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Active Outdoors events list 2022 – running, walking, cycling, mountain biking and multi-sport activities across the Highlands and Islands and north-east Scotland


By John Davidson


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It's great to see events back under way in 2022 – and it looks like there are lots more to come!

Below is our Active Outdoors list of confirmed events for the year ahead. As we hopefully continue to return to a more normal way of life following the easing of pandemic restrictions, I'm sure there will be more to be added.

Some regular events have unfortunately come to an end or gone into abeyance, but new events have also popped into the calendar despite the problems of the last two years.

Is there an event missing? Something new in the area we haven't listed? Let us know!

To have an event considered for inclusion, email details of the event to activeoutdoors@hnmedia.co.uk along with a high-resolution photograph or photographs if possible. Events will be added at the editor’s discretion.

All details believed to be correct at time of publishing. Please check ahead to confirm details.

The King/Queen of the Mountain stage in the Etape Loch Ness.
The King/Queen of the Mountain stage in the Etape Loch Ness.

MARCH

March 13 | Inverness Half Marathon

The Highland capital’s popular half marathon and 5k events finish in the Queen’s Park athletics stadium.

www.invernesshalfmarathon.co.uk

March 26-27 | The Mighty Coe

The UK’s first ever ski and snowboarding festival weekend, bringing together top brands and guides to show that you don’t have to leave Scotland to enjoy fine touring on the white stuff.

https://themightycoe.com

March 27 | Moray Road Runners 10k

Starting from Miltonduff, near Elgin. Part of the Northern Scot 10k Series.

morayroadrunners.com/events/moray-road-runners-10km

APRIL

April 3 | Glenlivet 10k

This scenic 10k is dubbed “the most beautiful run in Scotland” and is held to support Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland.

www.chssi.org.uk/glenlivet

April 16 | MacAvalanche

Now run by Nevis Range, MacAvalanche returns to the slopes of Aonach Mor where riders descend over 900m from the mountain to the bottom station.

https://www.nevisrange.co.uk/event/macavalanche-2022/

April 17 | Man V Horse Scotland

Runners go head-to-head with horses on a 24km circuit on South Loch Ness. A shorter 12km course will also be offered for runners, with profits from the event split between the South Loch Ness Access Group and Highland Hospice.

www.entrycentral.com/festival/2946

April 23 | Highland Fling

A 53-mile ultra marathon along the West Highland Way through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, from Milngavie to Tyndrum.

https://highlandflingrace.org

April 24 | Etape Loch Ness

The 66-mile closed-road cycle sportive returns to the shores of Loch Ness at its usual time of year after taking place in September in 2021.

www.etapelochness.com

MAY

May 7 | Bealach Beag

A 43-mile circuit of the Applecross peninsula, taking in the famous Bealach na Ba climb which rises from sea level to 2053ft (626m) in just six miles.

www.handsonevents.co.uk/bealach-beag

May 7 | Formartine and Buchan Way Ultra Marathon

This new event will finally get under way in 2022 with runners completing as many lengths of the 4.3-mile section between Maud station and Auchnagatt village hall as they can in the space of 12 hours.

www.tayandram.co.uk/events

May 7 | Strathconon Cycle Ride

This established family-friendly cycle event returns but with some changes to previous years.

Search Facebook for: Strathconon Cycle

May 13-15 | Kintyre Way Ultra and Festival of Running

The main event takes place on the Saturday, with runners heading from west to east and finishing on the scenic coast road into Campbeltown. An eight-mile Friday night ‘warm-up’ and a 5k or 10k Carradale Canter on the Sunday complete the festivities.

www.kintyrewayultra.org

May 14 | Moray Coastal Trail 50

Following the Moray Coastal Trail from Forres to Cullen, this is a 50-mile ultra with 1200ft of ascent along the scenic coastal path.

www.moraywayultras.com/coastal-trail-50

May 15 | Run Garioch

A 5k, 10k, half marathon and junior run from the event base at Inverurie in Aberdeenshire.

www.rungarioch.co.uk

May 20-22 | Loch Ness 360 Challenge

A brand new weekend of events around the world famous loch, following the recently completed Loch Ness 360 which incorporates the Great Glen Way and South Loch Ness Trail. Take on the ultra marathon, mountain/gravel bike event or three marathons in three days to complete the 129km circuit with more than 3000m of ascent. You can choose to do one, two or all three of the marathons, subject to availability.

lochness360.com/lochnesschallenge/

May 21-27 | Ballater Walking Festival

Explore the natural beauty of the Cairngorms surrounding Ballater with a series of guided walks, plus evening events.

www.walkballater.com

May 21-22 | Fort William Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup

The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup returns to Fort William. Your chance to see the world’s top mountain bikers do their thing on the slopes at Nevis Range.

fortwilliamworldcup.co.uk

May 22-29 | Cape Wrath Ultra

Ultras don’t get much more ultra than this - 400km over eight days through the Highlands, from Fort William to Cape Wrath at the most north-westerly tip of the Great British mainland.

www.capewrathultra.com

May 28 | Stornoway Half Marathon, 10k and fun run

The 36th edition of the popular Isle of Lewis half marathon, which takes place on a mix of road and trail – followed by the infamous post-race ceilidh! The first of the Heb 3 series of Hebridean half marathons.

srac.org.uk/half

May 28 | Cairngorm to Coast

Hike 30km through the Cairngorms before a 70km cycle over the Dava Way and via the National Cycle Network to Lossiemouth on the Moray coast.

www.outfitmoray.com/c2c

Runners pass the waterfall section on the Highland Cross, which last took place in 2019.
Runners pass the waterfall section on the Highland Cross, which last took place in 2019.

JUNE

June 11 | Cairngorms Ultra Trail

A 62km ultra trail run through wild and remote country in the Cairngorms. Starting and finishing at Mar Lodge near Braemar, runners will go deep into the heart of the mountains, crossing wild rivers and negotiating tough terrain in a circuit of the Ben Avon plateau.

www.highterrainevents.co.uk/cairngorm-ultra-trail

June 11 | Isle of Skye Half Marathon

Scenic half marathon on the Isle of Skye, part of the Heb 3 series of Hebridean half marathons.

www.skyehalfmarathon.com

June 11 | Lochalsh Dirty 30 Challenge

A 30-mile walk or run from Glenelg, passing the Skye Ferry, the Skye Bridge and Eilean Donan castle before climbing over the hills and past ancient brochs before returning to the finish in Glenelg. There’s also a shorter Dirty Dozen route over 12 miles.

www.lochalsh-trails.co.uk

June 17-27 | Moray Walking Festival

Scotland’s Midsummer Walking Festival will have walks, events and activities for all ages and abilities. From the foothills of the Cairngorms to Moray’s award-winning coastline, you can enjoy long summer days exploring coastal, hill, forest, river and town walks.

www.moraywalkingfestival.co.uk

June 18 | Celtman! Extreme Scottish Triathlon

The extreme Scottish triathlon sees competitors swim 3.4k in Loch Torridon before a 200k bike ride through Wester Ross and a marathon over the two Munros that make up Beinn Eighe.

https://cxtri.com

June 18 | 10 Under the Ben

Another popular mountain biking race returns for the first time since 2019 as 10 Under the Ben sees riders pit themselves against the clock on a loop at Nevis Range in this endurance event that is open to solos, pairs, trios or quads.

www.nevisrange.co.uk/event/10-under-the-ben-2022/

June 18 | Highland Cross

The 50-mile coast-to-coast duathlon returns after being cancelled in 2020 and 2021 . The ‘Midsummer Madathon’ has raised more than £5.3 million for Highland charities since its inception in 1983.

www.highlandcross.co.uk

June 18 | West Highland Way Race

The 95-mile ultra race follows the West Highland Way from Milngavie to Fort William, including 4500m (14,760ft) of ascent. Experienced runners have a 35-hour time limit to complete the event, which is a qualifying race for the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc series.

www.westhighlandwayrace.org

June 25 | Moray Way 100

Starting and finishing in Forres, this 100-mile “ish” race heads for the Moray coast at Findhorn, then goes east along the trail to Lossiemouth and Spey Bay before turning south on the Speyside Way. At Grantown the course joins the Dava Way for a final up and over to the finish. A relay option is also available with teams of up to four people running fixed legs of the course.

www.moraywayultras.com/moray-way-100

June 26 | Lairig Ghru Race

The Lairig Ghru is a category C Long Hill Race run over 43km between the police stations of Braemar and Aviemore. This classic race takes place in a spectacular setting and follows the historic drove road rising to 2733ft between some of the highest peaks in Britain. A significant proportion of the race fees are donated to the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team.

www.deesiderunners.com/races/lairig-ghru-race

JULY

July 24 | Nairn Triathlon

The Nairn Triathlon returns with a Novice and a Sprint race, both consisting of an open water swim alongside Nairn beach, a cycle in the Nairnshire countryside and a run along the beach front.

www.facebook.com/thenairntriathlon

The start of the 2021 Cape Wrath Ultra. Picture: No Limits Photography
The start of the 2021 Cape Wrath Ultra. Picture: No Limits Photography

AUGUST

August 13 | Great Wilderness Challenge

The Great Wilderness Challenge has raised more than £4 million since it began in 1986. The 2022 event has been officially rebranded as the Platinum Jubilee Great Wilderness Challenge, and still involves the usual choice of walking or running routes across 25, 13 or 7 miles around Dundonnell, Poolewe and Aultbea through the wilds of Wester Ross, with the additional option of a 10k fun run or limited mobility routes.

www.greatwildernesschallenge.info

August 13 | Green Space Dark Skies

Paddleboarders and kayakers will carry low-impact lights on the water at dusk in the Cairngorms National Park as part of a project to highlight some of the most spectacular outdoor spaces in the UK to those who might not usually visit these places.

https://greenspacedarkskies.uk/events/scotland-cairngorms-np

August 13-14 | Starman Night Triathlon

Starting at midnight, this event includes a 1.2-mile swim in Loch Morlich, a 56-mile cycle around Speyside and a 13.1-mile run taking in Cairn Gorm and Meall a’ Bhuachaille.

www.starmannighttri.com

August 20 | Speyside Way Ultras

A 50km/35 mile ‘original’ based on the long-running Speyside Way race from Ballindalloch to Buckie and a 100km/65 mile longer version that begins in Aviemore and joins the classic route at Ballindalloch.

www.moraywayultras.com/speyside-way-ultra

August 27 | Ride the North

Two routes options of 100 miles and 57 miles, starting and finishing at the event hub in Elgin. The non-timed, non-competitive event is described by organisers as a celebration of all that is good about cycling in the beautiful north-east of Scotland.

www.ride-the-north.co.uk

August 27-28 | Loch Ness 24

A new 24-hour solo or team relay run, clocking up as many 7km laps along forest and beach trails as you can in the time.

www.lochness24.co.uk

SEPTEMBER

September 3-4 | The Heb – Race on the Edge

An adventurous journey through a spectacular, wild and remote landscape involving running, mountain biking, kayaking and navigating over two days, covering a total distance of 200km. Enter as a solo or in pairs.

https://durtyevents.com/our-events/the-heb/

September 4 | Glencoe Marathon

Dubbed Scotland’s toughest marathon, this epic 26.2-mile trail run starts in Glen Nevis and follows the West Highland Way to Kinlochleven and over the Devil’s Staircase before descending through Glen Coe to finish near the village, amassing a total of 1369 metres in ascent along the way. A half marathon follows the second half of the course.

glencoemarathon.co.uk

September 10 | Bealach Mor

A 90-mile cycle sportive taking in the famous Bealach na Ba climb which rises from sea level to 2053ft (626m) in just six miles as well as the spectacular Glen Torridon and Glen Carron.

www.handsonevents.co.uk/bealach-mor

September 10-11 | Rat Race Coast to Coast

A 105-mile adventure race where participants run, bike and kayak past historic Cawdor Castle, the legendary Loch Ness and the mountainous Glen Nevis and Glen Coe. Take two days to complete the course or battle it out in a single day.

ratracecoasttocoast.co.uk

September 17-18 | Skyline Scotland

A weekend of trail running and skyrunning from a base in Kinlochleven featuring the Glencoe Skyline race which includes the Aonach Eagach ridge as part of a 52km/4750m ultra race. The Ring of Steall Skyrace (29km / 2500m) and Ben Nevis Ultra (52km / 4000m) complete the skyruns, while three trail races – a 5k, 10k and 18k – are described as among the toughest in the UK.

www.skylinescotland.com

September 18 | Aviemore Triathlon

An open-water swim in Loch Morlich followed by some gnarly mountain biking on the Glenmore trails and finishing up with an off-road run. Two distances available.

durtyevents.com/our-events/aviemore-triathlon

September 24 | Cioch Mor Hill Race

A 14km run from Tulloch Castle in Dingwall to the summit and back with 660m of climbing.

www.highlandhillrunners.org.uk

September 24 | Banchory Beast Race

The 10k Beast Race has been consolidated into one big beast – which means no more Loch Ness event. However, the event promises to be bigger than ever with wild hill climbs followed by non-stop obstacles, island crossings and the thickest mud in the heart of Aberdeenshire.

www.beastrace.co.uk

OCTOBER

October 1-2 | Craggy Island Triathlon

This unique event sees participants swim from the mainland to the Isle of Kerrera (near Oban) before an off-road run and cycle round the island. Plus there’s a kids’ race too. The event is supporting the new Kerrera School House Community project aiming to restore the islands’ old schoolhouse to become the islands first community hub.

durtyevents.com/our-events/craggy-island-triathlon

October 2 | Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running

Scenic marathon along the shore of Loch Ness, with a 10k, 5k and Wee Nessie races also on offer.

www.lochnessmarathon.com

October 8 | Bennachie Ultra Marathon

This 31-mile ultra will see athletes battle it out on a course that starts and finishes at the Bennachie Visitor Centre, looping around trails in the area before climbing the six main peaks.

www.bennachie-ultra-marathon.co.uk

October 15 | Dramathon

A marathon along the Speyside Way from Glenfarclas Distillery to Glenfiddich Distillery, taking in – you guessed it – even more distilleries along the route. Pick up a set of miniature whiskies at the end of the race.

www.thedramathon.com

October 8-9 | Aviemore Half Marathon and 10k For All

Starting and finishing at the Badaguish outdoor centre in Glenmore, this beautiful half-marathon route takes in the trails around Loch Morlich with spectacular forest, loch and mountain views in the Cairngorms. The half marathon takes place on the Saturday, with the 10k going ahead the following day.

https://badaguishoutdoorcentre.org/badaguish-events-aviemore-cairngorms/aviemore-half-marathon-10k-for-all/

October 22 | Meall a’ Bhuchaille hill race

A 13km hill race with 720m of climbing over Meall a’ Bhuachaille and along the length of the ridge before a wet and muddy descent back to the forest at Badaguish.

www.highlandhillrunners.org.uk

October 23 | The Culloden Run

A challenging 17.46km run (see what they did there?) from the battlefield taking in the Clava Cairns, River Nairn and the viaduct, or a flatter 10km option.

www.thecullodenrun.com

NOVEMBER

November 5 | Knockfarrel Hill Race

An 8km, 365m hill race from Strathpeffer to Knockfarrel and back.

www.highlandhillrunners.org.uk

November 12 | Dava Way 50km

A 50km ultra marathon from Grantown-on-Spey to Forres over the 1050ft summit.

www.moraywayultras.com/dava-way-50k

All details believed to be correct at time of publishing. Please check ahead to confirm details.

Please send details of any events to be considered for this listing to activeoutdoors@hnmedia.co.uk along with a high-resolution photograph if possible. Events will be added at the editor’s discretion.


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