Best summer challenges in Scotland
Run, cycle, hike or hurl yourself over obstacles at these races, rides and challenges
Prime Four Beast Race
Challenge yo'self, push your limits, shadow box to 'Eye of the Tiger' and conquer something. Whether you want to walk, hike, run, cycle, or obstacle (course), tackle five miles or 110 miles, the great Scottish outdoors is home to all manner of challenges. Bring a waterproof, you know, just in case.
King of the Mountain Sportive
The mountain sportive returns with a new and improved route that finishes with a 20k downhill section along the southern banks of the River Dee. A glorious end to either 100k or 110 miles through the Cairngorms National Park and Royal Deeside. The 110 mile option features six climbs and a total of 3700m of ascent. The 100k option heads up River Don and down River Dee with 1900m of ascent and the challenging Gairnshiel pass. At the end there are mugs filled with tea or coffee rather than medals, a hard earned brew if ever there was one.
Aboyne & Deeside Community Education Centre, Sat 21 May, £35–£42, 8am.
Great Women's Run
Part of the popular Great Run series this all-female event takes place on the streets of Glasgow. 2016 sees the launch of a new course, moving from the previous location in Bellahouston to a start/finish on Kelvin Way in the west end, with a post-event party in adjacent Kelvingrove park. Start waves are themed by music, so you can choose to set off to 80s classics including Madonna and Whitney Houston or keep things current with some Taylor Swift, whatever gets you moving.
Kelvin Way, Glasgow, Sun 5 Jun, 9am, £26.
Edinburgh Night Ride
Hop on your bike while the city snoozes and see the sights by moonlight on this 50 mile, Edinburgh Night Ride course. Landmarks include Arthur's Seat, Holyrood Palace, Scottish Parliament buildings, Edinburgh Castle and the Forth Bridges. You can enter as an individual rider or as part of a team and both expert night riders and first timers are welcome.
Edinburgh, Sat 18 Jun, 8pm, £34, plus sponsorship.
Highland Hike Challenge
Twenty-four hours to walk a scenic 100k from Ullapool to the west coast of Scotland. The route is a mix of terrains through farmland, rivers, forests and over mountains and the event raises awareness and funds to support military personnel, veterans and their families. You don't need to walk on your lonesome as teams need to be made up of 3–5 people. If 100km sounds a bit lengthy there are also 50k and 25k options.
Ullapool, Sat 25 Jun, 10am, £25-£55.
Tackle an urban assault course featuring mud trenches, slides, container runs and ring grappling, which we think might be a tougher sounding name for monkey bars. There's also challenges along the way at Adrenaline Rush. Choose between a 5k or 10k distance and enter as an individual or a team of four.
Pollok Park, Glasgow, Sat 9 Jul, 9.30am–4pm, £35.
A cross-country challenge in the Pentland Hills where you can opt to walk, hike or run. Bronze distance is 14 miles, silver is 20 and those who go for gold will tackle a full marathon distance at 26.2 miles. You can enter The Push as an individual or a team and all participants get a technical t-shirt, a medal and a hog roast at the finish, you'll need it after those ascents. Not ready to push? The nudge offers a five mile option as well.
Pentland Hills, Sat 10 Sep, 6.30am–9pm, £15–£40, plus sponsorship.
Pedal for Scotland
Organised by Cycling Scotland this is the country's biggest bike event. Take on The Classic Challenge and pedal 50 miles between Glasgow and Edinburgh. The route follows a mixture of closed roads, quiet back roads and cycle paths, much more civilised than the congested M8. Last year saw a record 7,500 participants. If 50 miles isn't long enough in the saddle join The Big Belter, this 100 mile route incorporates the best sections of numerous Scottish cycle racing circuits, including the A77 10 Mile Time Trial, sections of the Moscow APR and the Strathaven Anderside Classic.
Glasgow Green, Sun 11 Sep, 6.45am/7.30am, £28–£47.
Prime Four Beast Race
Switch on to Beast Mode and tackle this 10k obstacle race over rough terrain. There's icy loch water, vertical wooden walls, tunnels, cargo nets and so much mud it'll be three showers minimum before you're truly clean. You can race solo or as a team and fancy dress is encouraged. There are two location options, Loch Ness or Banchory, and local produce available at the finish, to feed the beast.
Aldourie Castle Grounds, Inverness, Sat 3 Sep, 9am, £51–£61,
Knockburn Loch, Banchory, Sat 24 Sep, 9am, £51–£66.