The festive period has begun in earnest, as evidenced by a cursory glance of this weekend’s race calendar. Runners are spoilt for choice with eight Christmas-themed events being held throughout Scotland.
The Granite City will turn red on Saturday as Aberdeen hosts its Santa Run and Obstacle race. The one-mile event will be held at Aberdeen Sports Village’s outdoor track.
Organisers say: “This fantastic fun filled event is a great way to get you and your friends in the festive spirit as you join other Santas to run, jog or walk the 1 mile race or the 1 mile obstacle course! Children of any ages are welcome.”
The city will also hold the Christmas Canter 10K on Sunday, starting at Aberdeen Beach Front.
On the same day, the Perth Santa Run returns. The 5k event will see a sea of Santas running around the city’s streets, crossing the River Tay and finishing on the North Inch. All runners will receive a Santa suit and a goody bag which contains a finisher’s medal that doubles as a Christmas tree decoration. Participants who wear their Santa outfit while shopping may also receive discounts from some of the city centre retailers.
Not to be discounted, Glasgow’s Santa Dash will see around 6,000 runners head off from the city’s George Square for the event’s 10th anniversary. Another festive 5k in the city is the inaugural Reindeer Run 5K in Bellahouston Park. All 5k entries will get reindeer antlers to wear and a goody bag at the finish line for all of their hard work. There will also be a Toddler Dash open to kids under five.
Organisers say: “Santa's reindeer have to keep fit to be able to pull his sleigh with all those toys for girls and boys!”
In the capital, Holyrood Park sees the launch of the Bloodwise Edinburgh Reindeer Run. Runners are encouraged to wear fancy dress and will each receive a pair of reindeer antlers for the event, which includes a 1k, 5k, and 10k. Post-run expect mince pies, mulled wine, and soft drinks. And at £12 for adults and £6 for kids, the price isn’t too, ahem, deer.
Up in the Highlands, participants will be puffin and pantin’ their way through Dingwall’s Puffin Pool Santa Hat 5K. The scenic out and back route starts and finishes at the Puffin Pool, passing some of Dingwall’s attractions, such as the army cadets shooting range, Victoria Park (home to Scottish Premiership side Ross County FC) and Dingwall Castle.
On the east coast, Moray Road Runners host their Lossiemouth 10 Mile Turkey Trot. For Andy Bentley from Lhanbryde near Elgin, the event is the only road race in his ‘Andy’s 16 in 2016’ challenge. The challenge sees Andy attempt to complete 16 tough challenges this year to raise funds for charities the Archie Foundation and Blesma. You can find out more on Andy’s JustGiving page.
For more information on all the events, visit our race listings page.