A Dram fine race. Are you in?
The first Dramathon takes place this year on Speyside. With a choice of 10k, half-marathon and full marathon and the promise of plenty of whisky at the end, this is an attractive idea. I found out more and wrote about it in my Sunday Mail column.
Fancy a Dramathon?
A new Scottish event this autumn will combine whisky, landscape and running.
The Dramathon invites participants to run a marathon from Glenfarclas Distillery to Glenfiddich Distillery on the long-distance trail, the Speyside Way.
During the 26.2 miles, runners pass several other distilleries and collect stamps for six drams of whisky, which they will receive at the finishing line.
The Dramathon, taking place for the first time on October 21, can also be run as a four-person relay, while there are two other distances, a half-marathon and 10k.
The event, which is also being billed as the Speyside Single Malt Marathon, is the brainchild of two whisky loving runners, Jon Dunderdale and Ian King.
You will not be surprised to discover that it was dreamt up by the friends over a dram or two.
Jon said: “I grew up in the Scottish Highlands and Ian in Edinburgh but with regular trips north.
“We both then moved to France individually and as keen runners we came across one of France’s most famous events, Le Marathon du Medoc.
“This combines wine and a marathon and we thought, why not go one better and create something iconic in Scotland, but with whisky?
“Scotland has amazing scenery, fantastic whisky and many enthusiastic runners.”
However, Jon is keen to point out that the Dramathon differs from the Medoc Marathon in one important way.
He said: “While Medoc participants drink wine as they run, Dramathon runners will not drink whisky until after the race.
“Instead, runners will collect stamps as they pass the various distilleries and these stamps will each earn a whisky miniature to be enjoyed later on.”
For the marathon entrants – and relay teams – the route starts at Glenfarclas Distillery, in Ballindalloch, Banffshire.
It is poignant, given the surrounding scenery, that Glenfarclas translates as “valley of the green grass”.
The course is fairly flat and largely follows the old railway line of the Speyside Way.
The Spey Valley will be spectacular thanks to the vibrant colours of a Scottish autumn.
Runners will head north-east from Glenfarclas, passing Cragganmore Distillery, then cross the River Spey and run past Tamdhu Distillery and Knockando Distillery.
Next is the new Dalmunach Distillery, which has won awards for its architecture, then Aberlour and Balvenie before the finish at Glenfiddich Distillery.
Glenfiddich, which translates as “valley of the deer”, is a fitting end to a race that celebrates the Scottish environment.
There’s a total of six stamps to collect in return for six whisky miniatures.
The half marathon course starts near Tamdhu Distillery and then follows the marathon route to Glenfiddich.
The 10k starts at Aberlour and to reach Glenfiddich, via Balvenie.
Jon and Ian have partnered with Paul McGreal, of Durty Events, to run the Dramathon.
Paul is the mastermind of many adventure races in Scotland, including The Heb Challenge.
Paul said: “As soon as Jon and Ian approached me I knew I wanted to be involved.
“It’s such a strong idea and such an obvious fit for runners who love whisky and Scotland. I have a feeling this event could become massive.”
The Dramathon is already proving popular and entries so far reveal a varied mix of runners, from ultra runners to first timers, as well as a balance of men and women.
Jon added: “The field is multi-national, too, with entries so far from Scotland, the rest of the UK and also France, Finland and Slovenia.
“We are very confident the race will be full with 500 runners taking part .
“We think he Dramathon is beautifully structured and well-paced with a great finish. Just like a Speyside malt in fact!”
To find out more see thedramathon.com