The 2019 Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running broke records by attracting its biggest-ever numbers for its 18th year.
Thousands of inspirational runners ticked off the bucket list event, completing the gruelling but scenic marathon route to claim their well-earned medal in wet conditions.
Amongst thousands of runners and supporting spectators, Isaiah Kosgei from Metro Aberdeen RC came through to win the 26.2-mile event in a time of 2:29.31. Katie White from Garscube Harriers was the winning female athlete setting an 18-year marathon record with an impressive time of 2:42.04.
Over 9,400 runners registered for this year’s series of events which included the full marathon, the Baxters River Ness 10k, 10k Corporate Challenge, River Ness 5k and Wee Nessie distances.
In the Baxters River Ness 10K, the first male over the line was Cameron Strachan from Metro Aberdeen RC in a time of 30:31. Shortly followed by leading female, Megan Keith from Inverness Harriers AAC in 34:42.
Loch Ness Marathon veterans, Fiona Rennie of Carnegie Harriers, Kenneth Stewart of Perth Road Runners and Erica Christie who have never missed the race, continued their incredible feat to claim their 18th consecutive Baxters Loch Ness Marathon medal.
The oldest competitor in the Loch Ness Marathon was Roger Macmillan from Canada who at the age of 82 travelled from Canada to complete his 9th marathon at Loch Ness, proving to the hundreds of children under-5 taking part in the Wee Nessie that they had a long way to go to beat his milestone.
After getting married yesterday, runners Alicia Hickey and Tom Stuart put their honeymoon plans on hold to run the marathon together as newlyweds.
Runners have again been dedicated to helping raise thousands of pounds for charity. Official charity partner Macmillan Cancer Support hope to receive in excess of £75,000 to help people living with cancer and their families.
Renowned as one of the most scenic and beautiful marathons in the world, runners came from over 45 countries to take on the route that starts between Fort Augustus and Whitebridge before following a spectacular route along the south-side of Loch Ness into Inverness.
Thousands of entrants for the other distances took to the streets of the Highland capital before finishing collectively at Bught Park on the banks of the River Ness.
Race director Malcolm Sutherland said: ‘What a fantastic event it’s been, welcoming thousands of new and returning faces to the Highlands. The atmosphere all weekend has been remarkable and the energy around the finish line is unprecedented. Seeing the event grow to record numbers over our rich 18-year history has been a highlight – it’s become a staple in the Scottish sporting calendar.
‘Not only does it help get worldwide runners of all ages and abilities fit and healthy but also brings our community together and draws global attention to the Highlands in a superb spectator event.
‘We’d like to thank all the runners and spectators but also our incredible army of volunteers who continue to bring inspirational energy and enthusiasm to make this event possible.
‘Entries for the 2020 race are now open and we look forward to welcoming you all back next year for our 19th event.’
Audrey Baxter, executive chairman and group CEO of Baxters Food Group, said: ‘We are so proud to be the title sponsor of the Loch Ness Marathon for the 18th year running. The event continues to reflect the company’s commitment to supporting the local community and providing food full of goodness to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle.
‘We are delighted to have been part of the event from the beginning, working with and supporting the team to help make the Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running the world-class event it is today. Well done to all the runners who took part in this year’s races!’
Early bird entry for the 2020 Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running, which takes place on 4th October is now open. Sign up for the 2020 races at www.lochnessmarathon.com