The 17th annual Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running is set to take place on 23rd September and early indications show that it’s set to be one of the biggest years yet with thousands of entries flooding in.

Hosted by Scottish television and radio presenter; Bryan Burnett, the two-day festival promises a packed family friendly agenda including the new Runner’s Café on Saturday 22nd September, Baxters Food & Drink Fayre, live music and a range of other races suitable for those looking for an alternative to a full marathon.

Loch Ness MarathonThe River Ness 10K and 5K follow a flat, point-to-point course through the historic Highland capital of Inverness alongside the banks of the picturesque River Ness, and are renowned for their ‘PB’ potential. There’s also the Wee Nessie race, open to pre-school children aged 5 and under, that follows a short circular route in the enclosed Bught Park providing youngsters with the perfect introduction to the sport.

The Runners’ Café, new for 2018, will be open during Registration on Saturday 22 September from 10:00-16:00 and free for everyone to attend. Visitors are invited to grab a coffee, cake, Baxters Hearty soup or whatever takes their fancy from a number of street food vendors. They can also listen to Expo talks, chat with other runners from around the world and enjoy some traditional Scottish music.

Race director Malcolm Sutherland, commented: “With a little under six months left until this year’s Loch Ness Marathon 2018, the programme is really shaping up. Marathon registrations are flooding in from across the UK and beyond with the furthest entries so far coming from New Zealand, South Africa, Japan and Brazil. This is a destination event with wide appeal, it grows in scale and popularity year on year with runners of all abilities and age groups represented, we’ve even got the Wee Nessie race for children under 5 years old.  Guaranteed entry is open now and we’d encourage all to come and join us.”

The Baxters Loch Ness Marathon, which has been shortlisted again for the 2018 Running Awards in the Best Marathon category – follows a spectacular point-to-point route alongside the world famous Loch Ness, starting in an atmospheric moorland setting between Fort Augustus and Foyers then continuing through stunning Highland scenery along the south-eastern shores of Loch Ness, across the River Ness, finishing in Inverness, capital city of the Highlands.

There are Highland Spring water stations along the route and at the finish, Clif Bar feed stations along the route, and a lively, un-missable Festival event at the finish.

Loch Ness Marathon also has a number of official charity running places with Macmillan Cancer Support as well as other selected charities, providing people with the opportunity to make their marathon count by fundraising for a good cause.  There are lots to choose from and all of them are doing incredible work to help others and improve lives.

Guaranteed entry is available now for all of the races and those interested in registering can find out more here.