Entry opens
Entry opens at the start of the year.
Website
RACE DESCRIPTION - Glen Coe Marathon
Getting In
This is generally an easy race to get into right up until a few days before the event. At the time of writing entry was through Entry Central.
Getting there
Most of the runners choose to stay in Fort William where the registration is and also the finish line. Fort William is easily accessible by road, but also has good rail links including direct to London Euston.
Buses in the morning take you out to the Red Squirrel camp site and the start of the marathon.
If you have a driver you can of course stay in the Red Squirrel camp site and they can pick you up at the finish line.
Expo
No expo jsut a simple number pick up along with tee shirts and pre booked bus tickets..
Pre-run
No pre runs but there are some nice routes at Fort William.
Race day
For us race day started with the 7:30am bus from Fort William to the camp site. Beautiful journey in the early morning and the whole experience is rather relaxing for a run day.
On arrival at the camp site there is free tea/coffe/water along with some eats. The race is small with about 300 people so there is a good atmosphere prior to the race. Toilets are available as part of the camp site and we only saw small queues.
This is one of the most pretty race start line you can get. The mountains in the background and a piper playing, you know you are in Scotland for sure.
At the start you are on the small tarred road which goes past the site used for Hagrids hut. A bit of Harry Potter for you. Shortly you cross the main road and are heading up the path beside the road and up through Glen Coe. This is really stunning and what a start.
At about
6.5 Kms
in the route goes across the road again and into a really boggy section of running. Some parts are a swamp while others are just difficult running. However, that ends at last about
11.7 Kms
in and you are on the West Highland Way and heading uphill to go tackle the Devils staircase. Most people are walking up this steep section and by
13 Kms
you have reached the top and all downhill into Kinlochleven. Well mostly down anyway.
The village just about marks the half way point and from here you start to merge with half marathon runners and walkers. Just outside the village is big climb number two and that is tough as by this time your are running lower on energy.
At about
27.5 Kms
the climb levels out and the dirt road ahead starts to undulate with long sections stretching out before your. At just over
33 Kms
you leave the dirt road and follow the West Highland Trail which is pretty narrow in places. This joins a forest road at just over the
38 Kms
mark and form this point it is all downhill.
With less than
1 Kms
to go the route comes off the dirt road and heads in through the trees towards the finish. A very short section goes along the pavement beside the main road before turning right and the finish line.
The finish
This is a small race and that's reflected at the finish. There are ample food choices along with coffee/water/teas and even a bar. This all costs money so make sure you bring some including if you want a massage.
If you are into your medals, this is not a good race for the bling. Very poor, but that is the worst of the day.
Pre booked buses leave once per hour, in our case a short 5 minute journey back into Fort William.
Where to stay
As mentioned you can stay at the camp site but Fort William does offer a good selection of places to stay.
Route directions
Kms
1
Start line at the Red squirrel camp site

0
2
First crossing of main road

2.1
3
Cross the main road

6.5
4
Start of the very boggy section

6.5
5
Water station

8.7
6
Out of the boggy section and now onto the climb

11.7
7
Towards the devils staircase

12.1
8
End of first big climb

13.3
9
Water station and half marathon start

21
10
Onto the pavement beside main road

21.1
11
Cross the road then start of big climb number two

21.8
12
End of the second big climb

27.6
13
Off the old military road onto the West highland Way

33.4
14
All down hill from here

38.4
15
Nearly there, in through the trees towards the finish

41.9
16
Onto the pavement beside the main road for a short section

42.3
17
Onto the finish line

42.4
18
The finsh line

42.5
Fort William and registration
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Fort William waterfront
Fort William and registration
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Back door entrance to registration
Fort William and registration
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Laid back registration hall
Start line
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Ready for the start
Start line
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Nerves starting to build
Start line
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Looking back at the start line
Start line
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Before the start inflatable is up. Beautiful
Start line
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From the camp site looking up the glen
Start line
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Camp site
Into Glen Coe
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Heading up Glen Coe
First big climb
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At devils staircase
First big climb
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Through the bogs, just before the climb
First big climb
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Most folks are walking by now
First big climb
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Flattening out
First big climb
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Looking back
First big climb
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Tired runners
Towards Kinlochleven, downhill
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Good running path
Towards Kinlochleven, downhill
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Stretching those legs
Out of Kinlochleven
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Start of the second big climb
Out of Kinlochleven
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This part feels really tough
Out of Kinlochleven
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Town of Kinlochleven
Old military road
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Long open stretches
Old military road
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Lots of stones
Old military road
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Road seems to go on forever
Back to a path
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Looking back at the run
Last few Kms of trail
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Watch out for the hill walkers
Last few Kms of trail
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Well built path descent
Last few Kms of trail
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Downhill
Last few Kms of trail
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Once down this section not far to go
Last few Kms of trail
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Approaching the forest road
The finish
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And those legs are still covered in mud from the boggy section
The finish
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Finish line, not too flashy
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