Fortunately for the 400 taking part in last weekend's Fort William Marathon the weather proved more forgiving than it had been in previous weeks. This Highland event is now established as one of Scotland's top summer races and despite a tough course gets great reviews and many returning runners who praise the great organisation and spectacular course.
2018 saw a memorable staging of the race with both the men's and women's records being lowered. Denis Prikulis clocked 2:43:48 to shave six seconds from the course best while Kilbarchan AAC's Jennifer Rooney stopped her watch on 3:16:09 almost three minutes quicker than the previous record.
Post-race Jennifer said: "Really enjoyed the marathon. Thanks to all who organised and volunteered to make it such a great event." And first time marathoner Maureen Cadden relied on lots of water stops and jelly babies but was rewarded with a 'fabbie' medal.
Blogger Andy Kriebel enjoyed a return to Fort William. He reported on his website: "Having been there three years ago, I was familiar with the course. It's mostly trail running, but not too technical, with some road running mixed in.
"The first three miles are pretty much all uphill, so pacing is critical at the start. Go out too fast, and this course will eat you alive! When you finally hit some roads, it's mostly a long, steady downhill passing sheep and staring at Scotland's beauty.
"The most brutal part of the course is the last 4.5 miles, back up the hill to the starting point at Nevis Range. While brutal, at least you're back to enjoying the views, all the while trying to ignore the pain in your hips and quads."
Check out Andy's full race report on his website.
The 1-2-3 in the men's race was Denis Prikulis (2:43:48), Lewis Priest (3:01:10) and Elliot Gowland (3:08:30). And in the women's race, times were Jennifer Rooney (3:16:09), Tracie Trueman (3:20:25) and Janet Dickson (3:22:48).
The mid-point finisher was Robert Lawson (4:34:42) and the field closed on 7:14:34.
Image courtesy Craig Martin / Fort William Marathon