John Hawryluk

Member since Jun 2017

My Completed Races

Kielder Dark Sky 10km Trail Run
Inverness Half Marathon
Cancer Research Tough 10 - Edinburgh
Auchterarder Half Marathon
Alloa Half Marathon

My Latest Reviews

Completed as a first timer in 2018


Race in the sun

OPAP Limassol Marathon GSO

Limassol was never on the radar as a potential race choice until they advertised the UKRunchat package.  It was appealing because everything was organised for a set fee and it was a race with guaranteed weather - all positives in my book.

I opted to run the marathon as a prep race for London as it was flat and would have the added challenge of running in the heat.  The course was an out and back towards the New Port and then up to the Amathus Ruins before returning back to Malos where the finish area was.  The first half of the race wasn’t the most exciting, it was very industrial and no support on the course.  Coming back past Molos where the biggest chunk of the crowd was before disappearing off up the course towards the ruins.  Overall it’s a flat course, with sections especially around mile 18/19/20 with hills, the biggest issue was the heat quad lack of wind especially in the 2nd half of the race. 

The package option was great, it allowed us to meet other runners from the UK.  The hotel was booked and transfers from airport, to the start line etc were all take care of.

LImassol is still a relatively new event, it’s still build in numbers and growing every year.  If you are looking to mix a bit of a holiday with a race then this is for you.  On the right day it is a definite PB course.  This really is #MoreThanARace.

Posted on 19.03.18

Completed in 2018


Great PB course

Inverness is a fantastic course to get a PB on, it's flat and on a good day has very little wind.  The course goes out along the river ness and into the residential area of the city although great support from the locals.  The course has 3 water stations which is enough for a HM and it is very well signposted.  Inverness HM is great as a marathon warm up.  

Read my full review at

Posted on 13.03.18

Completed in 2018


Great Trail race, very well organised

Kielder Dark Skys 10k is the perfect way to start the New Year with a test. It's off-road, it's 10k and it's at night, I entered this race becuase I wanted a different challenge in the middle of Marathon Training and it didn't disappoint.

The race starts at Kielder Castle and heads out into the forest along a track which is 50:50 forest track and softer trail, just after 1k the race slowed down as we approaced a steeper single file piece of trail but it was great that everyone supported eachn other.  The course continues to wind up into the forest before droping down back towards the castle at 2.5k and heading out along the river.  The 2nd half of the course was flat(ish) until around 6k where it had a challenging incline before levelling out for an enjoyable run along some forest track.  At the higher ground we were treated to a light dusting of snow which added some fun to the race.  After 8k the course sharp declines through a challenging forest section before heading back to the castle.

Overall this was a fantastic race, I would definitely do it again although it is a long way to travel from Edinburgh for a 10k.  There aren't any on course water stations but they aren't really needed as it was so cold.  Marshalls were very supportive and helpful with shining torches at difficult areas and juctions.  The atmosphere around the castle was very supportive and the café stayed open late so was great to grab dinner before the drive North.

High Terrain Events run a series of trail events, check them out at

Posted on 07.01.18

Completed as a first timer in 2017


Fantastic Trail Race

This was my first trail race and it was a great run in the Pentlands.  It was a course that had evrything, changing terrain, puddles, mud, grass, paths - excellent for a first time trail runner.

The route starts on a 45° incline which everyone seemed to find tough, the rest of the course follows the top of the Pentlands before heading down towards Glencourse Reservoir which is a great downhill section. The organisers aptly named the climb back up the hill 'The Calf Burner' and burn the calfs it definitely did do.  The Water Station is located just after 6km which I felt was a bit too far but managed through and the downhill decent from 7km was awesome as we headed back towards Bonaly Outdoor Centre. 

Cancer Research have a great reputation for their Race of Life events and although #Tough10 is a newer event on the calendar I can see it becoming a firm favourite of runners.  It’s an event that provides a different type of challenge, is well organised and opens up trail running to more people than the more competitive events do.  I would definitely recommend #Tough10 to runners looking to try their hand at trail racing or the seasoned pro looking for a PB.  Check out for a list of their other Tough10 events. 

Posted on 05.11.17

Completed as a first timer in 2017


Highlight of Scottish Calendar

Last year I did the 10k and this year I booked the Great Run Scottish Season Pass which was great value.

It's a great course and a true city Half Marathon which takes in some of the key sights of Glasgow including Bellahouston & Pollock Parks, Finnieston Crane, St Vincent Street, Hydro Arena and Glasgow Green.

It was wet for the race which made the course slippy especially around the parks beause of the Autumn Leaves.  The water stations are well stocked although this season Great Run have stopped giving out gels.  Due to the weather, local support was lacking where it has been busy in previous years.

It is a PB potential course on the right day, well worth doing and one of the best races on the Scottish Athletics Calendar.

Posted on 01.10.17

Completed as a first timer in 2017


Great city marathon, PB Potential

Berlin Marathon

I’ve always dreamed of running my first major marathon and running a sub 4 (more a dream rather than a realistic though - Berlin was that place to satisfy both aspirations.

Overall rom start to finish Berlin Marathon is a fantastic race and really well organised, you get the feeling this is a major city marathon.  There’s a number of aspects to race weekend, I’ve tried to split it down below.

Expo and Bib pick up

I arrived in Berlin on Tuesday and headed to the expo after checking into my hotel.  It’s about a 30min walk from the start line of 15/20mins by U-Train.  When I got there it was less than 10minutes to go through and collect my number, wristband and bag of goodies but I believe Friday/Saturday was a lot busier but waiting times still less than 30mins.  As with any expo it is a way for the organisers to get you to spend ££££ with the sponsors and other companies however it had a great buzz around the place and BMW were giving everyone a gift personalised with their name and bib number.  The expo is also where you can buy official merchandise but get in early as daily stock does sell quickly.

Race Day

The race starts at 9:15am, for a relaxed race start it’s recommended you are at the race village for c. 7:30 but if you are in the final wave you have some extra time.  

The course starts off in front of the Brandenburg and heads toward the victory column, the road is wide and perfect running space.  Just after 2KM the road narrows as the route turns left, this was where a few shoes were lost and heels clipped - you may be best to jump onto the pavement so you have some additional space.  The route follows some impressive landmarks but if you heading for a time you won’t neccesarily notice them.  The finish down the Brandenburg-Tor is impressive, well worth enjoying the moment.

The only let down is the water and electrolyte stations as they use cups rather bottles, however they do have fruit stations stocked with apples and bananas.

Post Race

Unfortunately unlike races in the UK you have to buy your race tshirt (remember to pre-order with race entry) however the medal is great quality and one you will definitely cherish for life.  In the event village it’s very easy to find baggage and everything is well signposted.  Even better is that you get a free pint of Erdinger albeit Alkoholfrei but you’ve definitely earned it when you cross the line.

I would recommend everyone to enter Berlin especially if chasing a PB, I went sub 4 which was 26mins off my PB.  

Good luck, go #BeatBerlin42.

Posted on 25.09.17

Completed as a first timer in 2017


Fantastic Race, Great First Running, Unique Location

What a race, if anyone said that this was the first time the organisers had hosted this race I would have doubted them.

- Pre-Race sign up was seamless
- Pre-Race communication was spot on, told us everything we needed an more
- Venue was stunning, it was a priviledge running around Gleneagles Golf Course
- The route was flat for most of the way with a cheeky uphill after mile 8
- Goody bag was top notch, not every race gives you beer - the organisers went to every length to stock it with useful stuff (not leaflets)
- Volunteers were all really positive and it was great to have our names called out as we crossed the finish line

Cheers (with a bottle of Colonsay) for a great race.  Hope to be back next year.

Posted on 18.09.17

Completed as a first timer in 2017


Amazing race, Amazing course and a definite must do for locals

This was my first Marathon and safe to say I have fallen in love with Marathon Running.

Starting in Blair Drummond Safari Park beside the Giraffes was pretty special and the support through Doune, Bridge of Allan, Dunblane and Stirling University was 100%.  I was aprehensive about the 2.5 loops of stirling but they weren't as bad as expected, the worst section was passing through the underpass three times.  

As with any race, the goody bag was filled with leaflets but I haven't held a medal so tightly before.  If your Local (or travelling from afar) this is a race to definitely consider, the great run name is a mark of reliability and will deliver every time.

Posted on 17.07.17

Great race, unique location

I run the 10k route.

Not often you get to run in the grounds of a royal castle.  The race starts in front of Balmoral Castle and goes out for c. 3km before hitting 'The Hill' soon know your on the is a 45 degree angle for about 2km.  You know your at the top when you hear the Bagpipe player.  It's  a gentle 5km run down hill through the forest back into the castle forecourt to the finish.  About 4km you can see the finish line as you run along the top road, the atmosphere is electric.

Support is only around the Castle as it's difficult to get to other parts of the course but the marshalls cheer every runner.   There's no good bag filled with leaflets etc but the t-shirt and medal each runner gets is worth it.

Posted on 17.07.17

Completed as a first timer in 2015


Nothing special more a money making machine

EMF is the flagship event in Edinburgh but it's unfortunate GSI (organisers) are only worried about the money.  Run this event a few times and they have run out of medals/goody bags before the final runner and the finishers tshirt is generic i.e. doen't have the distance you run printed on it.

The route isn't special, theres c. 10 other races that use the same 5k/10k route but the other races you will get a better experience for your money.

A race possibly to do becuase it's 'Edinburgh' but nothing special and one I'm not rushing to do again.

Posted on 16.07.17

Completed as a first timer in 2017


A race that is 100% within Edinburgh

Edinburgh Marathon is the flagship Edinburgh race but it goes out of Edinburgh within the first 3mi.  The Great Edinburgh Run is 100% within the city and passes some amazing sites across the city centre.  The local support is amazing and everyone gets behind it.

As with any Great Run events it is expertly organised and goes without a blip.

Posted on 16.07.17

Completed in 2016


Fantastic race, must do bucket list event

GNR is a fantastic race, always expertly organised and the ballot seems to be fair.  This race should be on everyone's bucketlist, it's pretty special running over the tyne bridge and then coming down the hill onto South Shields sea front.

Posted on 16.07.17

Completed as a first timer in 2017


Enjoyable Marathon warm up race

This course was a great warm-up race a few weeks before my first marathon.  It could have done with an extra water station purely because of the heat.  Safety overlal was well marshalled however at one point a taxi jumped the police barrier and veered left to avoid a car nearly taking out runners.

Posted on 05.06.17

Completed in 2017


Great start to the Year

Great Winter Run is a fantastic way to kick start the year.  You are always guaranteed a great race with Great Run Company.-

Posted on 05.06.17