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Baxters Loch Ness Marathon sees massive increase in entries

Organisers of the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon announced today that entry figures are a massive 47% up on this time last year, following the lifting of the ballot entry system for the race.

Runners thinking of entering this year’s Baxters Loch Ness Marathon have just four more weeks to ensure their entry is in by the deadline of 1 May for the 2009 event. After this date only charity places and places for club and overseas runners will be available in this scenic running event – the third largest marathon in the UK. This year’s event takes place on 4 October 2009.

This year was the first time in the eight year history of the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon that there was no ballot for marathon places. Instead, guaranteed marathon places are now available on a first come first served basis. Over 6000 runners entered in last year’s Festival and the indications are that even more will head to the Highlands for the 2009 event.

Event and race director, Malcolm Sutherland, said: “This is the first year that guaranteed entry for marathon runners has been offered in the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and we believe this is what has brought about the increased rate of entries for the event. We’re delighted to see the huge interest in the event, and it seems to have encouraged more entries from those travelling from further afield than we would normally expect.”

“I’d encourage anyone thinking about participating in this year’s event to get their entry in as soon as possible to guarantee their place prior to the 1 May deadline.”

Malcolm added: “Entries are open for all other events in the Festival until 14 September – the Baxters River Ness 10K, the Baxters River Ness 5K Fun Run and the Healthy Working Lives 10K Corporate Challenge – but, as all races are proving popular this year, I’d encourage anyone thinking of entering any category to get their entry in as soon as possible to be sure of a place.”

Torquil MacLeod, Homecoming Scotland 2009 Programme and Funding Manager, said: “In the year of Homecoming it’s great to see such a high degree of interest so early on and an increase in entries from outwith Scotland. This year the event is benefiting from the marketing and PR activity for Homecoming both in the UK and around the world, 2009 is a big year for Scotland and we look forward to welcoming the thousands of runners from Scotland and around the world to the Highlands for this great event.” 

Two special events have been added to this year’s Festival to encourage people to ‘Run Home to Scotland’ in this unique Homecoming year: the Run Home Highland Breakfast Run and the Run Home Clan Challenge:

• The Run Home 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 Run Home 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!

Entries for all other events – the Baxters River Ness 10K, the Baxters River Ness 5K Fun Run and the Healthy Working Lives 10K Corporate Challenge – in the 2009 Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running are open until 14 September. 

For more details on all races or to enter, visit http://www.lochnessmarathon.com or call 0870 127 8000.