5 Oct

Record Breaking Tonui Wins Delayed Loch Ness Marathon

Loch Ness Start

The start to this years Loch Ness Marathon was delayed due to 'technical issues' with the buses transporting runners to the race start. A record field of 3521 runners took part in the challenging event, a massive 53% increase on last year. Simon Tonui of Birchfield Harriers was the winner of the 2009 Baxters Loch Ness Marathon on Sunday, October 4, crossing the finish line in a record 2 hours 20 minutes and 13 seconds, beating the previous course record set by Thomas Abyu in 2003 by 46 seconds. Runner up for the second year in a row was David Kirkland of Alnwick Harriers (2:23:55). In third place was Christopher Wilson from Ron Hill Cambuslang Harriers (2:26:55).

The women's race was won by Joice Kirui of Birchfield Harriers, with a time of 2:48:25. Bridget Coomber of UK Athletics Club took second place in a time of 2:58:56 and Pamela Tosh from Aberdeen AAC was third in 3:02:15.

Winner Simon Tonui,of Kenya, said: "I'm very happy that I broke the course record. I enjoyed the run - the people along the route were very cheerful and the scenery was wonderful".

Joice Kirui, winner of the women's Marathon and also originally from Kenya, said: "I enjoyed running the course. This was my first time running the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and it was great to see whole families - grandparents, children, everyone - out to celebrate and cheer on the runners."

Lochaber High School Pipes and Drums gave a rousing start to the Marathon runners lined up at Whitebridge, and hundreds of spectators enjoyed the autumn sunshine as they cheered runners along the route. However many of the runners found the course extremely challenging especially the last eight miles when the hills took their toll and anticipated times slipped away.

Winner of the GORE RUNNING WEAR™ Runners Club Award 2009 (for fastest running club members male and female) were Simon Tonui and Joice Kirui respectively.

The first person resident within the Highland area across the finishing line was Steven Cameron and he receives the inaugural HSPC Gerald Cooper Memorial Cup, with a £1000 donation to the charity of his choice.

The Macdonalds stormed home as winners of the Run Home Clan Challenge celebrating Scotland's Year of Homecoming, beating ancient clan rivals the Mackenzies into second place.

Over forty different nationalities were represented at the event, with athletes from as far afield as Australia, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Nepal, USA and Zimbabwe.

Malcolm Sutherland, Event & Race Director, said: "Training for an event like this takes real dedication and I'd like to extend our congratulations to everyone participating today. Thank you too to runners supporting our associated charities and helping others through the event. I hope we'll see you all again next year and that everyone going home with great memories of the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running will pass the word on to their friends and families and encourage them to come to the event next year!"

Bill King, Chief Executive, Baxters said: "The atmosphere around the finish arena and along the course today has been superb - its been great to see so many people enjoying the event. Well done to everyone who took part and a special thanks to everyone who supported the event by raising cash for charity."

Baxters River Ness 10K

Winner of the 10K was Lukas Wambua of Kenya with a time of 30:32. Second was Robert Turner of Harmeny Athletic Club with a time of 33:14. Third was Karl Simpson of Shetland AAC with a time of 34:29.

In the women's 10K race, Genet Measso of Ethiopia won in a time of 34 minutes and 51 seconds. Second in the 10K was Inverness Harriers runner Melissa Whyte (35:18), followed by Jenny Bannerman (39:06) in third place, also Inverness Harriers. Melissa Whyte is currently the top runner in the UK for female 10K runners in the over 45 age group.

The fastest team home in the Healthy Working Lives 10K Corporate Challenge was Johnston Carmichael Team 2 in a cumulative time of 3:05:46.

Konnie Huq, former Blue Peter and Top of the Pops television presenter, said: "I've had a great visit to the Highlands of Scotland - the fantastic mountain scenery and views of Loch Ness were breathtaking. Even the Baxters River Ness 10K run through the Highland capital, Inverness, took me along a route beside the beautiful River Ness and the castle standing proud above it - this must be one of the most scenic runs in the country! It was fantastic to be involved with the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running and to see all that magnificent training and commitment pay off for the runners and the many charities that benefit from the event. Thank you to everyone for making me so welcome - I'll definitely be back!"


Last year the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running attracted an additional £1.87M to the economy of the local area.

Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running is popular with people raising money for charity, as shown by the fantastic £579,188 raised from the 2008 event, benefiting hundreds of charities and communities across Scotland and the UK. Runners were able to choose from four nominated charities for Baxters Loch Ness Marathon - Highland Hospice, Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie Cancer Care and the Scottish Community Foundation - or select from over 35 other associated national and Scottish charities.


1: Simon Tonui, Birchfield Harriers (2:20:13)
2: David Kirkland, Alnwick Harriers (2:23:55)
3: Christopher Wilson, Ron Hill Cambuslang Harriers (2:26:55)
4: David Lindsay, Central AC (2:35:45)
5: Philip Chritchlow, Beaumont RC (2:38:11)
6: Stuart Kerr, Kirkintilloch Olympians (2:39:18)
7: Niku Millot, Metro Aberdeen Running Club (2:39:30)
8: David Thompson, Barnsley AC (2:39:58)
9: Russell Whittington, Bellahouston Road Runners (2:41:43)
10: Scott Kennedy, Bellahouston Road Runners (2:43:01)

Men over 40: 1: Richard Thomson, Metro Aberdeen Running Club (2:48:19)

Men Over 50: 1: Terence Coyle, Glasgow (2:51:43)

Men Over 60: 1: Jeff Whittington, Costa Blanc Striders (3:15:41)

1: Joice Kirui, Birchfield Harriers (2:48:25)
2: Bridget Coomber, UK Athletics Club (2:58:56)
3: Pamela Tosh, Aberdeen AAC (3:02:15)
4: Erica Christie, Bellahouston Harriers (3:05:53)
5: Morgan Windram-Geddes, Fife Athletic Club (3:05:55)
6: Charlotte Collyer, Woking (3:06:19)
7: Jane Purchase, Doncaster AC (3:06:33)
8: Rebecca Johnson, Bellahouston Road Runners (3:08:08)
9: Paula Ross, Inverness (3:10:38)
10: Rhona Anderson, Dunbar Running Club (3:10:55)

Women over 35: 1: Rebecca Johnson, Bellahouston Road Runners (3:08:08)

Women Over 45: 1: Jane Purchase, Doncaster AC (3:06:33)

Women Over 55: 1: Christine Thorne, North Norfolk Beach Runners (3:55:50)

GORE RUNNING WEAR™ Runners Club Award 2009 (for fastest running club member male)
Simon Tonui

GORE RUNNING WEAR™ Runners Club Award 2009 (for fastest running club member female)
Joice Kirui

HSPC Gerald Cooper Memorial Cup (for first person resident in the Highland area)
Steven Cameron, Lochaber Athletic Club (2:57:31)

Baxters River Ness 10K

1: Lukas Wambua, Kenya (30:32)
2: Robert Turner, Harmeny Athletic Club (33:14)
3: Karl Simpson, Shetland AAC (34:29)
4: Andy Buchanan, Calderglen Harriers (34:42)
5: Gordon Lennox, Invergordon (34:57)
6: David Coales, Briston (34:59)
7: Daniel Bradford, Glasgow University Hares & Hounds (35:05)
8: David Tamburini, Gourock (35:12)
9: David Burgess, Anster Haddies Running Club (35:24)
10: Nick Brown, Keith & District AAC (35:41)

Men Over 40: 1: Nick Brown, Keith and District AAC (35:41)

Men Over 50: 1: Colin Miller, Irvine Athletic Club (36:08)

Men Over 60: 1: John Douglas, Halkirk (40:56)

1: Genet Measso, Ethiopia (34:51)
2: Melissa Whyte, Inverness Harriers AAC (35:18)
3: Jenny Bannerman, Inverness Harriers AAC (39:06)
4: Ellie Buchan, Aberdeen AAC (39:26)
5: Laura Marshall, Nairn Road Runners (39:42)
6: Rhona Buchan, Aberdeen AAC (39:44)
7: Claire Thompson, Bellahouston Road Runners (39:55)
8: Gillian Carr, Corstorphine AAC (40:15)
9: Fionn Nairn, Hunters Bog Trotters (40:33)
10: Lorraine Gribben, Kilbarchan Amateur Athletic Club (40:47)

Women over 35: 1: Rhona Buchan, Aberdeen AAC (39:44)

Women Over 45: 1: Fionn Nairn, Hunters Bog Trotters (40:33)

Women Over 55: 1: Shirley Hay, Nairn Road Runners (47:16)


Fastest Overall Team and Fastest Private Sector Team: Johnston Carmichael Team 2, cumulative time 3.05.46

Fastest Public Sector Team: HIE Maintenance, cumulative time 3:07:51


A record field of over 7500 runners took part in the Baxters Festival of Running on Sunday 4 October 2009, with 3521 runners in the Marathon, 3125 in the 10K and 1041 in the 5K Fun Run. Full Results.