6,000 runners are making final preparations for Sunday's (29 April) Stirling double bill of marathon and half marathon. An all-star cast will assemble in the historic Scottish city and runners will enjoy scenic routes before finishing back in the city centre.
The half marathon is new for 2018 while the marathon route has been revised from last year's inaugural run. The new marathon route includes a city centre start and finish and once again takes in Doune, Dunblane, Bridge of Allan and the University of Stirling.
Also new for 2018 will be a picturesque section through the Hillfoots area, where both fields will have perfect views of the Ochil Hills as they make their way back into the city centre for a finish alongside the city’s Kings Park.
The Stirling Scottish Marathon, to give the event its official title, will also play host to the Scottish Marathon Championships after two years in which London Marathon has hosted the championships.
Outlander star Sam Heughan will sprinkle some glamour on the Stirling race as he takes part in the first of two marathons (the other is next month's Edinburgh Marathon) to be tackled this year to raise money for Marie Curie and Cahonas Scotland. Stirling Marathon takes in many of the filming locations featured in Outlander including the historic Doune Castle.
Multi-marathon world record holder Steve Edwards will also be running as he continues his bid to complete 1,000 marathons before he turns 60. Steve clocked up his 800th all-time 26.2miles at the Birmingham International Marathon last year and is well on his way to his next milestone.
He said: “I always say it’s a great way to do a bit of sightseeing. We’ve driven through Stirling but never seen the city on foot. It will be fantastic from that point of view. I’ve done plenty of Scottish marathons, but Stirling has never had one until 2017 so it’ll be great to do that.”
Four first-time marathon runners will be particularly looking forward to the race. Erica Gilchrist, from Stirling, Steven Smyth, from Glasgow, Kevin Devine, from Dunblane, and Barbara Watt, from Edinburgh were selected to be coached through the marathon by Scottish running legend Liz McColgan. The four have been supplied with an exclusive marathon training programme designed by Liz, and have received motivational support throughout their journey.
For more information about Stirling Scottish Marathon, visit the event website.