Marathon, Ultra Marathon and Bike Challenge make up monster event.
The first Loch Ness Challenge is set to take place between Friday 20th and Sunday 22nd May 2022, with 450 people signed up from across Scotland, the UK and around the world.
Scotland’s newest long-distance trail event, created by Visit Inverness Loch Ness (VILN) and sponsored by SSE Renewables, follows the Loch Ness 360° trail and consists of the Loch Ness Marathon Challenge, Loch Ness Ultra Marathon Challenge and Loch Ness Bike Challenge.
The Marathon Challenge covers three marathons over the course of three days, totalling 129km and an ascent of more than 3,000m along the Great Glen Way and South Loch Ness Trail around Loch Ness. Alternatively, participants can opt to take part in one or two of the marathons.
The Ultra Marathon Challenge covers the three marathons but with a time limit of 24 hours, starting on Saturday 21st May.
The Bike Challenge covers the distance on Sunday 22nd May.
Participants have signed-up from as far afield as America and New Zealand.
Among those taking part are Salomon sponsored athlete Donnie Campbell and recent Etape Loch Ness podium finishers Andrew MacRae, Lynne Cordiner and Natalie Munro.
Michael Golding, CEO of Visit Inverness Loch Ness, said:
“After two years of postponements due to the pandemic, we’re so excited to finally host the inaugural Loch Ness Challenge!
“And I’m sure it will be worth the wait, with many people experiencing the spectacular Loch Ness 360° trail for the first time.”
The event is made possible by the sponsorship of SSE Renewables and the support of a team of volunteers helping day and night over the weekend.
Event partners and supporters include The Highland Club, the Posh Agency, Run4It, Cruise Loch Ness, 42 Cycling, Inverness Airport, Penta Hotels, Active Root, Dog Falls Brewing Co., High Life Highland and Scottish Athletics.
“Thank you to everyone who is supporting the event, including our amazing team of volunteers, some of whom will even be supporting overnight when our Ultramarathon runners will be out on the trail.
“We hope the Loch Ness Challenge will provide an economic boost for the area and the communities around Loch Ness.
“I’d encourage anyone in the area to get involved and cheer on our participants.”
Craig Cunningham, project manager of the Bhlaraidh Extension and Cloiche Wind Farm developments at SSE Renewables, added:
“The time has almost arrived for the Loch Ness Challenge, and we’re delighted to be part of it.
“The route passes a number of our hydro power and onshore wind sites so it’s great to be involved and to help support the communities in which we operate.
“Many of the SSE Renewables team are volunteering to support the event this weekend while many more colleagues are taking part, including myself in the Loch Ness Marathon Challenge, so we’re all really excited for a great weekend. Good luck to everyone taking part!”