Ten Argyll sporting events and challenges for 2018
If your New Year's resolution is to get fit, spend more time outdoors or simply try something new, then Argyll & The Isles is the place to do it. Here on ‘Scotland’s Adventure Coast’, beaches, mountains, sea lochs and forests combine to make the perfect setting for a whole host of sporting events and challenges. We've picked the top ten for 2018.
1. Kintyre Way Ultra, 5th May
The Kintyre Way runs from Tarbert to Campbeltown and is one of Scotland’s most scenic long-distance trails. The Kintyre Way Ultra has to be one of the best ways to experience it. Featured on the BBC Adventure Show, the event offers three races at one great event. Choose from the Marathon and Relay at 36 miles and the Cycle at 75 miles. The terrain is varied, from hill paths and forestry tracks to beaches and seaside rocks, and the views simply stunning.
2. Isle of Jura Fell Race, 26th May
This is one of the toughest challenges in British hill racing; a true test of mountaincraft, athleticism and fell-running technique. The race is 28 km long and takes in seven mountain summits, including the famous Paps of Jura. Online entry for the Isle of Jura Fell Race opened on 1st December and it fills up quickly. Be aware that you’ll need to be able to prove your competence in tackling mountain running before you’ll be allocated a starting place.
3. Mull Sportive, 3rd June
If you’re looking for a friendly cycling event in a beautiful location then the Mull Sportive should be top of your list. The event – voted one of the top 16 cycling sportives in the UK by Cycling Weekly - takes place on the beautiful quiet roads of the Isle of Mull. The ride starts and finishes in Tobermory, and is staffed by local volunteers who help with the marshalling and the feed stations.
4. Cowal Way Chase & Ultra, 14th July
The Cowal Way Chase is another fantastic sporting event using one of Scotland’s long-distance trails. This year the route uses a northern section of the Cowal Way, offering a varied terrain of hard-packed paths, loose gravel and slightly technical forest roads, as well as some stunning Highland scenery. Choose from a 60km gravel road ride, the 18-mile trail run option, a relay option and the Ultra at a little over thirty miles. The race will start and finish in Lochgoilhead.
5. West Highland Yachting Week, 27th July to 3rd August
Set sail for West Highland Yachting Week, Scotland’s biggest yachting event. It’s based around three of Argyll’s most scenic harbours, Craobh Marina, Oban and Tobermory, with racing taking place amid breath-taking Scottish scenery. The ethos at the heart of West Highland Yachting Week is participation and fun for all. The programme offers round-the-buoys and passage racing and you can enter individual races if you don’t want to take part in the whole series. It’s a great opportunity for family sailing or if you fancy trying competitive yacht racing for the first time.
6. Coll Half Marathon, 18th August
For a scenic run with something for all the family, you can’t beat the Coll Half Marathon. As well as the Half Marathon, there's a 10k, 5k and 1k kids’ run. Enjoy the beautiful scenery en route and experience island hospitality when you've finished. There's a BBQ, food stalls, ice creams and an evening ceilidh. After a good night’s sleep, you can tuck into a cooked breakfast at An Cridhe before catching the Sunday ferry back to the mainland.
7. Kyles 10 Miles, 8th September
Take part in Scotland's most scenic 10-mile road run on Argyll's Secret Coast. It's a great route for seasoned veterans and novices alike. Rise to the challenge of a course that combines inclines, descents, long flat straights and spectacular scenery. From rolling hills leading to superb views of the Clyde and beyond, to welcome descents into woodland copses and secluded beaches, this run has it all. Enjoy a hearty welcome and fantastic hospitality at the finish line.
8. Islay Marathon, 9th September
The Islay Marathon is fabulous route on the Hebridean island of Islay. Enjoy great views running from Portnahaven, along the length of the Rhinns to Bridgend and then following the High Road all the way to Port Ellen. As marathons go, it doesn't get much more scenic than that! You can also enter as a team.
9. World Stone Skimming Championships, 23rd September
Fancy taking part in a world championship? Here’s your chance! The World Stone Skimming Championship is held every year on on the beautiful island of Easdale near Oban. Easdale was once the centre of a thriving Scottish slate mining industry, and one of the disused quarries forms a perfect arena for the championships. Anyone of any age and any level of skill can enter. Each competitor is allowed three skims using specially selected Easdale slate skimming stones.
10. Tiree Wave Classic, 13th to 19th October
And last but not least it’s the Tiree Wave Classic, the UK’s most prestigious windsurfing event in the UK. The best amateur, pro and master riders battle it out for top prizes on the remote island of Tiree. It's an unmissable, adrenaline-fuelled week of competition and entertainment set against a breath-taking backdrop.