Excitement is building in the Scottish Highlands as one of the world’s most popular running events returns for its 20th edition this weekend.
The Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running will celebrate its emerald anniversary on Sunday, October 2, 2022 – attracting 7,150 runners from 43 countries across the globe.
Race director Malcolm Sutherland said: “The week leading up to the marathon is always exciting – but this year is especially so, with it being our 20th Baxters Loch Ness Marathon.
“As runners begin to arrive in Inverness – travelling from across the UK and overseas – there will be a real buzz in the air, leading up to race day on Sunday. This year, 56% of marathon runners are from outside Scotland – with 13.5% travelling from overseas. There’s always a great atmosphere on the shores of the loch and in the city, so we’re sure this year will be a huge success.
“We’re indebted to our title sponsor Baxters Food Group, who have been with us since day one. Having the support of such a well-known brand from the very start has been so important to us in cementing the marathon’s success and reputation around the world. We hope our partnership will continue for many more years to come.”
Known for its natural beauty, the marathon is a challenging, enjoyable run on closed roads through some of the world’s most stunning scenery – a true dream come true for all runners. Regularly appearing on many lists of the best courses in the world, the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon is considered by many to be a ‘bucket list’ destination.
Audrey Baxter, executive chairman and group CEO of Baxters, commented: “We are incredibly proud to have supported the Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running since its inception. It is a fantastic event, growing in size and stature over the years to become a key event in the runners’ calendar and showcasing this beautiful part of the world in all its glory.
“It has been a real partnership over the years, with the event providing the perfect platform to demonstrate our ethos to ‘be different, be better’ through our commitment to local community, charity and health & wellbeing.
“Good luck to all the runners, including those from the Baxters team, who are gearing up to take part on Sunday!”
Sophie Hodgson, challenge events programme manager at official charity Macmillan Cancer Support, added: “Macmillan does whatever it takes to support people affected by cancer, but we can’t do it without our amazing volunteers. This year we have a fantastic 170 runners taking part for Team Macmillan – we will be there to cheer them over the finish line and celebrate with them at the event village. Good luck to all the participants, and we can’t wait to see all of our runners!”
Spectators are encouraged to line the finish line at Bught Park to cheer runners over the finish line. Entries to the Baxters River Ness 5K and Wee Nessie kids’ race will also be available throughout the weekend, subject to capacity.
Over the weekend, participants and spectators can visit a free sports expo showcasing the latest running apparel and equipment from Run4It, Hoka, Garmin, Shokz, Ronhill and Big Bobble Hats; enjoy live music and kids’ activities; and visit the Runners Cafe.
BBC Scotland’s Bryan Burnett – a regular fixture at the event – will host a series of informative talks and Q&As in the Runners Cafe throughout the Saturday, featuring prominent running personalities.
Delicious street food will also be on offer from Baxters, Bad Girl Bakery, Popseys Pancakes, Mieles, Edelwurst, Highland Hog Roast, Dough Pizza, and Nae Bad Coffee – as well as pop-up bars from Cromarty Brewing and Great Glen Gin.
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland director of events, said: “The world-famous Loch Ness needs no introduction and provides the perfect stage for marathon runners from across the globe. I’m delighted that EventScotland is once again supporting this fantastic event through the International Events Funding Programme and would like to take this opportunity to wish the best of luck to all those taking part whether for competition, fun or charity.”
The Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running is one of the world’s most popular running events, and takes place in 2022 on October 2. The point-to-point marathon starts in atmospheric Highland moorlands, stretching 26.2 miles along the south-eastern shores of the iconic Loch Ness and finishing in the Highland capital, Inverness. The Festival of Running also comprises the River Ness 10K and 10K Corporate Challenge; River Ness 5K; and the Wee Nessie for under-5s.