The Loch Leven Half Marathon must have one of the worst starting locations in Scotland.
Kinross is a beautiful victorian town in Fife with large mansions, open fields and plenty of trees and hedges. It is the kind of town that people want to retire in. Rich people. Homes are not cheap here!
However, for the start of the race, you have to take a right at the bottom of the High Street and start beside an industrial unit and a large metal fence. No trees. No hedges. No homes thinking of applying for Scotland’s Home of the Year. Instead, you start beside a crane and a log splitter. It’s bizarre as the rest of the route is one of Scotland’s best half marathon routes as you run around Loch Leven with views stretching miles in each direction. It’s one of my favourites.
Perhaps to make up for the start line, the Loch Leven Half Marathon must also be one of the easiest half marathon loops in Scotland. You start beside metal sheds. You immediately turn right and then you only have to turn left three times after that before you’re back at the start. That’s one turn every four miles. You can’t get easier than that without running along the M8 to Edinburgh.
I was looking forward to the race but was conscious that my preparation had been poor. I’d ran 17 miles the previous week and I’d ran some longer runs during the week than I would have normally run in the week before a race. My legs felt heavy before I’d even left the industrial estate.
However, even with heavy legs, I still managed to run faster than Iain TwinBikeRun, which is all that counts because, unless you’re running for a record, than you’re running to beat your competitors and I ran faster than mine! 🙂
- 100% tarmac.
- Open roads but with the number of people running, cars will crawl along to offer you a safe run. The second half of the route is much quieter.
- Three miles of a steady climb, three miles of downhill and undulating, one mile straight down a hill, a few hundred metres straight back up one; undulating until a flat finish (except for one very short climb).