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New endurance event to test hundreds of runners at Loch Ness 24 this weekend

By John Davidson

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The Loch Ness 24 is due to get under way on Saturday morning, with participants running through the night.
The Loch Ness 24 is due to get under way on Saturday morning, with participants running through the night.

Hundreds of runners will descend on Loch Ness this weekend as a new endurance race is set to get under way.

Organisers of the inaugural Loch Ness 24 expect around 500 people to take part in the 24-hour challenge, which takes place near Dores.

Set in the grounds of Aldourie Castle, owned by Dutch billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen, the weekend endurance event will begin on Saturday morning, with a festival-style camp site open from Friday afternoon.

Solo and team competitors will battle throughout the day and night to clock up as many 7km laps as they can within the 24-hour period.

Race director Jono Buckland of Zone Events is excited about bringing this new event to the Highlands.

“We cannot think of a more beautiful location to host such a brutally challenging event," he said.

"The course itself is absolutely stunning, with long sections weaving through ancient Scots pine forest and hugging the shores of Loch Ness. Some ‘cheekier’ sections of the trail will see competitors run along a pebble beach and up some steep hill climbs, which will really start to bite as the hours pass by.

"It is arguably going to be one of the toughest and most spectacular 24-hour running events in the world.

"Racers have the choice to run as many 7km laps as they like, so it's brilliant for both beginners and hard core ultra-runners planning to run unimaginable distances.

"We’re welcoming all participants with a festival-like experience at our event village – complete with a camp site, music, great food and even a silent disco under the stars to keep runners and their support crews motivated throughout the night.”

Prizes will be awarded to runners and teams in various categories who clock up the most laps at the end of 24 hours, and runners will each receive a medal and treats from event partners including RedBull, Deans Shortbread and Voom Nutrition, as well as a bespoke Loch Ness 24 bottle of beer courtesy of Windswept Brewing from Lossiemouth.

Runners have been invited to raise funds for the event’s official charity partners, Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland, RNLI, RAF Benevolent Fund and Held In Our Hearts.

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