The Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running made its return today following a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19.
4,900 runners signed up for the bucket-list marathon, with Stuart Livingstone from Corstorphine AAC making it across the finish line first in a time of 2:32:21.
Megan Crawford from Fife Athletics Club was the first female finisher, completing the 26.2 miles in 2:48:15.
The event also included the Baxters River Ness 10K, 10K Corporate Challenge and the Baxters River Ness 5K.
Crossing the 10K finish line first was Sean Chalmers from Inverness Harriers in 00:30:15.
The winning female was Megan Keith from Inverness Harriers who completed the distance in 00:34:22.
The first male and female runners across the 5K finish line were Mohamed Warsame, in a time of 16:33, and Caitlyn Heggie from Ross County AC in a time of 18:37.
Of the thousands of runners who descended upon the Highland capital for the marathon, 45.7% came from outside Scotland and 12.5% from overseas.
As always, the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running is a key fundraising opportunity for various charities, including the event’s 30 charity partners and lead charity partner, Macmillan Cancer Support.
So far £48,000 has been raised for Macmillan Cancer Support through this year’s event, with thousands more expected to benefit many different charities across Scotland and the UK.
Also making its return was the Event Village, with highlights including a Sports Expo over the weekend and a Festival on race day with street food and piper.
Malcolm Sutherland, Event & Race Director of Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running, said:
“What a buzz to finally have runners back at Loch Ness!
“The atmosphere this year has been amazing, and it’s been great seeing marathon veterans and newbies tackle our events, many of whom only took up running during lockdown.
“It’s been great to be able to showcase this beautiful part of the world again and I’d like to thank everyone involved in helping make the event a success.
“Thank you to the communities along the routes, our charity partners, our amazing team of 400 volunteers and, of course, everyone who took part in the marathon, 10K and 5K.
“Early bird entry for next year’s event – the 20th edition of the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running taking place on 2nd October 2022 – is now open.
“It’s sure to be a very special one so I hope to see you all there!”
Audrey Baxter, Executive Chairman & Group CEO at Baxters, said:
“Baxters has been a partner of the Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running since the very beginning and following what has been an incredibly hard year for all, we’re really pleased to see it back and as successful as ever.
“The importance of living a healthy and active lifestyle is more relevant today than ever and we’re proud to continue to fuel people through our range of products, especially when they’re taking on fantastic challenges like the Loch Ness Marathon.”
Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events, said:
“The Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running is always a highlight of the year for runners and this one was even more special.
“EventScotland was once again delighted to have supported this year’s event.
“Well done to everyone involved, especially in planning a safe and enjoyable event for all those who participated.”
Ruby Limbrick, Senior Challenge Events Programme Manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, added:
“This incredible weekend reflects better than ever the incredible tenacity of every single person who makes up Team Macmillan.
“Well done to all the runners, and a special thank you to everyone who has helped us raise a monumental £48,000 so far.
“These vital funds will help Macmillan continue to do whatever it takes for people living with and affected by cancer at a time when they need us more than ever.”
Early bird entry for the 2022 Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running taking place on 2nd October is now open: www.lochnessmarathon.com