I signed up for the Loch Ness Marathon in hopes of seeing the most elusive creature in the world

Push comes to shove, I'll be able to run a marathon in the beautiful Scottish Highlands

Aerial view of runners competing in the Loch Ness Marathon
(Image credit: Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running)

Some people sign up for marathons because they want to get a PB; others might do it to challenge themselves. I signed up for the Mongol 100 Ultramarathon because it was too hot at the time, and the idea of running in a cool environment sounded appealing. People do crazy things sometimes.

I picked the Loch Ness Marathon, taking place in Scotland on 29 September 2024, for a different reason. You see, I always had a sense of adventure and thought that maybe one day, I'd get to do and see things beyond my imagination.

I loved reading about dinosaurs, ancient cultures, and mythical creatures. As we all know, once you get older, you realise that you won't be the next Scott or Shackleton. There are very few places left for us to discover, and most of these are being ruined by us every day, anyway.

That said, adventure is all around us, and you can believe in whatever you want, so why shouldn't I be excited to visit Loch Ness, home of the world-famous Nessy? Why shouldn't I be the one spotting her in the water while doing what I enjoy: running?

In the worst-case scenario, I'll run a race in a wonderfully scenic environment surrounded by like-minded people. That's a win in my book!

Best of all, you don't even have to run the full marathon to enjoy the experience, either. The Loch Ness Festival of Running 2024 also includes the Baxters River Ness 10K, Baxters River Ness 5K and even a Wee Nessie kids' race, meaning runners of all abilities can partake.

Aerial view of runners competing in the Loch Ness Marathon

Stunning views and (hopefully) good company

(Image credit: Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running)

2023's Festival of Running event attracted over 8,600 runners from over 45 countries, which is no small feat, considering Inverness – the home of the Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running – isn't the centre of the world. It has an international airport, though, so that's great.

A fun little tidbit I've heard from a fellow runner is that everyone gets a can of soup upon finishing the marathon (Baxter does soups and other canned goods). Since most people arrive in Inverness via plane and you can't take liquids with you in your handbag, many people drop off their cans of soup at the airport.

And if you, like me, thought that sounds like an unnecessary waste, I was also told that cans left at the airport are donated to charity. Don't take my word for it, though; I hope I won't cause a massive influx of canned soup-related littering at Inverness airport with what I've just said.

Will I be able to catch a glimpse of the elusive creature, or will I have to console myself by running the 26.2 miles in a stunning environment? There is only one way to find out... Guaranteed entry is available now for all of the races and those interested in registering can find out more here

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for T3.com and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.