RUNNERS keen to enter the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon this year are encouraged to sign up now for a charity place for the event.
Although general entry has already closed, charity, club and overseas entries remain open until 13 September 2010.
Taking up a charity place at the event on 3 October 2010 gives participants the opportunity to maximise the return from their efforts by raising cash for one of the charities associated with Baxters Loch Ness Marathon.
There are five nominated charities for the event – Alzheimer Scotland, Breast Cancer Care, Highland Hospice, Macmillan Cancer Support and Marie Curie Cancer Care – and over 30 other associated national and Scottish charities.
Full details are available at www.lochnessmarathon.com/charities .
Runners in the 2010 Festival will enjoy the benefit of improvements to the Marathon course, likely to bring about faster times, as well as a new finish line closer to the centre of the Highland capital, Inverness.
Lorna Simpson, of Breast Cancer Care Scotland, said: “By running for Breast Cancer Care Scotland or any one of the five nominated or over 30 associated charities at Baxters Loch Ness Marathon you will have an experience to remember, while at the same time benefiting others.
“Guaranteed places are still available for our charity and for many others, and I know our unrivalled cheering squads will help you through the toughest miles on the day!
“We are very grateful to all Breast Cancer Care Scotland runners, and to everyone else who will be running for other good causes on 3 October, supporting people when they need it most.”
Bill King, chief executive, Baxters, said: “We are proud to sponsor the Loch Ness Marathon for the ninth year running and looking forward to supporting all of the people that turn out on the day to run and help raise money for charity. The event is always a great success and it’s great to see so many people taking part and raising money for all of the charities involved. We wish everyone the best of luck preparing for the marathon and look forward to another great event.”
Paul Bush OBE, chief operating officer at EventScotland, the national events agency, said: “The Loch Ness Marathon is quite simply one of the best running events in the world, consistently attracting top class athletes and thousands of runners each year.
“The change to the route for 2010 will provide competitive runners with a chance to achieve a personal best and the sensational scenery along Loch Ness will ensure all those running will have an unforgettable day.
“The Loch Ness Marathon brings huge benefits to the Scottish Highlands, from economic impact and media profile to the tens of thousands of pounds which are raised for deserving charities through the run each year. It’s a great asset to the area and we are delighted to be supporting it.”
Organisers have announced a significant increase in the entries across all events in the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running for the second year in a row.
Event and race director, Malcolm Sutherland, said: “We are delighted to see that Marathon entries are up on the same period last year, a fantastic achievement following the increase in 2009.
“The new location for the finish line and Festival Village in the Bught Park brings the event closer to Inverness city centre, making it more accessible for everyone. The new location will offer more space and greater flexibility to develop participant and spectator facilities in years to come.
“Together with the faster course, these improvements have had a positive response encouraging more runners to take part, both from the local area and others travelling to the Highlands.”
Malcolm continued: “I’d like to remind everyone that entries are open for all other events in the Festival until 13 September – the Baxters River Ness 10K, the 10K Corporate Challenge and the Baxters River Ness 5K Fun Run. With more people participating in all events this year, I’d encourage anyone thinking of taking part to enter now to be sure of a place.”
Over 7,800 people, including former Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq, entered the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running in 2009.
The removal of the ballot system continues to prove popular with runners, and organisers expect a further increase in entries for the event on 3 October 2010. For more information, visit www.lochnessmarathon.com.
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