Monster Performance from Ealing Eagles Runner

Melissah Gibson wins the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon

Melissah Gibson crossing the finish line at Loch Ness

October 3, 2023

An Ealing Eagles club runner has won this year’s Baxters Loch Ness Marathon.

Melissah Gibson was the first female completing the 26.2 mile race through breathtaking Scottish scenery in 2:43:45 this Sunday (1 October). She finished more than 12 minutes ahead of the second placed athlete.

Her victory came just a week after she triumphed in the Ealing Half Marathon.

The Marathon is part of a running festival with thousands of participants from all over the world and includes the Baxters River Ness 10K, 10K Corporate Challenge, Baxters River Ness 5K and Wee Nessie. It is the 21 st time the event has been held.

Among the 8,600 entries across the events, 55% came from outside Scotland and 12% from overseas from locations as far afield as Australia, Brazil and China. Entrants came from 45 countries representing 64 nationalities, with runners of all ages up to 80 taking part.

Melissah with her medal after the race
Melissah with her medal after the race

Each year, Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running is a key fundraising opportunity for charities, including official charity Macmillan Cancer Support.

Sophie Hodgson, Challenge Events Manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, said, “What an amazing achievement by all of the runners! We are overwhelmed by the support and generosity of everyone running for Macmillan Cancer Support – the more than £75,000 we hope to raise through the event will help so many people living with cancer. Thank you all so much.”

Other charities benefitting from the event include charity partners Alzheimer Scotland, Cancer Research UK and Highland Hospice, as well as 30 additional charity partners, with tens of thousands of pounds expected to be raised.

The route takes runners through some breathtaking scenery
The route takes runners through some breathtaking scenery

Taking gold in the 10K were Max Abernethy of Fraserburgh Running Club in 30:10 and Claire Bruce of Metro Aberdeen in 34:46. 10K Corporate Challenge winner was Àban in a cumulative time of 2:48:08.

The top male and female in the 5K were Roy Taylor of Elgin AAC in 16:52 and Lois Macrae of Inverness Harriers in 17:20.

In the marathon, Steven Burnside completed the distance alongside 5,100 runners this time, finishing his 10th Loch Ness Marathon over 10 consecutive days and raising over £1,750 for mental health and suicide prevention charity Mikeysline.

At least two sightings of the Loch Ness monster were reported
At least two sightings of the Loch Ness monster were reported

Malcolm Sutherland, Event & Race Director of Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running, said: “Congratulations to everyone who took part this year! We are delighted that so many people have chosen to come to the Highland capital from all over the world to take part in our event.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved in making the event such a success, including the communities along the route, our charity partners, our brilliant team and all our amazing volunteers – we couldn’t do it without you.”

Audrey Baxter, Executive Chairman of Baxters Food Group, said: “Having been a partner of the Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running since the very beginning 21 years ago, all of us at Baxters are delighted that the event has once again been such a huge success. The atmosphere has been incredible as people crossed the finish line and enjoyed some post-run fuel and celebrations in the Event Village. Well done to you all!”


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