The Highlands

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Culloden 2012 runners

The Loch Ness monster isn’t the only elusive creature people visit the Highlands in search of these days. The equally elusive PB has become much sought after at the area’s many running events. The most high profile of these events is the Baxters Loch Ness Running Festival. The festival, held on 28 September this year, includes popular 10k, 5k and junior races as well as the feature, and now firmly-established, marathon. The marathon route runs along the south side of Loch Ness and attracts runners from across the UK and around the world.

A smaller scale event but highly prestigious is Inverness Half Marathon in March. The longstanding race attracts a field of local and international runners and was held for the 30th year in 2014.  Another well-established event is Lochaber Marathon which sees hundreds of participants run alongside Loch Eil and past Ben Nevis. Britain’s tallest mountain provides a backdrop for several events and is the focal point for that most iconic of hill races - the Ben Nevis Hill Race. The main islands offer a unique running experience with half marathon or 10k events on Skye, Coll, Harris, Benbecula and Barra.

For something less challenging, Inverness parkrun continues to attract runners to Bught Park every Saturday morning. As the ‘gateway to the Highlands’, Inverness’s burgeoning population has helped running flourish. We speak to Inverness Harriers president, Keith Geddes, about the club’s past achievements and how they’re preparing athletes to become stars of the future. We also speak to Cairngorm Runners’ Heather McLellan who tells us why she considers her group to be the most diverse in the country.

On the retail side, the Highlands is serviced by Inverness’s Run 4 It on Huntly Street with manager Ryan McKenzie and his staff providing expert knowledge and a wide range of products.

If there’s one thing runners in the Highlands can’t complain about, it’s a lack of diversity. The picturesque settings provide ideal locations for all forms of running, whether you’re looking for routes involving roads, trails or hills. Just look out for that monster…


In this section of the site runABC Scotland focuses on the Highlands - its clubs, running groups, facilities and services.


The best way to improve your running - join one of the Highlands' active running clubs.


A friendly introduction to running with other people.


The sports centres and health & fitness clubs.


Where can you find local physiotherapy, sports massage & other services for runners.