WHISKY and long-distance running – two friends have came up with the unique idea of The Dramathon after combining their passions.
More than 800 runners from all over the world will set off around Moray tomorrow.
And their reward for reaching the finishing line at Glenlivet Distillery will be six of their favourite drams.
The two friends behind the event are communication managers Ian King, who hails from Yorkshire, and Jon Dunderdale who grew up in Tain.
The pair both now live in France – Ian in Paris, Jon in Toulouse. However, they got to know Moray, and its distilleries, years ago when they used to bring groups of businesspeople up to the North-east for team-building exercises.
Ian said: "I like whisky a lot, but Jon is definitely the connoisseur between the two of us. I’m more the runner.
"We hit on the idea while we were having a few drams together. We then wrote to some of our favourite distilleries to see if they thought it was something they would like to get involved with. Thankfully, they did.
"That was just over three years ago; there’s been a lot of work gone in since then into organising this."
Glenfarclas, Glenlivet, Tamdhu, Balvenie are all supporting the event, as is the Tomatin distillery, south of Inverness.
Ian and Jon began appealing for entrants in January, and within two months all the places had sold out. Out of the 800 runners, a total of 150 are from abroad, with Sweden, the US, Holland and Germany all well represented.
They will be following the Speyside Way for the vast majority of the race, which means that no road closures will be required.
The full 26-mile marathon distance has attracted 250 entrants. They will set off at 10am from Glenfarclas Distillery in Ballindalloch. The half-marathon will start at 11am down the road at Tamdhu Distillery.
Finally, those participating in the 10km race will set off from the village of Aberlour at noon.
All the runners will finish at Glenlivet Distillery, where they will receive miniatures from the five distilleries, plus a bottle of Monkey Shoulder, which is a William Grant blend.
A ceilidh will also be held for them in the evening, with music by The Copper Dogs.
Jon said: "Quite frankly, we thought organising an event which brings whisky and running together was a wee bit mad but the enthusiasm has been amazing.
"In addition to the fun side, we wanted to bring visitors to the area outside the main tourist season and have an impact on local business. But we didn’t expect the whisky/running combination to take off quite so well."