Baxters Loch Ness Marathon is set for a record entry to the event on October 4, 2009, as numbers currently show a 22% increase on last year's figure. And with entries still open for charity, club and overseas places, the entry field is likely to continue to rise as the date of the UK's third largest marathon approaches.
Last year saw close to £600,000 raised for charity by runners taking part in the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running. Although general entry for the Marathon is now closed, there is still time to book a place to run in support of one of the event's associated charities - entries for charity, club and overseas runners are open until September 14.
Organisers believe the removal of the ballot system of entry for the event has been a major factor in the dramatic rise in entries.
Event and race director, Malcolm Sutherland, said: "We are absolutely delighted to see the rise in entries for this year's Marathon. This was the first time in the 8 year history of the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon that entrants were able to secure guaranteed places on a first come, first served basis. Added to this, we have had additional promotion of the event through the Scotland's Year of Homecoming, with more people signing up from overseas than we would normally have expected.
Malcolm added: "Entries are open until September 14 for all other events in the Festival - the Baxters River Ness 10K, the Baxters River Ness 5K Fun Run and the Healthy Working Lives 10K Corporate Challenge. All races are proving popular this year, so I'd encourage anyone thinking of entering any category to get their entry in as soon as possible to be sure of a place."
For more details on all races or to enter, visit www.lochnessmarathon.com or call 0870 127 8000.