Blair Castle set to host trail running festival in 2021
New off-road event bodes well for next year's race diary
A new, four-event trail running festival based in and around the grounds of Blair Atholl Castle and Estate has been confirmed for the weekend of 5 & 6 June 2021.
The inaugural Blair Castle Trail Weekender, organised by Edinburgh-based Outsider Events, will have a challenge for everyone, from beginners to experienced trail runners.
For those not used to going off-road, the organisers call their shortest event, the Diana’s Grove 5K, the ‘perfect introduction to the world of trail running’. The rolling route winds its way through some spectacularly large trees, including the tallest Japanese larch and red fir in Britain, as it follows the border of the world-famous Hercules Garden towards the finish.
The Hercules Garden 10K follows the same magical forest trails through Diana’s Grove. But instead of returning to the event village, the route winds its way along the fringes of Glen Tilt via the Blairuachdair Forest, before returning back down the Glen to the finish.
The festival’s longer races will be held on the Sunday, starting with the 29km-long Dearg Up n' Doon. With a route reaching heights of over 1000m, the organisers call this event a ‘great stepping stone for runners looking to dip their toe into higher altitude world of trail running’, offering extensive views across the Cairngorms and the remote beauty of the Allt Scheicheachan Bothy along the way.
The last of the four events is the 58km-long Full Tilt Ultra. Taking in the two Munro summits of Cairn a Chlamain and the 1009m summit of Ben Dearg, along with Glen Tilt and the vast forests of Blairuachdair, the Full Tilt Ultra is ‘not for the faint hearted’.
All race entries come complete with access to a range of activities for runners, friends and family over the weekend, including catering, yoga classes, a bar and live music on the Saturday night.
As a small company, Outsider Events is looking for volunteers to help with the inaugural Blair Castle Trail Weekender in a variety of roles, from marshalling to staffing feed stations and assisting with registration.
In return for help with marshalling on one day of the festival, volunteers will receive a free entry to the race of their choice on the other– as well as an official event T-shirt.