Scottish championship medals will once again be up for grabs at the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon on 28 September. For the fourth year in a row the Highland event has been awarded national title status and race director, Malcolm Sutherland, is delighted with the decision.
Sutherland said: “This is a major boost for the race and we are delighted we are hosting the championships again. We don’t know yet who will be representing Scotland in this summer’s Commonwealth Games, but it would be wonderful to think that some of the Scottish runners who compete in Glasgow might be tempted to come to Loch Ness later in the season to battle for the Scottish men’s and women’s titles. Perhaps runners from other Commonwealth countries might want to sample our race as well.”
He spoke about the diverse nature of last year’s field: “Last year’s race had a real cosmopolitan feel to it with Salford-based Kenyan Tarus Elly winning the men’s prize ahead of Edinburgh-based Polish athlete Petr Gierjatowicz, while Fife AC’s Megan Crawford, making her marathon debut, won the women’s contest in a record time of 2hrs 46min 37secs with Alina Nituleasa of Romania in second place.”
Although the marathon is the premier event, the full race day programme also includes shorter runs catering for a wide range of ages and interests. A new feature of the marathon and 10Km this year is the Clan Challenge which has been introduced as part of the Homecoming Scotland 2014 celebrations. It’s an idea which Sutherland believes will provide an additional element of colour and interest to the event.
He said: “We want to find out which clan is the most heavily represented in the races, so when people enter they are being invited to indicate which clan they represent and where they have come from. We will also be encouraging participants to wear some tartan in the races. The results of the 2014 Clan Challenge will be based on numbers of runners from each clan who successfully complete either race.”
There’s an added incentive for runners who choose to enter over the next few days, with special early bird discounted entry fees being offered for all races until 1 March.
For more information, visit the Loch Ness Marathon website.