A series of international and inter-district cross-country races across historic Kings Park, as well as the sold-out mass participation 7km Great Stirling Castle Run, made Stirling centre stage for athletics at the weekend.
More than 1200 runners tackled the elements, as well as the scenic, multi-terrain Great Stirling Castle Run course, completing a challenging 7.4k route past King’s Knot, Castle Canons, Heritage Trail Wood Carvings and Stirling Castle before crossing the finish line in Kings Park.
And Scotland re-wrote the Home Countries XC International history books to claim two sets of team golds as the Senior Men and U20 Women both won their particular ‘Battles of Stirling’ across Kings Park.
A superb sporting spectacle
Convenor of Stirling Council’s Community Planning and Regeneration Committee, Councillor Chris Kane, said: “This superb sporting spectacle was a wonderful way for Stirling to start 2020 and another success story for the city. There was a brilliant buzz around the course as athletes of all ages and abilities took on these exciting running challenges around some of Stirling’s historic landmarks.
“Not only did we successfully stage another high-profile event with elite athletes from across the UK, we ensured that residents and visitors had the opportunity to get active through taking part in the Great Stirling Castle Run as part of our drive to improve health and well-being.
“By watching home grown Olympic running stars such as Andrew Butchart at close quarters, I am sure people will be inspired to get involved in sport and continue to lead healthy lives.
“Congratulations to all the participants and they should be very proud of what they achieved in some very challenging conditions.”
Cross-Country action screened live on the BBC
Action from Run Stirling 2020’s cross-country races, which featured more than 1100 entrants, was streamed live online via BBC Scotland’s website and by Vinco Sport at www.runjumpthrow.com. The Vinco coverage was also streamed to North American audiences at www.runnerspace.com.
There were a clutch on individual medals and, in the Celtic XC International, Scotland delivered a raft of impressive performances to beat a regular path to the podium there, too. Overall, Scotland landed no fewer than seven sets of team gold medals out of 10 available at the inaugural event.
Vice Convenor, Councillor Maureen Bennison, said: “One of our key objectives for the event was to encourage physical activity and the Great Stirling Castle Run was a huge success.
“Set against the stunning backdrop of Stirling Castle, Run Stirling offered a great day out for those either taking part or for those who braved the elements to watch one of the many races involving either elite athletes or simply someone they know.
“If anyone is already looking for their next challenge, there is still time to get training for Stirling’s marathon in October, which will further cement Stirling’s reputation as a key location for top class sporting occasions.”
Partnership working helps deliver Run Stirling
Run Stirling was delivered thanks to a partnership between Stirling Council, EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, and scottishathletics – with Great Run staging the Great Castle Run.
VisitScotland's Director of Events, Paul Bush OBE, said: "Congratulations to everyone who braved the weather to take part in Run Stirling and a big thank you to the organisers and all volunteers who helped make the event such a success. It was great to see so many runners taking part and to see Scotland come out on top across the various cross country events.
"EventScotland was delighted to have supported Stirling Council, scottishathletics and British Athletics to deliver the event, which was a fantastic blend of elite and junior racing alongside the mass participation Great Stirling Castle Run delivered by Great Run. Events play a key role in our visitor economy and it was great to see so many people getting out and enjoying the event."
The Stirling Scottish Marathon will return to the city on Sunday 11th October, further cementing Stirling’s reputation as a key location for top class sporting events.
For full results of all the cross-country races visit www.scottishathletics.org.uk/events.