With a little under 17 weeks to go until the 17th annual Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running on 23rd September, there’s still time to sign up and challenge yourself to a full marathon, 10K, 5K or there’s also the Wee Nessie race, open to children aged 5 and under.

Here are a few fun facts about the race to get you into the running spirit:

  • Over the last 17 years, runners have come from 87 different countries around the world to take part in the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon with those from New Zealand claiming the ‘furthest travelled’ to take part.
  • The total amount raised for charity by the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running to date is a staggering £9.95m.
  • It takes a whopping 420 volunteers to ensure the smooth running of the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running each year.
  • There are four people in this world who have completed every Baxters Loch Ness Marathon to date
  • The oldest Baxters Loch Ness Marathon participant to date was an 82 year-old and the youngest, taking part in the Wee Nessie kids’ race, less than a year old!
  • Runaway brides, a marriage proposal at the finish line (she said yes!) and in 2017 a couple running the marathon hot-footed it to their wedding service immediately after crossing the finish line together.
  • It’s a common misconception that the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon is hilly, the route is actually predominantly downhill and many people get a ‘PB’ here.
  • In 2016 a group of 20+ Japanese runners aged 61-80 from the Full Hyaku running club in Japan took part in the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon. To be a member of Full Hyaku you must have run at least 100 marathons. One of their group, 75-year-old Masami Yabuta from Tokyo completed his 700th marathon at Loch Ness.
  • The course record for the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon is currently held by Simon Tonui, Birchfield Harriers (2hr 20min 13sec) in 2009 and the women’s title is held by Megan Crawford, Fife AC (2hr 44min 50sec) in 2015.
  • In 2003, Lloyd Scott completed the world’s first ever underwater marathon wearing an antique deep-sea diving suit weighing 120lbs in Loch Ness. It took Lloyd 12 days to complete his 26.2 mile underwater challenge whilst raising thousands of pounds for charity.

The Baxters Loch Ness Marathon, 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.

If a full marathon isn’t for you, why not enter the Baxters River Ness 10K or 5K? Following flat, scenic, point-to-point courses through the historic Highland capital of Inverness, both races offer excellent ‘pb’ potential.

Make a Highland weekend of it and come with family or friends; plenty to entertain runners and spectators all weekend with Scotland’s only Expo dedicated to running, the Runners’ Café where runners can enjoy street food, listen to Expo talks and live music, the Baxters Food & Drink Fayre and fun family activities.

The Baxters 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.