Forget any predictions the weather presenters may make, the outlook promises to be warm and sunny in and around Inverness this weekend .
The annual Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running takes place on Sunday, September 27, in the Highland capital, and members of the public are being asked to join forces with family and friends of runners to help spur participants on as they make their way towards the finish line in Inverness city centre.
Runners from all over the world, as well as those from closer to home, will be taking part in the day’s races, and organisers say that the spectators will be key to ensuring that participants leave the Highlands with very fond memories.
Race director Malcolm Sutherland said: “Runners have completed months of training to prepare for the event, and we actively encourage spectators to get out on the streets and help them celebrate all that hard work.
“We repeatedly get feedback from past runners about how great the support is along the route. People come to our event because they are attracted by the landscape and the scenery, but we also want them to remember the warm Scottish hospitality for which our area is so well known.
“The crowd can help to make memories that will last a lifetime. The atmosphere is always electric around the spectator areas and in the Event Village at the Bught Park, right on the finish line. The local community never fails to boost the morale of the participants significantly, and they seem to take pride in being involved in the biggest and most scenic marathon in Scotland. It really makes all the difference to runners nearing the end of the course; hearing the cheers of an enthusiastic crowd of supporters really motivates them to keep going for those last couple of miles.”
The Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running combines the world-famous marathon, the River Ness 10K, Corporate Challenge 10K, River Ness 5K Fun Run and the Wee Nessie for pre-school children. It is expected that in the region of 8,000 participants will take part across the day’s events, which are supported by EventScotland.
The banks of the River Ness in the city centre provide the best viewpoints for those wishing to cheer on runners nearing the end of the 26.2-mile, 10K and 5K routes. However, the action will not only be taking place in the city. Communities around Loch Ness are also being encouraged to celebrate the festival by getting involved from their own doorsteps. Villagers in Fort Augustus, Foyers and Dores will be keeping up the tradition started many years ago of applauding marathon participants as they make their way through the lochside communities.
The first finishers in the 10K are expected to arrive at the finish line at around 11.15am, with the marathon front runners about an hour later. The masses will continue to stride their way down the home straight throughout the afternoon.
The Event Village at the Bught Park will be a thriving hub of activity throughout the day. Spectators will be able to enjoy the wide variety of delicious, locally sourced produce on offer and sample whisky and locally crafted beers and spirits at the Baxters Food & Drink Fayre and there is live entertainment in the form of a traditional Scottish pipe band, along with local acoustic performers Emma and the String Bandits and Ruth Gillies.
Family-friendly activities include a bouncy castle, inflatable slide, face-painting, trampolines and a merry-go-round. The Event Village also boasts a running expo – the only one of its kind in Scotland – featuring the latest in running technology, products and trends.
Road closures will be in place throughout the day along the
marathon route, which starts at
Whitebridge between Fort Augustus and Foyers. Roads around Inverness will also be closed at various times
during the day to accommodate the River Ness 10K and 5K routes.
Limited entries are available for the 5K and Wee Nessie over the weekend.
Full information on the closure programme is available at www.lochnessmarathon.com/event-info
For further information visit: www.lochnessmarathon.com