McIntosh ready for the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon

Shona McIntosh LNM

Shona McIntosh (handicap 4.2) makes her third appearance in the Baxters Loch Ness marathon this weekend and is aiming for top spot on the podium after two near misses previously.

The Musselburgh athlete was runner-up in the women’s division of the race on her first outing, in 2007 and  finished third in 2014. Roll on another seven years and the 38 year-old mum-of-two hopes to complete her medal collection with a gold.

Aside from the marathon, McIntosh has an impressive record in the Highland capital, winning the Inverness half marathon in 2011 and 2015 and taking top spot in the Baxters River Ness 10k in 2015

McIntosh has a best marathon time of 2:40:06 set at London in 2015 and recently won the Scottish half marathon on her home patch in 80:28.

She said: “It  would be nice to be on the podium again seven years later. I feel as though my training has been going well but it’s hard to say as there hasn’t been many races.

I did the Scottish half marathon but, as it was only two weeks before Loch Ness, I didn’t want to push it too hard. So, I think I’m in better shape than my time there might indicate.

“Last time I was at Loch Ness I started far too fast on the downhills and paid for that. I’ll try not to make that mistake again. But it’s my first marathon for more than three years so I’m worried I’ve forgotten how hard to can be. Seriously,though, I’m looking forward to running there again.”        

Luton athlete Charlene Jacobs-Conradie (handicap 2.0) is shaping up as another contender for the women’s title.The veteran Hertfordshire athlete has a best time of 2:46:48 set when winning the  2019 Yorkshire marathon.

Sheena Logan (handicap 2.0), who won the 2018 Loch Ness race in a personal best 2:51:11, is also showing good form at the moment. The Cupar-based runner, who was third in 2019, recently set her fastest 10k time when winning at Perth and was close to her best half marathon time in the Great North Run.

The men’s race appears to be the most open in many years following the withdrawl of the two favourites.

Prolific marathon runner Adam Holland (handicap -2.2) from Devon, set a personal best 2:24:24 when finishing second here in 2018, and he was hoping to go one better on this occasion.

Family commitments have, however, forced the Run Across Scotland ultra race champion to pull out. He said: “We have a nine month old baby and have had to take some time out this week to look after her. I was very much looking forward to the marathon, but the time it takes to get up to Inverness will be too long, in case I am needed back home. I very much hope to be back in 2022.”

And French athlete Guillaume Ruel has also pulled out. In their absence, Welshman Geraint Williams (handicap -1,8) seems to be most likely to lead the contest for the podium positions after setting a personal best 2:30:57 at the Cheshire elite marathon in April.