January kicks off with one of the biggest events on the athletics calendar, with the major international competition The Glasgow British Athletics International Match taking place in the Emirates Arena. The first event of the British Athletics Series, this event was held in both 2013 and 2014 to sold-out audiences and broadcast live on BBC One.
The 2014 event also made history as, for the first time in the 23 years of this event, a Scottish team was represented. To celebrate the XX Commonwealth Games taking place in Glasgow, Scottish athletics fans were able to cheer on the home nation for the first time, as Scotland went head-to-head with Great Britain and Northern Ireland (GB & NI), USA and a Commonwealth Select team.
The competitions feature athletes and para-athletes, many of whom competed at the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and are getting set for the Commonwealth Games 2014, performing in front of crowds of thousands.
As well as being able to witness competition at an international level in Scotland, there are many local events taking place across the country featuring upcoming, home-grown talent. scottishathletics, the governing body of athletics in Scotland, lists all athletics-related events on their website. Details of 1k fun runs, road races, marathons, hill runs, cross-country, and both indoor and outdoor track and field events, can all be found amongst the fixtures.
One of the highlights of the Scottish athletics calendar is the Edinburgh Marathon Festival, which usually takes place over a weekend in late May. Over two days, thousands of runners participate in numerous events including 5k, 10k, junior, half-marathon, marathon and relay. In addition there is a special International Breakfast Run - a 3 mile loop open only to international runners, on which they can discover more about Scotland’s capital city. The sight of hundreds of people running in their home colours and with many flags from a variety of countries is a wonderful spectacle to behold.