Run free! Scotland’s top marathons and races

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Are you looking for a way to finally get in shape and see some of Scotland’s most glorious scenes at the same time? If so, it is time for you to grab your trainers, lace up and head for the Scottish hills!

If you fancy jogging past ancient standing stones, around grand historic castles and over mystical mountains then why not set your sights on the 26.2 mile challenge in Scotland? We’ve selected some of the best running events happening this year, set in locations which are bound to leave you breathless.

The Edinburgh Marathon Festival. Image courtesy of Ken Aitchison.

Edinburgh Marathon Festival. Image courtesy of Ken Aitchison.

Edinburgh Marathon Festival

One of the biggest marathons in the UK, the Edinburgh Marathon Festival (EMF) on 24 – 25 May is a fast-paced, flat route which travels through the city, along the coast of Portobello and with views towards Arthur’s Seat along the way. Over 30,000 runners took part last year raising thousands of pounds for charity. It has been voted the quickest marathon in the UK in the past, and with eight races to choose from, where better to try to set your PB than in the capital?

The Callanish Stones Marathon

Starting and finishing at the historic Callanish Stones, this race around the Isle of Lewis on 2 August is worth going the distance for. Feel the fresh island breeze as you run past perfect beaches and through 4500 years of history. While you’re visiting the islands, why not learn more about our Stone Age ancestors who built the magnificent stone circle? You can also sample some of Lewis’ delicious local produce and spend evenings in a cosy seaside cottage.

Loch Ness Marathon

For those of us who are on a life-long hunt for Nessie or perhaps just like to dress up as the Loch Ness monster from time to time, the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running on 28 September is definitely one to mark in the calendar. With the backdrop of some of Scotland’s most beautiful landscapes waiting around every corner, there’s a selection of distances available to suit all levels and there’s even a 400m ‘Wee Nessie’ race for the little ones! The race is a key event in this year’s Highland Homecoming, a special programme of events celebrating contemporary Highland culture.

Race the Castles

A mixture of orienteering, exercise and urban exploration, Race the Castles is a running event with a twist. As part of our Year of Homecoming Scotland 2014, the races take place over two weekends between 11 – 19 October. Be prepared to race under the shadows of Edinburgh, Stirling and Balmoral Castles. In some races, you will only be given the map at the start line, so it is up to you to navigate your way around Scotland’s cities. Watch this space for more details and check out more exciting Homecoming events.

Color Me Rad

If you’re not quite ready to commit to the full marathon, why not sign up for a more realistic 5K? I’ve signed up for the Color Me Rad 5K in June – a colourful explosion of energy, music and hopefully good weather which comes to Edinburgh and Glasgow this summer. Starting with a pristine white t-shirt, you will be covered in (perfectly safe) neon colour bombs as you race to the finish!

 

Find out more useful information about planning your jogging route, tips for training and other events happening around Scotland.

Are you doing a sponsored run somewhere in Scotland this year? Let us know your training tales, your chosen event and your reasons for running. Don’t forget to share your #brilliantmoments on Facebook, Twitter or any other platform of your choice.

 

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Annierose Knox

Content Executive at Visit Scotland
Originally from Castle Douglas, Annierose is curious about many things including travel, the ocean and outdoor adventures.