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2020 Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running – Important Event Update

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It is with great sadness that we have taken the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running, including the River Ness 10K, 5K, Corporate Challenge and Wee Nessie, due to take place on 4 October 2020.

When we were watching so many runners cross the finish line at last year’s event, we could not have anticipated that this day would come. But over the last few months we have all had to adjust to a new normal.

We have been continually assessing the situation over the last three months, consulting with government bodies, agencies and stakeholders, and although we had initially been optimistic that the event could go ahead in October, there is still too much uncertainty as to when events will be allowed to take place and also what the restrictions will be.

The health, safety and welfare of our runners, volunteers, staff, charities, sponsors and stakeholders is at the heart of everything we do and will always remain our priority. We feel it is our responsibility to protect everyone involved, including our emergency services and local community who have always been so supportive.

The continuing uncertainty over travel restrictions for the large number of participants who travel to Inverness and the Highlands from around the UK and abroad has also been taken into account.

The Baxters Loch Ness Marathon is a highlight of the UK running calendar with one of the most spectacular marathon routes in the world. We pride ourselves on offering a very special Highland experience and we are concerned this would be lost were the event to go ahead in October with all the necessary physical distancing measures and other restrictions in place. Instead, we will put our efforts into ensuring the 2021 event is an outstanding experience for everyone.

We also understand the many weeks of training required to prepare for a marathon and that many of you will be starting your 12-week training programme. We are also mindful that many of you are fundraising for charity. We will therefore be working with our partner charities – Macmillan Cancer Support, Alzheimer Scotland, Cancer Research UK and the Highland Hospice and a host of other charities – to maximise fundraising in 2021. Over £1m was raised for charity in 2019 so we are determined to make up for the cancellation of the 2020 event.

Everyone with a place in the 2020 Loch Ness Marathon, River Ness 10K, 5K, Corporate Challenge and Wee Nessie will have their entry automatically transferred to the 2021 event, taking place on 3 October. All participants have been emailed today.

We really hope you can all join us at the 2021 event however we understand that this date may not be possible for everyone and we are able to offer the following alternatives:

  • Transfer your entry to another runner and receive a refund
  • Donate your entry fee to our charity partners
  • A refund of your entry fee

We would like to thank everyone for their patience and incredible support over the last few months; we know that this will come as very disappointing news.

In the meantime, keep running and we look forward to welcoming you back to beautiful Loch Ness in October 2021.

Malcolm Sutherland, Event Director

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