Inaugural Dramathon is toasted by runners from all over Europe and America

A shared loved of whisky and long-distance running has led to the creation of a brand new event for Scotland – the Dramathon!

Friends Ian King and Jon Dunderdale came up with the concept, and it proved to be a successful inaugural event.

A total of 800 runners took part – with a large number of them coming from overseas.

Jon said: ‘I’m a big single malt fan who runs a bit and Ian runs a lot and drinks the odd single malt.

At the starting line for the Dramathon – pictures by Andy Upton

‘Although we’re both originally from Scotland, myself from Tain and Ian from Edinburgh, we both now live in France – Ian in Paris, myself in Toulouse.

‘We hit on the idea while we were having a few drams together. The idea is based on Le Marathon du Médoc in France where people run through the vineyards tasting wine. We wanted to do the same thing with single malt.

‘We spoke to George Grant, the sales director at Glenfarclas and he was immediately enthusiatic about the idea, so we had our start point. We then spoke to Glenfiddich who were equally positive so we also had a finish line.

And they’re off – runners at the Dramathon

‘Tamdhu is pretty much half way between the two and they agreed to host the half marathon. Ballindalloch estates were kind enough to open up the estate for us and let the runners cross the golf course.

‘We then partnered with Durty Events who have an amazing track record of delivering iconic events in Scotland such as Celtman.’

Runners pass the Ballindalloch Distillery during the Dramathon

Glenfarclas, Glenlivet, Tamdhu, Balvenie all supported the event, as did the Tomatin distillery, south of Inverness.

Jon continued: ‘We opened entries in January and within two months all the places had sold out. Out of the 800 runners, a total of 150 were from abroad, with the US, Holland, Germany and especially Sweden, all well represented.

Runners crossing the Dramathon finishing line

‘Our biggest source of pride is the fact that 50 per cent of the entrants were female which is unheard of for this type of event. Many runners were running for charities, notably Epilespy Scotland and MND Scotland.’

The route followed the Speyside Way for the vast majority of the race.

All the runners finished at Glenfiddich Distillery, where they received miniatures depending on the distance they ran – six for the full, four for the half and three for the 10K.

Male winners at the Dramathon

Jon added: ‘We were blown away by the enthusiasm but as it was the inaugural event we kept the numbers small.

‘We could have easily doubled the number so we’ll be expanding entries next year.’

The top female winners at the Dramathon