A lot of us are constantly searching for new ways to stay fit — and if you haven’t given running a go, it’s really worth trying.
Running is a great sport for beginners, and it’s a great way to stay in shape and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Not only that, but running can be a fun social activity or a relaxing solitary activity to add to your self-care regimen.
Bearing all that in mind, it’s little wonder millions of people in the UK regularly head out for a jog — and collectively, British runners clock in a combined 10 billion miles each year.
And if you’re looking for the ultimate running spot, you definitely belong here at Stirling. After all, we are Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence.
Whether you’re just starting out or want a social activity that will help you get fit, we’ve got loads of running clubs both on-campus and around the city.
But if you’re keen on putting your running endurance and fitness levels to the test, Stirling also plays home to some of the country’s most challenging (and fun) running races.
To help give you an idea, we’ll walk you through seven of the area’s biggest races.
Are you looking for a free, fun and friendly weekly community run? Look no further.
OK, this one’s not technicaly a race. But nationwide charity parkrun hosts a weekly 5k event right here on our stunning University of Stirling campus. You can walk, jog, run, volunteer or simply watch and cheer on the other runners — it’s up to you!
The event is organised by volunteers, and anybody can show up and get involved. Stirling parkrun takes place every Saturday at 9.30am.
Stirling 5k Race for Life
Cancer Research hosts a number of races every year, and we’ve got one right here on the University’s sprawling campus.
The Stirling 5k Race for Life is a 5k that caters to all speeds and abilities. You’re welcome to run, jog or even walk — whatever pace suits you.
You’ll be able to put your skills to the test with racers from all walks of life, enjoy views of the beautiful Airthrey Loch and raise money to support life-saving research all in one go.
What’s not to love?
This year’s Race for Life is scheduled for May, and you can learn more here.
City of Stirling 10k Road Race
Sponsored by the local Central Athletics Clubs, the City of Stirling 10k Road Race is a well-established course with something to offer runners of all skill levels.
This is a flat and a fast route which starts outside The Peak at Stirling Sports Village, and makes its way around some of Stirling’s most scenic spots.
There are individual prices for age groups ranging from age 15 to 60, and the race is scheduled to take place in September.
Dumyat Hill Race
The Dumyat Hill Race is one of the top fixtures of the year on any hill runner’s calendar — and not just because the race also doubles as the Scottish Student Sport Hill Running Championship and an official Scottish Hill Running Race.
Overlooking the University’s campus accommodation, the jagged crags of Dumyat offer a difficult (but fast-paced) race that offers stunning views across the shire. Every year, hundreds of students, staff and members of the public race to the top in one of Stirling’s oldest athletic traditions.
The distance covered is about five miles (8km), and you’ll climb around 390 metres over the course of the race. On your way up, keep your eyes out for the well-preserved ruins of a Roman-era Maeatae fort.
Stirling Scottish Marathon
If you’re after less scrambling and more distance, the Stirling Scottish Marathon is one of the country’s fastest and most scenic marathons.
This 26.2 mile journey starts at Stirling’s Kings Park (Scotland’s oldest Royal Park) and winds under the shadow of Stirling castle, through Doune, Dunblane, Bridge of Allan and the University of Stirling’s gorgeous 330-acre campus.
You’ll make your way past several Outlander filming locations, monuments, ancient battle sites, a safari park, caves, castles and more.
The marathon takes place in May every year, and you can opt for a half marathon instead if you’re not quite ready for the full thing.
If you’re an experienced runner after a bigger and bolder challenge, the Mhor Marathon might be the perfect race for you.
Starting in the nearby town of Callander, the Mhor Marathon takes runners through the Coilhallon Wood and past Loch Lubnaig while enjoying breathtaking views of Ben Vorlich, Stuc a’ Chroin and Ben Ledi.
Make no mistake, this isn’t a flat road race. Over the course of the Mhor Marathon, you’ll climb approximately 2,250 feet — although you can split the marathon into two chunks and race it as a relay with a friend.
For 2023, the Mhor Marathon has been scheduled to take place in August. You can find out more here.
Loch 2 Lawers
The Loch 2 Lawers race is another unique route that’s almost as challenging as it is beautiful.
The full race is a rugged half marathon which is very steep in some places and definitely not for the faint of heart. Along the way, you’ll run to the top of the Ben Lawers Summit — gaining unforgettable views of the Lawers Range and Loch Tay below.
After making your way back down, you’ve then got to scale Beinn Ghlas before descending back down to the finish line at Loch Tay. There’s also a 10k route available, and both races take place in September.
It’s important to note this is not an exhaustive list (although a couple of these races are probably super exhausting).
There are dozens or amazing road races and hill races both in Stirling and across the surrounding area worth checking out — no matter how long you’ve been running or what kind of shape you’re in. But as a student at Stirling, you can also hit the ground running by joining our Athletics Club or our Orienteering & Hill Running club.
If you want to learn more about running and other ways you can keep fit here on campus, check out our website.