Marathons, long distance runs & adventure challenges

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  • Competitors at the finish line of the Great Edinburgh Run
    Great Edinburgh Run
  • Looking down at thousands of runners at the starting line of the Great Scottish Run in George Square, Glasgow
    Great Scottish Run, Glasgow
  • Loch-side runners at the Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running
    Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running
  • A kilted runner waves to crowds of spectators at the Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running
    A kilted runner at the Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running
  • A young competitor at the starting line of the Wee Nessie Race, part of the Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running
    The Wee Nessie Race, part of the Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running

Scotland is a vast natural playground that begs to be explored. With a brilliant programme of running events stretching across spring and summer months, it’s the ideal place to put your abilities to the test. Whatever your ambition – whether you’re striving to improve on a personal best or are donning trainers for the first time – you’ll find the right event for you. From epic ultra-events to short fun runs, an unforgettable challenge awaits you in Scotland.

One of the biggest weekends on the Scottish running scene is the Edinburgh Marathon Festival in May. The marathon route is very flat, making it among one of the fastest in the world, and there’s also a half marathon, 10k and 5k. International runners can wear their home country’s flags and colours as they take part in a special sightseeing jog through Edinburgh.

Later in the year, you’ll find marathons taking place amidst beautiful Highland scenery. The route of the Loch Ness Marathon takes you alongside one of the most famous expanses of water in the world.

In the Western Isles, discover some truly inspiring organised runs. The Isle of Tiree’s 10k and Half Marathon start on brilliant white sands where you can take in some unbeatable seascapes, while the popular Barrathon, a half marathon, runs clockwise round the Isle of Barra in the Outer Hebrides. Don’t forget the Stornoway Half Marathon, 10k and Family Run. It's the perfect excuse to plan an island hopping adventure!

Recreate scenes from the film Chariots of Fire and join in with the St Andrews Running Festival in April. Run along the town’s iconic West Sands as part of the half marathon, 10k or 5k and enjoy the bracing Fife coastline.

In Glasgow, bring your sporting ambitions to the Great Scottish Run where 25,000 runners of all abilities will take to the city streets. With both the half marathon and 10k starting at George Square and finishing at Glasgow Green – it’s a fantastic way to explore the city.

If you’re determined to push yourself to the limit, Scotland’s great outdoors can offer some gruelling challenges to test you physically and mentally. Long distance walks, such as the Kintyre Way and West Highland Way, become the courses for ultra-events, and there are other demanding challenges, like the Caledonian Challenge, Rob Roy ChallengeThe Great Glencoe Challenge and the Highlander Mountain Marathon which will take you into dramatic wildernesses where you will face both great distances and the elements.

In the grounds of the magnificent Traquair House at Innerleithen, Mighty Deerstalker participants are encouraged to don tweed garments and fancy dresses as they tackle either the 5k or 10k course. It’s not just a simple run through the pleasant Scottish Borders countryside – the route is packed with obstacles that will have you ducking, diving, crawling, climbing and splashing.

In addition to these events, there are dozens of other long distance runs and challenges across the country that you can participate in. For an overview of running events in Scotland, check out the Run Scotland guide.