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Run Home to Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running

Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running organisers have announced an exciting new development for this year’s event taking place on 4 October 2009: for the first time in the eight year history of the event, entry to the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon will be guaranteed on a first come first served basis, with no ballot.

To celebrate Scotland’s Year of Homecoming, it has also been announced that two special events will be added to this year’s Festival, inviting runners from around the UK and the globe to ‘Run Home to Scotland’ in 2009. The special events feature the Run Home Breakfast Run and the Run Home Clan Challenge:

• The Clan Challenge is open to anyone with a claim to a Scottish clan. Represent your Clan (and wear some tartan) in the most fun a Battle of the Clans has been in centuries! All runners in the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Baxters River Ness 10K will have the option to register allegiance to their clan when entering. The results of the 2009 Clan Challenge will be based on numbers of runners from each clan who successfully complete either event.

• The Highland Breakfast Run takes place on 3 October and is open to all runners, supporters, spectators, local residents – in fact anyone wanting to be part of the 2009 Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running! Starting and finishing at Queens Park Stadium (the race village in Inverness) and following a scenic 5k route along the River Ness and the Caledonian Canal, the run is the perfect opportunity to stretch your legs and limber up for the big day on Sunday. The Breakfast Run is open to all ages and includes a hearty Highland breakfast buffet while being entertained by some great Highland tunes!

Whether you are a marathon, 10K, 5K runner or just someone wanting to take part in the north of Scotland’s largest participatory sporting event, make a date to Run Home in 2009 and add to the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running’s Homecoming celebrations.

The 2008 Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running was the most successful ever, with over 6000 entries across all events and economic benefit to the local area of over £1,870,350.

Event & race director, Malcolm Sutherland, said: “We are pleased to be able to offer guaranteed entry to marathon runners for the first time this year – this means that runners will know as soon as they enter whether their application has been accepted. This is proving a popular move with marathon runners – entries are already up 48% on this time last year! Entries are being accepted now for all other events in the Festival of Running too – the Baxters River Ness 10K, the Baxters River Ness 5K Fun Run and the 10K Corporate Challenge – and I’d encourage anyone thinking of entering any category to get their entry in as soon as possible to be sure of a place.

Malcolm continued: “We look forward to welcoming everyone to Loch Ness and the Highlands in 2009 for Scotland’s Year of Homecoming. The Clan Challenge will bring some friendly rivalry to the Festival of Running, and the Breakfast Run in particular will be a great way to get to know some of your fellow runners before the main races the next day. The Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running is renowned for its friendly atmosphere and excellent organisation – make this your year to come along and take part!”

Entry for the 2009 Baxters Loch Ness Marathon is guaranteed on a first come first served basis until 1 May 2009 or until race limit is reached. After this date charity places and places for club and overseas runners will still be available. Entry for the popular Baxters River Ness 10K, the 10K Corporate Challenge, Baxters River Ness 5K Fun Run, Highland Breakfast Run and Clan Challenge is also open now. For more details on all races, or to enter, visit http://www.lochnessmarathon.com or call 0870 127 8000.