Tough Mudder and Pedal for Scotland among autumn 2013's sporty highlights
Fitness fans can also take part in Edinburgh Nightride and Glasgow Parkrun
’Probably the toughest event on the planet’ is certainly a tagline to get the attention of every competitive try-hard out there, all bursting to pit their stamina against the kind of action-drenched endurance slog rarely seen outside of movie training montages and top secret naval bases in unspecified foreign countries. Fortunately for you, if you like the sound of that, the Europe-wide Tough Mudder endurance challenge is coming to Dalkeith Country Estate. To a bookish sort like The List it sounds frankly horrifying – the ‘fun’ includes sprinting through a field of live electrical wires and running across a bed of blazing, kerosene-soaked hay.
Designed as part of Special Forces training (excepting, probably, the kilted Braveheart Charge they do to warm up), Tough Mudder’s website says it’s all about ‘taking on the obstacles in your life and the enormous sense of accomplishment that you feel when you overcome them’. You can see how being one of the 78% to reach the end would be a buzz, although there are far gentler ways to feel some kind of burn this month. For example, every Saturday morning’s 5km timed ‘parkrun’ around various parks nationwide (see listings below for details), or the Pedal for Scotland range of cycling events. With an eye on next year’s Commonwealth Games, these include everything from family rides in Edinburgh and Glasgow to the 110-mile Sportive Ride from Glasgow to Edinburgh on Sunday 8 September.
Staying on two wheels, Edinburgh Night Ride is a 50-mile course ridden under street lighting from Holyrood Park out to Musselburgh and back, run by Global Adventure Challenges; you can venture further afield with the same charitable company’s Edinburgh to Dublin bike ride from Thursday 12–Sunday 15 September. The Scotland Coast to Coast on Saturday 14–Sunday 15 September, meanwhile, is a challenging but stunning 100-mile course covered on foot, by bike and by kayak, taking in views of Loch Ness, the Great Glen, Ben Nevis and Glen Coe on the way.
Tough Mudder at Dalkeith Country Estate, Sat 24–Sun 25 Aug; Edinburgh Nightride, Holyrood Park, Sat 7 Sep; Pedal for Scotland Sportive Ride, Glasgow Green, Sun 8 Sep; Glasgow Parkrun, Pollok Country Park, every Sat.