Loch Ness to host Scottish Marathon Championships

Loch Ness Marathon

The Baxters Loch Ness marathon, which takes place on 29th September has been nominated as the Scottish national championship race for the third year in a row.

The decision to take the championships to the Highlands once again is a major coup for the race organisers particularly as the leading Scottish athletes will be chasing qualifying times for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Race Director Malcolm Sutherland is delighted that the sport's governing body has recognised the importance of the Loch Ness race.

He said:"It's wonderful news and it's certainly a great boost for everyone associated with the event. We are really happy that the national championships are coming here again.

"We are looking forward to welcoming some of Scotland's best marathon runners who will be going for times which, hopefully, might lead to some of them earning places in the 2014 Commonwealth Games team."

Central AC's Ross Houston will be given the chance of completing a hat-trick of national championship wins at Loch Ness.

He picked up the Scottish title for the first time two years ago and last September the 33 year-old set a personal best of 2hr 20min 24secs when successfully defending his title.

Houston's time was just 11 seconds outside the course record set by Kenya's Simon Tonui in 2009.

Shettleston's Avril Mason won a thrilling women's race in 2012. She set a lifetime best of 2:54:54 to defeat the 2011 champion Lisa Finlay (Dumfries).

Sutherland said:"Hopefully Ross and Avril will come back this year. We will again be offering a substantial prize list with the men's and women's champions each earning £1500.

"The total prize fund for the top five men and women totals more than £6,000."

"But Loch Ness doesn't just welcome elite performers. We had almost 4,000 entrants for the marathon last year and these included runners of all levels of ability and experience.

"There is something for everyone as we also have the Baxters River Ness 10K and 5K as well as the Wee Nessie children's run. In total, close to 9,000 people entered our races in 2012."

Guaranteed entry available now for all races: www.lochnessmarathon.com