8,600 people have entered this year’s Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running, which takes place on Sunday 1st October 2023.
The 21st edition of the event includes the marathon, Baxters River Ness 10K, 10K Corporate Challenge, Baxters River Ness 5K and Wee Nessie.
5,100 will be taking part in 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.
A bucket-list marathon, runners will be travelling to the Highlands from all over the world to take part.
Across the event, 45 countries are represented, with 55% of entrants coming from outside Scotland and 12% from overseas including the USA, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, Italy, Israel, China, Thailand and the Philippines.
The inclusive event will host all abilities and ages; from babies and toddlers in the Wee Nessie, to retirees up to the age of 80.
“What a fantastic turn-out for the 2023 Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running.
“Entry to this year’s event is up significantly on 2021 and 2022 to pre-Covid levels,” said Malcolm Sutherland, Event & Race Director of Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running.
“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 over the weekend from Saturday 30th September,10am-6pm, to 9am-4pm on race day on Sunday 1st October, 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.
“Thank you to everyone who is running for Macmillan Cancer Support this weekend, and for your amazing fundraising efforts.
“We hope to raise over £75,000 from this year’s Loch Ness Marathon and this will help so many people living with cancer.
“We will be there cheering you all on as a small thank you for your incredible support.”
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 1st October.
For details, please see: https://bit.ly/3sKQ2tl