It’s a spectacle not seen in the Scottish Highlands for hundreds of years, but the hills will once again be filled with passionate clansmen as they lead a charge through the countryside on 28 September. Almost 2,000 runners from the length and breadth of Britain – and further afield – will pledge allegiance to their clans in an effort to lift the title in the Clan Challenge at the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running.
Three runners from Brazil are set to take up the Clan Challenge, travelling across the Atlantic to run the Baxters River Ness 10K. The trio of runners will represent the MacDuffs, historically one of the oldest clans in the Highlands, in the hope that their effort will clinch their clan the hotly contested top prize.
Runners taking part in the Baxters Festival of Running are encouraged to wear a touch of tartan as part of the Year of Homecoming 2014 as they run through some of Scotland’s most glorious scenery.
Race director, Malcolm Sutherland, says: “There has been a fantastic response to the Clan Challenge, and we are delighted that so many runners have chosen to declare their loyalty to their clans. Around a quarter of all the runners who have signed up to take part in the various events are Clan Challenge participants.”
There will be a lot of runners taking part to raise money for various charities at the event. The festival has five lead affiliate charities – Alzheimer Scotland, Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, Highland Hospice, MND Scotland, Multiple Sclerosis Society Scotland – as well as 24 affiliate charities. It is estimated that £800,000 was raised for good causes at the 2013 event.
Macmillan Cancer Support is on course to raise over £110,000 after fielding its biggest ever contingent of runners in the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running. Around 350 supporters will don the colours of Team Macmillan – the lead charity partner of the event – in the marathon and accompanying 10K and 5K races.
For more information, visit the Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running website.