The Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running is a notable fixture on the running calendar. There are great marathons around the world, many of them particularly marked by their settings, and the Loch Ness ranks right alongside them.
The centuries-old legend of the Loch Ness Monster is a story that continues to run. Along with the scenic beauty of the area, it has been responsible for attracting visitors to this fascinating part of Scotland for many years. The opportunity to put such a memorable marathon on their record, one with such a unique story to tell, has proven too strong a pull for thousands of runners of all abilities.
Runners take on the challenge for many reasons: to raise money for good causes, to have fun and enjoy the fantastic setting, to experience the camaraderie, and to achieve their own personal goals. This year, the event took place on Sunday, 30th September.
Auditel Consultant Ruth Dawe decided to take part for all three reasons, but especially to support SHINE, a charity which helps families and individuals affected by spina bifida and hydrocephalus. Ruth says: “This was my first marathon and the course itself was through some of the most stunning Scottish scenery imaginable. Alongside the banks of Loch Ness, wildlife a plenty – although, alas, no Nessie! The organisers had described the route as somewhat undulating – I am not sure ‘undulating’ is the word. I would have chosen ‘especially’, when I saw the huge hill after 18 miles! The course, coupled with the fantastic support along the way, smooth event organisation and some fine Scottish hospitality, makes this a very enjoyable experience. I would highly recommend if you are looking to run your first marathon.
“So, thanks to each and everyone of you who supported me in my quest. I am pleased to say that I completed the course in a time of 5 hours 15 minutes. It was every bit as tough, and more, as I expected it to be, but worth it for the incredible sense of achievement at the finish line. Thanks to your generosity, we have raised over £700 for SHINE – a fantastic achievement in the current climate. If you have not donated and would like to, you can by visiting my fundraising page
“It’s too early to say whether I will complete another marathon as at present, even the stairs are a challenge at the moment!”