On your marks! Five of the best 2018 running events in Kintyre

Author: 
Wild About Argyll

With stunning coastal scenery, epic off-road trails and wild moorland, Kintyre is the perfect location for running events. From 5Ks to ultra marathons, there’s a run for everyone in this beautiful area of Argyll. Routes are invariably designed to take in local beauty spots and make the most of Kintyre’s varied terrain. You could find yourself running along beaches, through forests and past ruined castles. Inspired? Check out these five running events and put them in your diary for 2018.

Gigha Challenge –  end of April 2018 (date TBC)

Run, walk, or cycle the 11 miles around the island of Gigha at the annual Gigha Challenge. If you're not up for 11 miles, there's a 5k option as well. The Gigha Challenge is great fun and a fantastic way to see this beautiful small island. There's entertainment for the finishers at the Gigha Hotel. Gigha is just a 20-minute ferry journey from Tayinloan on Kintyre. You don’t need to bring your car with you as the race starts from the Gigha Gallery near the ferry terminal. And for a special post-race treat, head to The Boathouse for refreshments.

Kintyre Way Ultra - 5th May 2018

The Kintyre Way Ultra is three great races at one awesome event. You can choose to run it solo or as a team or you can cycle it. The run (both solo and relay) is 36 miles while the cycle is a lung-busting 75 miles. One of the things that makes this run so special is the stunning scenery. The Kintyre Way, which runs from Tarbert to Campbeltown, is one of Scotland’s most scenic long-distance paths. You’ll be treated to incredible views across the sea to Arran, Islay, Jura and Gigha at various points. The cycle race begins at Corranbuie, South of Tarbert, and ends at Campbeltown. Runners begin half way down the peninsula at Tayinloan. The finish is set up to cater for both runners and cyclists, with the ‘ultra village’ providing food, drink, music, sports massage, workshops, activities, and a kids’ fun area. Still need convincing? Check out this episode of the BBC’s Adventure Show featuring the Kintyre Way Ultra.

And if you don’t want to take part in the Kintyre Way Ultra, then why not walk the Kintyre Way? The 100-mile route is broken down into seven sections, providing four to seven days’ worth of walking, depending on your pace.

Mull of Kintyre Half Marathon & 10K - 27th May 2018

If you want to take part in ‘the most scenic race in the whole of the UK’ then you’ll need to be quick. Once entries open for the Mull of Kintyre Half Marathon & 10K (usually in the New Year), the race sells out in a matter of days. Runners World voted it the UK’s top race, and you can see why. It's got it all - a picturesque location, a varied terrain and post-race celebrations of Danish pastries and ceilidh dancing! The route starts and ends in Campbeltown, taking in a huge stretch of beach on Kintyre’s Atlantic west coast.

Great Carradale Canter 5K & 10K – end of June 2018 (date TBC)

The Great Carradale Canter 5 & 10K takes you through the hills, fields and forests of Carradale. a beautiful, undiscovered area on the east coast of Kintyre. You’ll even run along Carradale Bay, a stunning stretch of sand. The race starts and finishes at Carradale Harbour.

Tarbert 5K, 10K & Dookers Double – 11th August 2018

This is another fabulously scenic event that will round up your Kintyre running season nicely!  The Tarbert 10K takes place around Tarbert, a fishing village and sailing haven that sits at the north end of Kintyre. The 5K route takes you around Tarbert Harbour while the 10K route, part of which is off-road, takes you up past Tarbert Castle. Fancy doing both? Then why not take on the Dookers Doubler? Add both your times together and you could win a prize!

And finally, here’s one for your 2019 running diary. The Glen Scotia Mull of Kintyre Marathon, held for the first time in March 2017, is a biennial event that will be back in 2019. Starting and finishing in Campbeltown, this marathon route loops down through rural Southend and back over some of the Kintyre Way. This is a hilly and challenging route for experienced runners only.

Other runs near Kintyre include the Kyles 10 Miles, the Isle of Jura Fell Race and the Crinan Puffer

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