It’s a spectacle not seen in the Scottish Highlands for hundreds of years, but the hills will once again be filled with clansmen leading a passionate charge through the countryside on September 28. Almost 2,000 runners from the length and breadth of Britain – and further afield – will pledge their allegiance to their clans in an effort to lift the title in the Clan Challenge at the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running.
Runners in the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and River Ness 10K and 5K and Corporate Challenge 10K have been encouraged to align themselves with their family clan, or one they have a connection with, in an effort to discover which clan can gather the largest number of competitors.
Runners from all across the UK have accepted the challenge to join their clansmen on the shores of Loch Ness, and international runners have also grabbed themselves a piece of the action.
Three runners from Brazil are set to take up the Clan Challenge, travelling across the Atlantic to run the Baxters River Ness 10K. The trio of runners will represent the MacDuffs, historically one of the oldest clans in the Highlands, in the hope that their effort will clinch their clan the hotly contested top prize.
There are also international foot soldiers from Australia, North America, Europe and Hong Kong all taking up arms to represent clans as diverse as Douglas, Sutherland and MacDonald.
Runners taking part in the Baxters Festival of Running are encouraged to wear a touch of tartan as part of the Year of Homecoming 2014 as they run through some of Scotland’s most glorious scenery.
Race director Malcolm Sutherland says, “There has been a fantastic response to the Clan Challenge, and we are delighted that so many runners have chosen to declare their loyalty to their clans. Around a quarter of all the runners who have signed up to take part in the various events are Clan Challenge participants.
“It is brilliant to see people from around the world connecting with their Scottish roots, and coming together to celebrate their heritage in one of the most spectacular locations in Scotland.
“This year’s Festival of Running is set to be the best yet and we look forward to welcoming seasoned runners and newcomers alike to take part in the races that are taking place throughout the day.
“Those who don’t want to run but still want to join in the fun are more than welcome to visit the Event Village in Bught Park, Inverness where they will be able to cheer on the participants as well as seeing live music, the Baxters Food & Drink Fayre, a sports expo and lots of activities for children.”
The Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running takes place on Sunday, September 28, 2014 and entries are open until Monday, September 8.Find out more about the day at www.lochnessmarathon.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lochnessmarathon and on Twitter @nessmarathon