Next weekend's Baxters Loch Ness marathon (Sunday 30 September) will see Bellahouston's Erica Christie aiming to maintain her remarkable record of consistency at the event. The veteran Glasgow athlete has competed in the race every year since its inception in 2002, when she came second in the women's division, and has never finished outside the top 10.
The 56-year-old fitness trainer posted her fastest time of 3:06:51 at the event in 2009, coming 4th. She has now completed 45 marathons during her career including Athens, New York, Boston and Dublin. The most recent was London marathon in April where she clocked 3:28:32 to finish fifth in her age group.
Despite her wealth of marathon experience, Erica still considers Loch Ness her favourite, saying: "I keep coming back to Loch Ness because I just adore the race. It's a hilly course, which seems to suit me, and the scenery is fantastic. I really enjoy doing it and I rate it as my favourite marathon."
She won't be drawn into making any predictions as to how she will fare in this year's event which incorporates the Scottish marathon championships. She said: "I'd like to think I'll get under 3hr 15min but it's difficult to be sure. I've missed a bit of training this year. I meant to do the Inverness half marathon in March, but then I fractured my foot so I had to miss it and I was out of action for a while.
"Also, I'm just back from holiday, so I suppose you could say I'll be well rested. I certainly haven't over-trained!"
Erica has also made her mark on the administrative side of running having been elected as president of Bellahouston Harriers, the first woman to hold such a position in the 100 year-plus history of the club.
She said: "I've enjoyed being president. The club has experienced a bit of resurgence recently and we have more women members than men nowadays. That's very different from when I joined in the 1980s when I was the only woman in the club."
Entries for the Baxters Loch Ness marathon and River Ness 10K have now closed with over 8700 runners having signed up. Limited entries will, however, be taken for the Baxters River Ness 5K and Wee Nessie children's run over the course of the race weekend. For more information visit the event website