Loch Ness to host Scottish Marathon Championships for fourth year in a row

Loch Ness

Scottish championship medals will once again be up for grabs in the Baxters Loch Ness marathon which this year takes place on 28th September.

It’s the fourth year in a row that the Highland event has been awarded this prestigious status and Race Director Malcolm Sutherland is delighted with the decision which, he believes, might inspire some of the country’s Commonwealth Games representatives to take part.


He said: “This is a major boost for the race and we are delighted we are hosting the championships again. We don’t know yet who will be representing Scotland in this summer’s Commonwealth Games, but it would be wonderful to think that some of the Scottish runners who compete in Glasgow might be tempted to come to Loch Ness later in the season to battle for the Scottish men’s and women’s titles. Perhaps runners from other Commonwealth countries might want to sample our race as well.”


“With national medals at stake, combined with an attractive cash prize purse, topped by £1,500 awards for the first man and woman, I am sure we will once again attract a high calibre field.


“Last year’s race had a real cosmopolitan feel to it with Salford-based Kenyan Tarus Elly (handicap -2.8) winning the men’s prize ahead of Edinburgh-based Polish athlete Petr Gierjatowicz, while Fife AC’s Megan Crawford (handicap 2.3), making her marathon debut, won the women’s contest in a record time of 2hrs 46min 377secs from Romania Alina Nituleasa.


“Runners came from all over the UK and from more than 30 overseas countries to take part. It was a wonderful occasion and we are hoping for more of the same this year.”



Although the marathon is the premier event, the full race day programme also includes shorter runs catering for a wide range of ages and interests. It’s a true festival of running which generates a tremendous spirit amongst not only those taking part, but also the thousands of spectators who support the runners.


Sutherland said: "There is something for just about everyone as we also have the Baxters River Ness 10K, a Corporate Challenge for teams, and a 5K as well as the Wee Nessie children's run. In total, 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 Bught Park where the Event Village is 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.”


There’s an added incentive for runners who choose to enter over the next few days. With special early bird discounted entry fees being offered for all races until 1st March.


Full details may be found at www. www.lochnessmarathon.com