Kenyan athlete Isaiah Kosgei is disappointed to hear that the Baxters Loch Ness marathon has been cancelled.
The African athlete has a large group of friends in the north-east after spending a lot of time in the area over the past few years.
He won last year’s Loch Ness race in the colours of Metro Aberdeen Running Club after finishing third in 2018 and fifth in 2017.
Kosgei said: “I imagined the race would be cancelled as so many others have been. I hope to run in the Poznan marathon in Poland in October if it goes ahead. At the moment it is still on.
“But I am just training for fitness at the moment.
“In Kenya there are no group training sessions and no training camps. Movement between different areas of the country is not allowed.”
The Loch Ness marathon was scheduled for October 4 2020, but has joined the growing list of big autumn races to be cancelled.
Race Director Malcolm Sutherland said: “It has been a difficult decision and not one we have taken lightly, however the health, safety and welfare of our participants, volunteers, staff, charities and stakeholders is at the heart of everything we do and will always remain our priority.
“We feel it is our responsibility to protect everyone involved including our emergency services and local community, which has always been so supportive.
“The Baxters Loch Ness Marathon is a highlight of the UK running calendar with one of the most spectacular marathon routes in the world and has also gained a reputation as one of the most memorable.
“We will put our efforts into ensuring the 2021 Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running is an outstanding experience for everyone.”