Baxters Loch Ness Marathon outscores Brazil World Cup as entry deadline approaches

Loch Ness

If you want to run the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon, you need to sign up before 1st July, to avoid disappointment.

The World Cup in Brazilmay be taking centre stage on the sporting scene at the moment, but this year's Baxters LochNessmarathon and festival of runninghas already attracted entries from more countries than the South American football extravaganza.  Runners of 33 different nationalities, including six Brazilians, will join competitors from each of the home countries for the big race on Sunday 28th September.


But if you want to join this cosmopolitan assembly for one of Scotland’s biggest and most popular sporting participation events, you'll have to get off your marks sharply as the entry deadline for guaranteed places is midnight on Tuesday 1st July.


After that date, entries will only be available for overseas runners, Scottishathletics members, members of affiliated UKrunning clubs, and through official charity Macmillan Cancer Care and other affiliate charities.


Race organiser Malcolm Sutherland is urging runners to sign up as quickly as possible to avoid disappointment. He said: “It is absolutely fantastic that our event is being supported by so many runners from all over the world who help make it a real carnival occasion. Overseas runners have a bit longer to submit entries, but for UKbased non-club runners the deadline is almost with us. So, if you don’t want to miss out, please submit your entry by 1st July.”


The Baxters Loch Ness marathon is the premier event on the race day programme but the festival also includes other attractive runs catering for a wide range of ages and levels of experience.


Sutherland explained: "We try to offer something for all sectors of the running community. In addition to the marathon we have the Baxters River Ness 10Km, including a Corporate Challenge for teams, the Baxters River Ness 5Km fun run, and the Wee Nessie children's run. More than 9,100 people entered our races in 2013 and it would be great if that total was exceeded this year. There’s also a huge number of people who turn out to watch the races, particularly at the finish in BughtParkwhere the EventVillageis located. As usual there will be plenty of activities at the Village to keep everyone entertained.”


A new feature of the marathon and 10Km this year is the Clan Challenge which has been introduced as part of the Homecoming Scotland 2014 celebrations.

It’s an idea which Sutherland believes will provide an additional element of colour and interest to the event.


He said: “We want to find out which clan is the most heavily represented in the races  so when people enter they are being invited to indicate which clan they represent and where they have come from. We will also be encouraging participants to wear some tartan in the races. The results of the 2014 Clan Challenge will be based on numbers of runners from each Clan who successfully complete either race.”


The marathon, now in its 13th year, will host the Scottish men’s and women’s championship races for the fourth year in a row, which should attract many of the country’s top performers. The £1,500 prize for the first man and woman is also expected to be a big incentive.


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