Champion vows to return while overseas visitors hope to spot Nessie and Outlander star

Taurus Ely

Tarus Elly (handicap -2.7) was an impressive winner of the top men’s prize in last year’s Baxters Loch Ness marathon and the Lancashire-based athlete has vowed to return to defend his title. But anyone who wants to be sure of joining him in the starting line-up needs to get off their marks  quickly as the countdown is on towards the midnight 1st July deadline for guaranteed places in Scotland’s most cosmopolitan running event.

After that date, entries will only be available for overseas runners, Scottishathletics members, members of affiliated UKrunning clubs, overseas runners, and through official charity Macmillan Cancer Care and other affiliate charities for the race which takes place  on Sunday 25th September.


Elly, who was born in Kenya and now lives in Hyde, has an impressive record in the Baxters Loch Ness marathon, winning in 2013 and 2015 as well as finishing third in 2014. He already has this year’s date pencilled in his diary. He said: “I would love to come and defend my title. To be honest I love this race. It is my favourite marathon of all time. It means so much to me as it was my first ever marathon in 2013 and I won it.”





Elly is, so far, the only Kenyan signed up, but runners of 40 other nationalities, in addition to Brits, have already entered. Included among them are

American running sisters Rebecca and Lexy Quandt who admit their objectives are perhaps slightly different from those of Elly.


Rebecca, explained why she is making the long journey from her home in McMinnville, Oregan, to Loch Ness, saying: “I watch Outlander and I want to meet Sam Heughan, one of the stars of the show.” Her sister Lexy, a resident of Omaha, Nebraska, suggested they would also be looking for another legendary Highland character. She said: “There’s a monster in the loch and we plan to find it. I’m also looking forward to hearing all the Scottish accents.”


More seriously, Rebecca admits the lure of experiencing a run along the shores of the loch, taking in the autumn colours and enjoying the spectacular scenery, is a big incentive. She said: “The route winds along Loch Ness and is reported to be absolutely stunning. A trip here has been on my bucket list for years and this will be our first runs outside of North America.”


Lexy is the more experienced marathon runner within the Qaundt family, having completed 12 races all over the USAand one in Canada. Rebecca confesses to being less of a runner, having completed just one marathon and two-thirds of another (“I’ll tell you the story about that one some time”), but has completed 10 half marathons.  They are both hugely excited about their visit.

Race Director Malcolm Sutherland is delighted that runners from all around the world, and of all levels of experience and ability, choose to come to the Baxters Loch Ness marathon for all sorts of reasons. He said:”It’s fantastic that athletes of the calibre of Tarus enjoy our race so much that he wants to return year after year. It is also great that folk like the Quandt sisters are prepared to travel so far to experience everything that the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and the area has to offer.”


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 added: "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.


“In addition to the thousands of runners who take part, there’s also a huge number of people who turn out to watch the races, particularly at the finish in BughtParkwhere the Event Village is located. As usual there will be plenty of activities at the Village to keep everyone entertained.”




Guaranteed entry for the marathon is available until 1 July, with charity, club and overseas places available until 5th September 2016.The marathon is open to runners aged 18 and over on day of race.  This event is not suitable for wheelchair entrants.

Guaranteed entry for all the other races is open until 5th September 2016.