Best outdoor challenges in Scotland – Summer 2015
- Rowena McIntosh
- 9 April 2015
Colour Me Rad, King of the Mountains Sportive and Adrenaline Rush open for entries
Outdoor pursuits in winter can be tough: it's cold, it's dark and you have to dress entirely in reflective neon. But spring has finally arrived, so you can banish your running balaclava to the back of the cupboard, say 'so-long' to the full-body waterproofs and embrace the host of mass participation runs, swims and cycles beckoning you to be outside.
Color Me Rad (run)
One of the few occasions outside Wimbledon where it's completely acceptable to wear all-white. This 5k party blasts you with colourful neon paint to create a run-meets-rave effect that's just asking to be instagramed.
Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh, Sat 9 May; Beach Esplanade, Aberdeen, Sun 6 Jun
Edinburgh Marathon Festival (run)
There's a distance for everyone at Scotland's largest running festival with over 30,000 racers expected for 2015. On Saturday the 5k, 10k and junior races whizz round Arthur's Seat while on Sunday the half marathon, marathon, and team relay head from the city centre, through Portobello to the finish at Musselburgh racecourse. Can't choose which distance to race? Last year, running fanatic Steve Bonthrone completed four of the races over the weekend (the 5k, 10k, half and full marathon). So there's always that option.
Edinburgh, Sat 30 & Sun 31 May
King of the Mountains Sportive (cycling)
Who wouldn't want to be crowned King (or Queen) of the Mountains? This cycling event held on Aberdeenshire's mountain passes and snow roads is comprised of three distances. Seasoned riders can tackle a 100 mile route, traversing five tough climbs and passing tauntingly close to five distilleries; the 100km route cycles 'up River Don and down River Dee', while the 25 mile route is achievable for a range of abilities.
Grampian Transport Museum, Alford, Sat 16 May
Race For Life (run)
Join the UK's largest women-only fundraising event and walk or run for Cancer Research UK. With events across the country, a choice of 5k or 10k distances in certain locations and a new branch of 'Pretty Mudder' obstacle style races, there are plenty of opportunities to wear pink and raise money.
Various venues, Scotland, May–Jul.
Moon Walk (hike)
The Moon Walk loves to break with convention. A walk rather than run, held at night, where you're more likely to see lacey pink bras than sports ones, even on the men. Choose from the Half Moon (13.1 miles), Full Moon (26.2 miles) or Over The Moon (52.4 miles) and help raise funds to combat breast cancer.
Inverleith Park, Edinburgh, Sat 13 Jun
Rob Roy Challenge (run, cycle)
2015 is the tenth anniversary of this endurance challenge. Teams of four run / hike the 16 miles from Drymen to Callander before a 39 mile cycle to Kenmore. There's a party with fireworks for the intrepid participants at the finish.
Drymen, Sat 20 Jun
Night Ride (cycle)
An opportunity to cycle the quiet city streets while the city sleeps in a 50 mile route, starting and ending at Holyrood Palace.
Meadowbank Sports Centre, Edinburgh, Sat 20 Jun
Loch Venachar Swim Festival (swim)
Tough enough to brave a Scottish loch? Loch Venachar Sailing Club host a series of open water swimming races over distances from 1–5km. No monsters have been spotted in this loch, yet.
Loch Venachar Sailing Club, Loch Venachar, Sat 27 Jun
Adrenaline Rush (run, assault course)
Joining the ever expanding market of obstacle races, Adrenaline Rush offers an urban assault course with flour bombs, mud pits and the phenomenon that was the ice bucket challenge. Choose between a 5k and 10k route and enter in teams of up to four people to support Macmillan Cancer Support.
Pollok Country Park, Glasgow, Sat 25 Jul