On Sunday 1st October 2024 Robin Atter of Grantham Running Club took part in the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon. With his love of Scotland and having completed his two previous marathons in Edinburgh, Loch Ness was on his bucket list to compete in his third marathon.
Having made the journey up to Scotland, the local park run gave chance for an ideal shake down run at the Torvean Park run in Inverness. Over 500 runners took part, with many running the marathon the next day.
Marathon day starts early as competitors are required to leave Inverness at 7:30am for the hour long journey by coach to the start line located on the high ground between Fort Augustus and Foyers. 60 coach’s left Inverness with the runners, which is a sight to be seen as they snake there way to the start, passing through villages on route and locals waving.
Starting in an atmospheric moorland setting and with the marathon starting to the sound of bagpipes playing as runners cross over the start line, the route then continues through stunning Highland scenery and along the south-eastern shores of the world famous Loch Ness. Robin looked for Nessie but she was nowhere to be seen today so he headed on to follow the River Ness and then across the River Ness bridge to finish in Inverness, capital city of the Highlands.
Once at the finish line runners were presented with a T shirt, medal, goodie bag and being sponsored by Baxters a well earned soup and roll. A welcome massage was also available to help with the recovery process.
Robin wanted to enjoy the experience and the scenery and this he did. Whilst the course is remote in places, the spectacular scenery and fantastic atmosphere made a truly memorable experience, it really is a marathon like no other.
Looking at his watch for the first time as he felt tired in the finial 10km to see what pace he was doing he saw he was on for a PB. Once back in Inverness the support of crowds lining the streets over the final 2 miles kept Robin going. The added motivation to dig deep and the effort in the last miles to hold a steady pace was rewarded, coming across the finish line in 03:21:30 a new PB for Robin on his third marathon. He finished 179 overall out of 3502, and 43 out of 555 in his age group.