THE inaugural Loch Ness challenge is set to take place at the iconic loch this weekend with 450 people currently signed up to participate.

The event will run across the full weekend and is comprised of a marathon, an ultra-marathon and bike challenge.

The long-distance events have been created by Visit Inverness Loch Ness (VILN).

VILN CEO Michael Golding said: “After two years of postponements due to the pandemic, we’re so excited to finally host the inaugural Loch Ness Challenge.

“And I’m sure it will be worth the wait, with many people experiencing the spectacular 360-degree trail for the first time.”

The marathon challenge covers three marathons over the course of three days, totalling 129km and an ascent of more than 3000m along the Great Glen Way and South Loch Ness Trail.

The ultra-marathon challenge covers the same three marathons but with a time limit of 24 hours beginning on Saturday 21st May, while the bike challenge will take place on Sunday.

Mr Golding added: “Thank you to everyone who is supporting the event, including our amazing team of volunteers, some of whom will even be supporting overnight when our ultramarathon runners will be out on the trail.”

We hope the Loch Ness Challenge will provide an economic boost for the area and the communities around Loch Ness.

“I’d encourage anyone in the area to get involved and cheer on our participants.”

Entrants have signed-up from as far afield as America and New Zealand.

Participants include Salomon sponsored athlete Donnie Campbell, with recent Etape Loch Ness podium finishers Andrew MacRae, Lynne Cordiner and Natalie Munro also set to compete.

The event has been made possible through the sponsorship of SSE Renewables as well as volunteers helping throughout the weekend.

SSE Renewables’ Craig Cunningham said: “The time has almost arrived for the Loch Ness Challenge, and we’re delighted to be part of it.

“The route passes a number of our hydro power and onshore wind sites to it’s great to be involved and to help support the communities in which we operate.

“Many of the SSE Renewables team are volunteering to support the event this weekend while many more colleagues are taking part, including myself in the Loch Ness Marathon Challenge, so we’re all really excited for a great weekend.

“Good luck to everyone taking part.”

Anyone wishing to find out more about the Loch Ness Challenge should visit