Ardgartan Trail Race

Ardgartan Trail Is Back For 2024

After a successful inaugural outing in February, this scenic trail race will return early next year...

One of 2023's inaugural races will be making a return in February next year after enjoying a successful first outing that saw over 100 keen trail runners take part. The Ardgartan Trail Race is a 21 mile(ish) foot race held at Ardgartan Forest Park in Argyll which takes place at the tail end of winter, with a date of 3 February set for 2024.

The route is 90% off road and will follow a loop of the Ardgartan Peninsula, with some tarmac, forestry trails and a nice open hill section across to Lochgoilhead before the climb back up to the Rest And Be Thankful and the final downhill section to the finish. There will be hills and there will be waterfalls a plenty!

Ardgartan means High Garden in Gaelic and indeed the Forest Park is is at the heart of an area of vast natural beauty. This race is a wildlife lover's dream with the forest of Sitka and Norway spruce making an ideal habitat for red squirrel, roe deer, buzzards and owls. Mixed woodland along the many small rivers and burns is home to otters, kingfishers and bats.

Speaking after this year's maiden outing, race organisers said: "It has been a day full of chipper and smilie runners, even the final runners who got caught in the rain were still all smiles." While entrant Mary McCutcheon concurred: "Thanks for a fantastic event. Well organised, excellent cheery marshals, lovely route, fab hospitality at the end. So nice to do an event that's simply about the joy of running."

The winner of the 2023 event was John O'Donnell who got round the 21(ish) miles course in 2:42:35, first female home was Lisa Grant who clocked 3:11:57. Plenty of runners took close to, or more than five hours to get round this testing but beautiful course, with the final runner crossing the line in 5:54:13.

Looking ahead to 2024, organisers say: "There will be two water stations at 7 miles and 13 miles. These are more for safety reasons due to the time of year and possible poor weather. Runners will also be required to carry mandatory kit due to the time of year."

If you'd like to know more, visit the Ardgartan Trail Race entry page.

Image: Ardgartan Trail Race Facebook

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