En­tries open for new cross coun­try

Event switches from course in the cap­i­tal

Stirling Observer - - FRONT PAGE - Chris Marzella

En­tries have opened for a new run­ning event com­ing to Stir­ling in the new year.

The Sim­ply­health Great Stir­ling Cas­tle Run will take place on Satur­day, Jan­uary 12, with run­ners tak­ing on a 7km off–road course while international ath­letes com­pete in the Great Stir­ling XCoun­try event, which moves from Ed­in­burgh’s Holy­rood Park.

Run­ners in the Stir­ling Cas­tle Run will take on a chal­leng­ing multi–ter­rain course, start­ing and fin­ish­ing in King’s Park.

The route will cover the golf course, the King’s Knot, the Be­head­ing Stone and Stir­ling Cas­tle be­fore cross­ing the fin­ish line.

Waves of run­ners will set off through­out the day, with a choice be­tween morn­ing and af­ter­noon slots avail­able to run­ners,

Thou­sands of spec­ta­tors are ex­pected to take up van­tage points around the Stir­ling XCoun­try course.

The cross coun­try race moves to the city af­ter 13 years in the cap­i­tal.

In re­cent years stars in­clud­ing Sir Mo Farah, Laura Muir and Cal­lum Hawkins have taken part in the tele­vised event.

It is or­gan­ised by the Great Run Com­pany, which is also be­hind the Great Stir­ling Run marathon and half-marathon on April 28.

Chair­man Bren­dan Foster said: “As we have al­ready learned over the last two years, Stir­ling is a city that em­braces sport and ac­tiv­ity and I’m sure this event will prove to be just as pop­u­lar with run­ners.

“Hav­ing the event take place at the same time as the Great Stir­ling XCoun­try will make it a real fes­ti­val of sport on the day.

“The Great Stir­ling XCoun­try is a world–class, pres­ti­gious event with a rich his­tory and a bright fu­ture.”

Stir­ling Coun­cil leader Scott Farmer said: “The route will be chal­leng­ing yet in­spir­ing, en­com­pass­ing a num­ber of Stir­ling’s iconic and his­tor­i­cal land­marks and show­cas­ing the area’s stun­ning scenery, mak­ing it an un­for­get­table ex­pe­ri­ence for en­trants.

“Hav­ing this mass-par­tic­i­pa­tion run will gen­er­ate an in­cred­i­ble at­mos­phere in the city and we are look­ing for­ward to wel­com­ing peo­ple from across the world for this spe­cial oc­ca­sion, which will bring huge eco­nomic and health ben­e­fits to the area.”

Com­mu­nity plan­ning and re­gen­er­a­tion con­vener Chris Kane added: “Any op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple to get mov­ing and lead ac­tive lives should be ap­plauded and I would en­cour­age as many Stir­ling res­i­dents as pos­si­ble to take up the chal­lenge, con­quer the cas­tle, and make the per­fect start to 2019.”

Coun­cil­lor Bryan Flan­na­gan, who ran the Stir­ling Marathon this year and has com­mit­ted to run it again in 2019, will take part in the Stir­ling Cas­tle Run. Gib­son Dig­i­tal 2017

He said: “It’s a great way to work off some fes­tive in­dul­gences. I hope I’m not the only coun­cil­lor on the start line.

“Run­ning my first marathon ear­lier this year was a very re­ward­ing, if painful, ex­pe­ri­ence and it raised money for our vet­er­ans char­ity SSAFA.”

Scot­tish Half-Marathon Cham­pion Luke Traynor has taken part in the race in Ed­in­burgh.

He said: “This event has been a ma­jor part of the re­cent suc­cess from Scot­tish dis­tance run­ners and I’m pleased that it has been kept in Scot­land rather than mov­ing any­where else.

“I’m sure the peo­ple of Stir­ling and fur­ther afield will turn out in large num­bers to cheer on the ath­letes and maybe take part in their own chal­lenge, with the new trail run tak­ing place at the same time.”

For more de­tails visit greatrun. org/great-stir­ling-cas­tle-run.

This is a world-class, pres­ti­gious event with a rich his­tory and a bright fu­ture

Race launch Amy Wright, Alex Jack­son, Luke Traynor, Scott Farmer and Chris Kane

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