Robin Atter of Grantham Running Club took part in the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon
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 parkrun gave a chance for an ideal shakedown run at the Torvean Park run in Inverness. More than 500 runners took part, with many running the marathon the next day.
Marathon day started early as competitors were 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. Sixty coaches left Inverness with the runners, which was a sight to be seen as they snaked their way to the start, passing through villages en route.
Starting in an atmospheric moorland setting and to the sound of bagpipes playing, the route then continued 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 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 was 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 final 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 two miles kept Robin going. The added motivation to dig deep and the effort in the last miles to hold a steady pace was rewarded, crossing the finish line in 3hr 21min 30sec, a new PB for Robin on his third marathon. He finished 179th overall out of 3,502, and 43rd out of 555 in his age group.