Marathons and Races in Inverness and Loch Ness
Inverness and Loch Ness have some world-class sporting events for you to take on year round, and after you have completed your next challenge or gained a new medal, you can use it as a great opportunity to discover the destination. Taking your favourite sport on holiday is known as a "Race-cation" and is an increasingly popular way to enjoy a new destination.
For so many reasons Inverness and Loch Ness are the perfect choices for your race-cation. As well as an incredible list of local sporting events, you are on the doorstep of some of the most stunning landscapes to relax in post-race or if you can't sit still you can create the most epic itinerary of things to do to make the most of your time in the area.
First, let us look at some of the awesome events you can take on!
Inverness Half Marathon
Sunday 12th March 2023
The Inverness Half Marathon and 5k races are usually held in March. This is an extremely popular half marathon and the route starts and finishes along the beautiful river ness that runs through the city centre. There is always a great atmosphere with runners and supporters, not to mention there are plenty of cafes, restaurants, bars and pubs where you can celebrate your achievement and show off your medal after the race.
Etape Loch Ness
Sunday 23rd April 2023
If you prefer your challenges on two wheels, the Etape Loch Ness is a fantastic challenge to take on, who doesn't want to ride the circumference of the mighty Loch Ness? Starting and finishing in Inverness, the early morning start gives you the chance to ride the 66 mile route on traffic free roads taking in the stunning scenery. Just remember... what goes up must come down, it's an exciting and undulating route that includes 900m of ascent and many take this challenge on time and time again because it is so enjoyable.
Loch Ness Marathon
Sunday 1st October 2023
As their slogan quite rightly says.... Prepare for great-NESS! This award-winning race has the reputation of being one of the most stunning marathons in the world! Join people who travel from all over the world to run the point-to-point route which follows the shoreline of Loch Ness in places giving you the most incredible scenery to motivate you to the finish line. This festival of running includes a marathon, 10k, 5k and wee Nessie race. Inverness is buzzing on marathon weekend so you will want to stay a while, not only to rest your legs but to go back and take in the views and scenery again!
Loch Ness 24
Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th August 2023
How does the idea of taking on an EPIC 24-hour race, either solo or in a team, while clocking up as many 7k loops as you can around an incredibly scenic route sound to you? Well, look no further because the Loch Ness 24 is ABSOLUTELY the race for you. Camp out under the stars in the event village with uninterrupted views of Loch Ness, soak up the atmosphere not only of the surroundings but of the team camaraderie and count up the loops as the clock ticks away. Fun, challenging, different...we don't need to say anymore, just sign up below!
Ultra X 110km and 50km Ultra marathons
Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th May 2023
If endurance is your bag then the Ultra X races will be high on your wish list! 110 kilometres over two days, 3768 metres of elevation navigating your way around the unique wilderness of the Great Glen and South Loch Ness trails, not to mention outstanding views of Loch Ness that many never see unless taking on this route. You have the option of the 50km or 110km races over this two-day event. A fantastic challenge in spectacular scenery and trails that you will not want to miss.
Loch Ness Festival
24th May - 4th June
A festival that includes running and cycling .... and so much more! NEW for 2023 the Loch Ness Festival you can choose from a range of events from a 100-mile Ultra marathon, 50-mile Ultra marathon and a 100-mile, 50-mile bike challenge or team relay. For adventure seekers looking to take on the whole of the legendary Loch Ness by foot or bike through stunning trails with incredible scenery, you have your pick of race choices here!
Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th January 2023
This epic 24-hour winter bike challenge is a sell-out EVERY year! (including 2023!) A brutal mix of elements, terrain and endurance makes this race all the more rewarding and all the more popular to take on! You have 24 hours to loop the 12.5km mountain bike course in sometimes sub-zero temperatures, rain, snow, high winds and most definitely always mud! Get in EARLY to be in with a chance of being able to take this incredible adventure on!
Make a trip of it!
Don't just race and rush off, there is so much more to see and do if you are coming to Inverness or Loch Ness to take on a challenge. Here are a few suggestions to help your planning...
Accommodation - You need to have the perfect base pre and post race, and with everything from camping and glamping to luxury hotels there is something for everyone and every budget.
Things to do - Stay and discover more of the area, a pre race relaxing Loch Ness cruise, post race celebration with live traditional music, discover some history or learn about the local heritage and culture.
Where to eat - Fuel up before the event in the best way possible and then mark the achievement with a delicious meal in one of the many local restaurants.
If a challenge is not your thing but you like to get out and about on foot, bike or even on the water, check out our other blogs on all the fun adventures you can have, there is so much to choose from, the difficulty will be not having enough time!