Baxters Loch Ness marathon attracts 45 nationalities and thrives on second largest field – and biggest since Covid pandemic
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A diverse international field of 8,600 runners from 45 countries will take part in tomorrow’s 2023 Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running.
The 21st edition of the annual event will feature the marathon, Baxters River Ness 10K, 10K Corporate Challenge, Baxters River Ness 5K and Wee Nessie runs.
Some 5,100 are signed up for the marathon – the second largest field in the history of the race.
The River Ness 5K and Wee Nessie kids’ race also proved extremely popular this year, selling out before the entry deadline.
Boosted by the famous loch’s reputation, the event has become a bucket-list marathon with worldwide appeal
Across the event, 55 per cent of entrants come from outside Scotland and 12 per cent from overseas including the USA, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, Italy, Israel, China, Thailand and the Philippines.
As an inclusive event, all abilities and ages will be represented from toddlers in the Wee Nessie to retirees up to the age of 80.
Malcolm Sutherland, the event and race director, said: “What a fantastic turn-out. Entry to this year’s event is up significantly on 2021 and 2022 to pre-Covid levels.
“As one of the world’s most scenic marathons, I’m delighted to be welcoming people from all over the world to experience the event for themselves.
“As always, the runners will be supported along the way by our fantastic team and amazing volunteers.
“I’d like to thank them for all their hard work, as well as our partners and supporters, and the communities along the route – it’s their cheers and warm welcome that makes the event so special.”
Audrey Baxter, executive chairman of Baxters Food Group, said: “The Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running is a fantastic event and we are extremely proud to have been part of it since the very beginning.
“We are delighted to show our support for the 21st edition and look forward to treating the runners to some well-deserved Baxters goodies when they cross the finish line.”
The event village will be open at Bught Park from 9am-4pm on race day on Sunday, with free entry for all.
This includes a Sports Expo with pop-up shops from leading sports brands, as well as a Runners’ Café offering delicious street food, plus kids’ activities, a pipe band and live traditional Scottish music hosted by broadcaster Bryan Burnett.
Many runners will be raising funds for charity, including 180 people who are running for the event’s official charity Macmillan Cancer Support.
Thousands of pounds are expected to be raised by runners for Macmillan and the event’s 35 charity partners including Alzheimer Scotland, Cancer Research UK and Highland Hospice.
To ensure the safety of participants and general public, there will be some temporary traffic restrictions in place in Inverness and on south Loch Ness on Sunday.
For details, please here.