The Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running is warming up for its annual festival of fun and running in Inverness this weekend (28th & 29th September).
With over 9000 runners expected to take part in the five races scheduled on the Sunday, organisers are starting the weekend festivities on the Saturday with the Baxters Pasta Party. Chefs will be serving up a nutritional three course spread of tasty carbs as well as an afternoon of live music and an hourly show hosted by BBC Radio Scotland’s Bryan Burnett, with experts on hand to help banish runners’ last minute nerves.
New for 2013 is the Sports Expo at the Event Village, which is open on both the Saturday and the Sunday. Bigger than ever before, there will be a great range of running products and exciting offers from leading brands.
On Sunday, the day of the race, the ‘festival’ atmosphere of the Event Village kicks up a gear. The Baxters Food & Drink Fayre showcases a selection of the best ready-to-eat offerings from around the area and there are plenty of Baxters’ finest chutneys, relishes and jams available for sampling.
Audrey Baxter said: “As title sponsor of the Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running, Baxters is keen to promote its philosophy of a healthy active lifestyle and the importance of maintaining a balanced diet. The marathon is an ideal platform to showcase some of our key products, including our Healthy range of soups.
“Over the years, the event has evolved into a festival in its own right. It’s a fun weekend, and there’s something for everyone, whether they are running or spectating.”
Other tempting foods from local suppliers range from seafood paella and venison burgers to risotto, hearty soups and hog roast rolls, as well as ice cream, hot and cold drinks and locally brewed beers.
There’s no shortage of activities and features to keep the kids occupied this year. They’ll literally be jumping for joy and spoilt for choice between super jumper trampolines, bouncy castle, inflatable slides, bucking bronco and a merry-go-round.
And, of course, no Highland festival would be complete without the stirring sounds of a pipe band. This year the 1 Highlanders ACF Pipes & Drums are performing in the event village, and The Lochaber High School Pipe Band will be providing the theme tune to kick off the start of the marathon.
During the day Jack Badcock & Ciaran Ryan will be providing acoustic entertainment in the food tent on both Saturday and Sunday, and popular Scottish ceilidh/folk band Schiehallion is the headline act on race day.
Race director, Malcolm Sutherland said: “We always aim to bring a festival atmosphere to the weekend’s proceedings. It’s very much a family affair and we hope people will come and support the runners and add to the unique buzz of race day.”
Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “In 2013, the year of natural Scotland, the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon will once again showcase one of Scotland’s most spectacular locations as runners take in the iconic Loch Ness. Scotland is the perfect stage for events, and I am sure that participants of all ages and abilities will once again enjoy this fantastic festival of running.”
There will be a number of road closures in place during the weekend. For full details visit www.lochnessmarathon.com and click on Spectators and Residents’ Information within the Event Info section of the website.