The Baxters Loch Ness Marathon will resemble a meeting of the United Nations when it gets under starters orders this year, with runners from over 30 different countries limbering up to take part.
Visitors from all five continents will add a carnival atmosphere to the event on Sunday, September 27, and runners from outwith Scotland are expected to make up almost half of those on the start line.
But those from the UK who want to join in the international party must be quick, as guaranteed marathon entries close on Wednesday, July 1. Places will only be available to club, charity and overseas runners after the deadline.
Race director Malcolm Sutherland says, “We are absolutely delighted to be welcoming runners from all four corners of the globe to this year’s Baxters Loch Ness Marathon. UK runners will have the chance to run alongside people from Tanzania, Australia, Japan, Russia and dozens of other countries.
“Loch Ness is a world-renowned landmark that attracts visitors from around the world. The route alongside the shores of the loch is quite challenging, but the rewards of fantastic camaraderie and stunning scenery are worth it.
“The Baxters Loch Ness Marathon is thought by many to follow the most scenic route in the United Kingdom, and we believe the incredible scenery can compete with other marathons on a global scale.
“I would strongly encourage any runners considering taking part to get registered by 1 July, and come and discover the area’s beauty for themselves.”
This year the organisers have added an extra challenge to entice entrants from the far reaches of the globe – a tantalising £50,000 prize for any runner who is able to snap a selfie with the legendary Loch Ness Monster in the background. All runners are eligible for the prize, if the photo is verified by a panel of experts.
Paul Bush, Director of Events at VisitScotland says, “The Baxters Loch Ness Marathon is one of the highlights of the running calendar, consistently attracting thousands of runners from around the world. Scotland is the perfect stage for mass participation events, and what better location than the stunning Loch Ness to take on a marathon, with spectacular views and a challenging but hugely rewarding route.”
The Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running takes place on 27 September and comprises the marathon, River Ness 10K, 10K Corporate Challenge and River Ness 5K as well the Wee Nessie fun run for pre-school children.
Spectators will also be spoilt for choice at the Event Hub in Inverness’ Bught Park, where they can cheer their loved ones across the finish line and enjoy the Baxters Food and Drink Fayre, a sports expo, live music and activities for children.
Guaranteed places are available for the marathon until 1 July, with charity, club and overseas places available thereafter. Entry for the 10K, 10K Corporate Challenge, 5K and Wee Nessie will remain open until 7 September.
- Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running comprises the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon, Baxters River Ness 10K, 10K Corporate Challenge, River Ness 5K Fun Run and Wee Nessie. For further information visit www.lochnessmarathon.com
- Participants in the 2014 Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running generated an estimated £1.3m for charity. The official charity for 2015 is Macmillan Cancer Care with five lead affiliate charities: Alzheimer Scotland, Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, Highland Hospice, MND Scotland and MS Society. There are also 20 affiliate charities.
- 2015 Sponsors are: Baxters, EventScotland, Brooks, Clif Bar, Highland Spring and Run 4 It.
- Baxters Food Group: The Baxter family has been producing some of Britain’s finest soups, preserves, condiments, pour-over sauces and fruit specialities for more than 140 years. Today, Baxters is one of the UK’s leading food manufacturers, with over 150 premium products and some of the country’s leading brands, including Garner’s, Simply Delicious, PizzaExpress and Mary Berry. Baxters has been title sponsor of the Loch Ness Marathon since 2002.www.baxters.com
- EventScotland: EventScotland is working to make Scotland the perfect stage for events. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors. For further information about EventScotland, its funding programmes and latest event news visitwww.EventScotland.org. Follow EventScotland on Twitter @EventScotNews. EventScotland is part of VisitScotland, the national tourism organisation which markets Scotland as a tourism destination across the world, gives support to the tourism industry and brings sustainable tourism growth to Scotland. www.EventScotland.org
- Macmillan Cancer Support works extensively across the Highlands and the rest of the UK. Over 98% of the charity’s £189.7 million income in 2013 was generated came from voluntary donations. It uses the money to pay for a wide range of healthcare, support and information services, including cancer care nurse specialists and mobile information centres.
- Every day, 19 people in the north of Scotland receive the devastating news that they have cancer. Sadly, 10 people will die as a result of the illness. It is estimated that the number of people in the Highlands living with cancer will double over in the next 20 years. For more information visit www.macmillan.org.uk