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11 great reasons to sign up to Blair Castle Trail Weekender

Written by Fiona

January 07 2021

A new Scottish trail and ultra running event has been launched for summer 2021 with four races of different distances over two days. The Outsider Events inaugural Blair Castle Trail Weekender takes place on June 5 and 6.

The weekend event will be staged in the grounds of Blair Atholl Castle and Estate, Perthshire, and includes 5km, 10km, 29km and 58km races.

Here are 11 reasons to enter the Blair Castle Trail Weekender:

Blair Atholl Castle.

1 There’s a race for all

With four races, from 5km to 58km, there is a distance and route to suit everyone, from beginner to experienced ultra runners.

  • Diana’s Grove 5k with just over 75m elevation gain. See Strava route
  • Hercules Garden 10km with just under 200m elevation gain. See Strava route.
  • Dearg Up ‘n’ Doon 29km with just over 1000m of elevation gain. See route. This race includes the Munro, Beinn Dearg at 1008m.
  • Full Tilt Ultra 58km with almost 2000m of elevation gain. See route. The Full Tilt includes two Munros, Beinn Dearg at 1008m and Carn a’Chlamain at 963m.

All races start at the event village in Blair Atholl Castle grounds before runners make their way past the front of the castle and into the woodland of Diana’s Grove, which features spectacularly large trees, including the tallest Japanese Larch and Red Fir in the UK.

From here, depending on your choice of race, runners either loop round past Hercules Garden and back toward the event village, fork off up the winding trails of picturesque Glen Tilt or head towards the 1009m high summit of Beinn Dearg.

2 Run two races (if you fancy)

Because of the format of the weekend, it is possible to run the 5km race on the Saturday and then the 10km or Full Tilt Ultra on the Sunday. (Runners can not do two races on one day, however, due to logistics.)

If you are super fit, how about doing both longer races over the weekend? The Dearg Up ‘n’ Doon takes place on the Saturday, while the Full Tilt is on the Sunday.

Contact race organisers for a discount if you plan to do two races as an individual.

If you are attending as a couple, family or group, one person could do an event on the Saturday and another on the Sunday. This would work well for parents who have children to care for.

3 To explore a new area

This is the first running event to take place at Blair Atholl Castle and Estate, which makes it even more special.

In fact, the organisers, Outsider Events, are thrilled to be able to bring an event to the castle and to this area of Perthshire.

Director Cameron Balfour said: “We are really excited to introduce our new event to the area and to this iconic castle and estate. It’s a first for such an event here and a chance to showcase a beautiful location.”

4 For stunning landscapes

Glen Tilt is an area that boasts gorgeous views and fabulous vistas. The combination of woodland, glen, hills and mountains is breath-taking.

Whether you choose the 5km or 10km route, or enter the longer races, you will be treated to picturesque landscapes and an abundance of wonderful nature.

5 To bag Munros

Both the longer races, the Dearg Up ‘n’ Doon and the Full Tilt Ultra, take in the Munro, Beinn Dearg. The Full Tilt also heads to another Munro, Carn a’Chlamain.

Munro bagging is a popular pursuit in Scotland. The list includes 282 mountains with a summit of more than 3000ft, 914m, and if you haven’t already bagged these mountains, it’s your perfect opportunity.

If you have walked or run to these summits before, you will know just how stunning the views are from the top.

6 It’s easy to reach

Blair Atholl is easily accessible from across Scotland. From Edinburgh, it’s a 90-minute drive; Glasgow is 100 minutes; Dundee 70 minutes; Inverness 90 minutes and Aberdeen two hours. There is a train station in Blair Atholl, too.

7 Because it’s new

There are many running races in Scotland but it’s always enjoyable to be at the start of a new event.

If you have participated in lots of other events across Scotland, it’s great to find a new race such as the Blair Castle Trail Weekender to enter, or add to your must-run list.

8 More than just a running event

The weekend will include a range of activities that are covered by the cost of your race entry. This extends to friends and family who are with you, even if they’re not running.

Activities will include pre and post-race yoga classes, a mix of catering experiences, a bar area, a post-race hot meal and live music on the Saturday night. It’s hoped there will be a line up of guest speakers, too.

8 You can make weekend of it

There will be camping at the castle, catering and a family activity tent, which means a weekend away is a great idea. When you enter a race there is an option to add a camping pitch at the event village for just £5 a tent. (Note: This includes toilet access, although no shower facilities.)

There are also plenty of other accommodation options in the area, such as Blair Castle Caravan Park, self catering properties, hotels and B&Bs.

9 Covid-tiered start system

If required due to Scottish Government guidelines, there will be a staggered start system to ensure Covid safety. We will be staying up to date with all the pandemic information.

10 Good values

Outsider Events has the goal of making the weekend of races as sustainable as possible. Ideas include runners providing their own cups and bottles for water; seeking brands and partnerships with like-minded companies; offering plant-based food options; a choice of opting out of a finisher t-shirt; and race routes that respect the environment and their erosion impacts.

11 An events company with passion

Read all about Outsider Events and find out who is behind this new ultra running weekend.

More info:

To enter the Blair Atholl Trail Weekender, see: Entry Central. For more info.

Here’s what is included:

  • Fully marked course
  • Electronic timing
  • Finisher t-shirt (if you want one)
  • Safety & First Aid teams
  • Post-race hot meal
  • Access to yoga classes (extends to those accompanying)
  • Live music on Saturday night (extends to those accompanying)
  • Discounted camping pitch
  • Free parking all weekend
  • Public liability insurance.

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