I started running over 2 years ago with the Couch to 5k app but it was all rather half hearted until I signed up for the Great Winter Run in Edinburgh last January. It was my first organised event and the beginning of my love affair with running. Following that race I added to my 2018 medal haul with four 10km runs, all Scottish races; The Great Women’s Run in Glasgow, Run Mhor Hidden Glen, Mull 10k and Killin 10k. Of those, the only one I wouldn’t do again is Mull which is a shame considering it’s the closest to home. I found it rather boring to be honest, despite getting a PB!
In October I finished off the race season with my first half marathon in Aviemore, organised by Badaguish Outdoor Centre. If you’re planning on moving up to a half marathon distance then check this one out for a mostly downhill route in a beautiful part of the world.
Photo credit: Ron Allner
Moving on to this year and I have already nabbed 2 medals; the Run Mhor Hidden Glen 10k in April and most recently the ABCD (Argyll Beats Cardiovascular Disease) 10k in Oban. Both of them are challenging routes – I’m not sure there is such a thing as a flat course round these parts!
The Hidden Glen 10k was one of my favourite events last year so in a moment of madness I signed up for the 2019 Trilogy as soon as places were released. It consists of the 10k in April (a beautiful route from Monachyle Mhor Hotel near Balquihidder with a good 4km of uphill), the Mhor 84 Half Marathon in June and then the Mhor Marathon in August. Why I thought my first marathon should involve 2250 feet of elevation is beyond me!
And just in case I’ve not had enough of hills by then I’ve signed up for the Salamon Mamores Vertical Kilometre in September! Part of the Skyline Scotland weekend it is a 5k race with a 1000 metre elevation to the summit of Na Gruagaichean by Kinlochleven. Here’s a fun fact for you…once you reach the top and complete the race, you have to run back down the damn mountain to get home! Seriously, that post-race high has a lot to answer for. Anyone else find themselves entering crazy events after completing a race?!
So what’s next?
We’re very lucky in Scotland to have such an array of running events in the most breathtaking of places so there is no shortage of races to put on your to-do list! I’m based on the west coast near Oban so a lot of the races on my bucketlist are within a couple of hours of here but there’s a few that are further afield, too. I’d love to know if you’ve done any of these…
- Ballater 10 – A ten mile road race through rural Deeside in July.
- Run the Blades – Choose from 10k, half marathon or 50k distance all taking place in July within the UK’s biggest onshore windfarm near Glasgow.
- Crinan Puffer – 8 miles along the Crinan Canal from Crinan to Ardrishaig on the west coast. It’s held in March and is one of the few flat races in Scotland!
- Kyles 10 miles – A scenic run along the Argyll coastline in September.
- Dunoon Half Marathon & 10k – A fast, flat and friendly event taking place in August.
- Cumbernauld 10k – A family friendly day in September with pacers to help you get that PB!
- Glenlivit 10k – A tough but beautiful road race held in aid of Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland in April.
- Glencoe Marathon – Said to be Scotland’s toughest marathon with a route through the trails of Glencoe and the Mamores, including the infamous Devil’s Staircase. Put it in your diary for September if you’re feeling brave enough!
- Mull of Kintyre Half Marathon & 10k – Known as the MOKrun this popular event in May sells out fast, possibly due to the promise of a danish pastry and a pottery medal at the finish line!
- Tiree Half Marathon & 10k – This is another one that sells out quickly thanks to it’s beautiful location on the island of Tiree. Tickets for the May event go on sale in September.
- Strathspey Railway Race the Train – A 7k trail race in June from Boat of Garten to Aviemore with the magnificent Strathspey Steam Train hot on your heels!
- Loch Ness Marathon – A point to point route along the shores of the iconic Loch Ness in October.
No doubt I shall add another dozen runs to the list before the end of the year! Are any of your favourites on my to-do list? Know of an awesome Scottish race I should add?