Dramathon is an annual marathon-ish distance race set in the whisky county of Speyside – which is home to more than half of Scotland’s whisky distilleries.
The race was originally announced in the same year as another alcohol fueled event – a wine run set in Glasgow https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/glasgow-set-host-10k-run-7169804
The wine run was banned. Government ministers, Doctors, and athletic officials all said running should not be combined with alcohol. But when the Whisky run was announced they all said “What an amazing idea! Love whisky! Make mine a double!”
It seems the only alcohol bad for you in Scotland is foreign alcohol.
I don’t drink Whisky. So I was attracted by the promise of a scenic mostly trail marathon.
My wife and brother had also signed up to do the race but both withdrew a few weeks beforehand. I’d have withdrawn too (as I didn’t fancy the long drive up and back) but I’d already paid for the B+B!
I recommended https://craigellachielodge.co.uk/ it was very nice.
The race starts at Glenfiddich distillery in Dufftown at 0900 by boarding a bus to Glenfarclas distillery so the race can actually start at 1000.
I wouldn’t get to Dufftown too early. There is plenty of parking near the start. I arrived with 5 minutes to go and easily made it onto a bus in time.
Once I got to Glenfarclas there was a 40 minute wait until the race began. I would have preferred to just start. It was very cold and I don’t like hanging about when I could be running instead.
The first part of the race was very scenic. I ran through the distillery grounds out into the countryside. The paths was mostly grass and mud. I settled into an easy pace. I didn’t want to go too fast.
There is a nice downhill section to the a road crossing. At the crossing I dibbed into a timer on one side and then dibbed out on the other. The clock stops between dibs.
It was then into a castle’s grounds. A women ahead of me said “This is beutiful”
A man replied “That is because this is a trail marathon. A trail marathon is much more scenic than a normal marathon…” he then spoke for 5 minutes at her as he mansplained marathons and running.
He finally asked if she did much running
She replied “Not much since I completed Celtman!” Celtman – the infamously difficult extreme triathlon which culminates in a marathon over two mountains.
He looked at her and said “I’ve not hear of that one.” and then went back to telling her more about his exploits!
Once I was out of the castle grounds there was some nice sections on a golf course, through some distilleries and out onto riverside paths.
My aim was to run for 18 miles or 3 hours. I was feeling good at the half point point. My time was just under 2 hours.
And then the race hit the Speyside way path. It was sooo boring. The rest of the race was not scenic. It was just long boring paths in amongst trees. Nothing to see by path and trees.
Thankfully I had a Crunchie choclate bar in pocket. That was the only thing that kept me going for the next 10k. I promised myself I’d eat it once I reached the 10k to go point.
At that point my cousin’s wife appeared and shouted “hey Iain.” I was surprised to see her but it turned out she had entered the 10k race. She asked if I was doing it too. I said I was doing the marathon. She seemed surprised by this. I must have looked very non marathon like ambling along with my Crunchie.
The last 10k was more boring trees and boring path. I checked my time and saw that I was going to easily get in before 4h 30min. Which was my pre race aim. I did just enough running to ensure I made it.
At the finish I received 8 miniature bottles of whisky. That’s Xmas presents sorted for 8 people!