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Active Outdoors events list for 2024 – running, walking, cycling, mountain biking and multi-sport activities across the Highlands and Islands, Moray and Aberdeenshire


By John Davidson

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Looking to sign up to an event in 2024? We’ve got a huge selection to choose from in our 2024 Active Outdoors events list covering much of the Highlands and Islands, Moray and Aberdeenshire.

To suggest other events to be included, please send details to activeoutdoors@hnmedia.co.uk along with a high-resolution photograph if possible. Events will be added at the editor’s discretion.

Look out for further coverage of many of these events in Active Outdoors and across Highland News and Media’s websites, app and newspapers.

Plenty of mud, sweat and gears at the Strathpuffer in January. Picture: Callum Mackay
Plenty of mud, sweat and gears at the Strathpuffer in January. Picture: Callum Mackay

January

January 6 | Loch Morlich Running Festival

The Loch Morlich Running Festival gives you a chance to kick off your new year as you mean to go on, with a 5k and 10k run around the loch in Glenmore, near Aviemore.

www.fitnessat58.co.uk/our-events/loch-morlich-running-festival

January 13-14 | Strathpuffer

A brutal 24-hour mountain bike endurance event held at Contin and Strathpeffer in the depths of winter, with 17 hours of darkness, alongside some ice, wind, hail, mud and snow usually thrown in for good measure.

strathpuffer.co.uk

February

February 15-18 | Fort William Mountain Festival

The Fort William Mountain Festival – now in its 20th year – offers people an opportunity to get out and explore the Lochaber landscapes with expert local guides, as well as showcasing the best outdoor films and speakers, plus competitions and more.

https://mountainfestival.co.uk

A fringe event at the 2023 Fort William Mountain Festival saw runners tackling local trails below Ben Nevis. Picture: John Davidson
A fringe event at the 2023 Fort William Mountain Festival saw runners tackling local trails below Ben Nevis. Picture: John Davidson

March

March 2 | Day & Night Enduro

Round 1 of this competitive mountain bike endure event takes place at Nevis Range near Fort William, with round 2 following on November 9.

www.nevisrange.co.uk/event/day-night-enduro-2024-round1

March 9 | D33 Deeside Way Ultra

Out-and-back 33-mile ultra run starting at Duthie Park in Aberdeen.

www.entrycentral.com/D33

March 10 | Inverness Half Marathon

The Highland capital’s popular half marathon and 5k events finish in the Queen’s Park athletics stadium.

www.invernesshalfmarathon.co.uk

5k finishers during the Inverness Half Marathon event. Picture: Callum Mackay
5k finishers during the Inverness Half Marathon event. Picture: Callum Mackay

March 16 | Craig Dunain Hill Race

The annual blast to the masts takes runners on a 10km off-road course with 390m of ascent. With a new junior race for 2023. Registration and parking at Great Glen House.

www.highlandhillrunners.org.uk/clubraces.html

April

April 20 | MacAvalanche

Now run by Nevis Range, MacAvalanche returns to the slopes of Aonach Mor where riders descend over 900m from the mountain to the bottom station.

www.nevisrange.co.uk/event/macavalanche-2024

April 27 | Highland Fling

A 53-mile trail ultra marathon along the West Highland Way through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, from Milngavie to Tyndrum.

https://highlandflingrace.org

Above Dores during the 2023 Etape Loch Ness.
Above Dores during the 2023 Etape Loch Ness.

April 28 | Etape Loch Ness

The closed-road cycle sportive see riders tackle a 66-mile route around the shores of Loch Ness, starting and finishing in Inverness.

www.etapelochness.com

May

May 11 | Bealach Beag

A 43-mile circuit of the Applecross peninsula, taking in the famous Bealach na Ba climb which rises from sea level to 2053ft (626m) in just six miles.

www.handsonevents.co.uk/bealach-beag

May 11 | Formartine and Buchan Way Ultra Marathon

Runners complete as many lengths of the 4.3-mile section between Maud station and Auchnagatt village hall as they can in the space of 12 hours.

www.tayandram.co.uk/events

May 11 | Moray Coastal Trail 50

Following the Moray Coastal Trail from Forres to Cullen, this is a 50-mile ultra with 1200ft of ascent along the scenic coastal path.

www.moraywayultras.com/coastal-trail-50

May 11 | Kintyre Way Ultra

The Kintyre Way Ultra this year follows the section from Tayinloan to Tarbert. The 50.5km route with 960m of climb is on a mix of beach, rough hill tracks and forest roads, with solo entry or three-part relay.

www.kintyrewayultra.org

May 12 | Run Garioch

A 5k, 10k, half marathon and junior run from the event base at Inverurie in Aberdeenshire.

www.rungarioch.co.uk

May 18-24 | Ballater Walking Festival

Explore the natural beauty of the Cairngorms surrounding Ballater with a series of guided walks, plus evening events.

www.walkballater.com

The Cape Wrath Ultra is back for 2024. Picture: Cape Wrath Ultra/No Limits Photography
The Cape Wrath Ultra is back for 2024. Picture: Cape Wrath Ultra/No Limits Photography

May 19-26 | Cape Wrath Ultra

Ultras don’t get much more ultra than this - 400km over eight days through the Highlands, from Fort William to Cape Wrath at the most north-westerly tip of the Great British mainland. New for 2023, the Cape Wrath Ultra Explorer – the same eight-day journey but shorter distances.

www.capewrathultra.com

May 25 | Cairngorm to Coast

Hike 30km through the Cairngorms before a 70km cycle over the Dava Way and via the National Cycle Network to Lossiemouth on the Moray coast, plus bike only and hike only options.

www.outfitmoray.com/c2c

May 25 | Cycling in the Straths

A weekend of cycling, Mackay Country hospitality and local entertainment in one of the most beautiful and unspoilt parts of the country. There are two choices of rides, a 68-mile Strathnaver Challenge and a 48-mile Ben Hope Trial, with a gentler all-ages cycle around the Kyle of Tongue on the Sunday morning.

www.cyclinginthestraths.co.uk

May 25 | Stornoway Half Marathon & 10k

The 39th edition of the popular Isle of Lewis half marathon, which takes place on a mix of road and trail – followed by the infamous post-race ceilidh!

srac.org.uk/half

May 25 | Scottish Individual Championship

A regional orienteering competition being hosted by Inverness Orienteering Club (INVOC) at Creag Leach, near Inverness.

www.scottish-orienteering.org/fixtures-results

June

June 1 | Cairngorms Ultra Trail

A 60km ultra trail run through wild and remote country in the Cairngorms. Starting and finishing at Mar Lodge near Braemar, runners will go deep into the heart of the mountains, crossing wild rivers and negotiating tough terrain in a circuit of the Ben Avon plateau.

www.highterrainevents.co.uk/cairngorm-ultra-trail

June 8 | Lochalsh Dirty 30 Challenge

A 30-mile walk or run from Glenelg, passing the Skye Ferry, the Skye Bridge and Eilean Donan castle before climbing over the hills and past ancient brochs before returning to the finish in Glenelg. There’s also a shorter Dirty Dozen route over 12 miles.

www.lochalsh-trails.co.uk

June 8 | Isle of Skye Half Marathon

A popular closed-road half marathon on the Isle of Skye, starting and finishing in Portree.

www.skyehalfmarathon.com

June 8 | 10 Under the Ben

Mountain bike riders pit themselves against the clock on a 10-mile loop with 400 metres of elevation in the shadow of Ben Nevis in this endurance event that is open to solos, pairs, trios or quads.

www.nevisrange.co.uk/event/10-under-the-ben-2024

June 10 | Strathconon Cycle Ride

This family-friendly cycle event starts at Marybank Fairburn Memorial Hall. Various options from a short family ride to an out-and-back ride to the head of the strath. Organised by Ross-shire Roads Cycling Club.

For more details, search Facebook for: Strathconon Cycle

June 14-24 | Moray Walking Festival

Scotland’s Midsummer Walking Festival will have walks, events and activities for all ages and abilities. From the foothills of the Cairngorms to Moray’s award-winning coastline, you can enjoy long summer days exploring coastal, hill, forest, river and town walks.

www.moraywalkingfestival.co.uk

June 15 | Celtman! Extreme Scottish Triathlon

The extreme Scottish triathlon sees competitors swim 3.4k in Loch Torridon before a 200k bike ride through Wester Ross and a marathon over the two Munros that make up Beinn Eighe.

https://cxtri.com

June 22 | Highland Cross

The 40th edition of the 50-mile coast-to-coast duathlon, which has raised more than £5.9 million for Highland charities since 1983.

www.highlandcross.co.uk

The Highland Cross returns for its 40th crossing in 2024. Picture: Callum Mackay
The Highland Cross returns for its 40th crossing in 2024. Picture: Callum Mackay

June 22 | West Highland Way Race

The 95-mile ultra race follows the West Highland Way from Milngavie to Fort William, including 4500m (14,760ft) of ascent. Experienced runners have a 35-hour time limit to complete the event, which is a qualifying race for the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc series.

www.westhighlandwayrace.org

June 22 | Moray Way 100

Starting and finishing in Forres, this 100-mile “ish” race heads for the Moray coast at Findhorn, then goes east along the trail to Lossiemouth and Spey Bay before turning south on the Speyside Way. At Grantown the course joins the Dava Way for a final up and over to the finish. A relay option is also available with teams of up to four people running fixed legs of the course.

www.moraywayultras.com/moray-way-100

June 30 | Lairig Ghru Race

The Lairig Ghru is a category C Long Hill Race run over 43km between the police stations of Braemar and Aviemore. This classic race takes place in a spectacular setting and follows the historic drove road rising to 2733ft between some of the highest peaks in Britain. A significant proportion of the race fees are donated to the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team.

www.deesiderunners.com/races/lairig-ghru-race

Runners in the Lairig Ghru. Picture: John Davidson
Runners in the Lairig Ghru. Picture: John Davidson

July

July 13 | Meall a'Ghiuthais Hill Race

Following the Pony Path from outside Kinlochewe to the cairn on the Beinn Eighe Mountain Trail, then up to the Corbett Meall a’ Ghiuthais and back down, covering a distance of 12.2km with 945m of ascent.

www.highlandhillrunners.org.uk/clubraces.html

August

August 17 | Great Wilderness Challenge

The Great Wilderness Challenge has raised more than £4 million for charities since it began in 1986. The event involves a choice of walking or running routes across 25, 13 or 7 miles around Dundonnell, Poolewe and Aultbea through the wilds of Wester Ross, with the additional option of a 10k fun run or limited mobility routes.

www.greatwildernesschallenge.info

August 17 | Speyside Way Ultras

A 50km/35 mile ‘original’ based on the long-running Speyside Way race from Ballindalloch to Buckie and a 100km/65 mile longer version that begins in Aviemore and joins the classic route at Ballindalloch.

www.moraywayultras.com/speyside-way-ultra

August 24 | Ride the North

Ride the North comes to an as-yet-undisclosed location in 2024, with two routes – of 100 miles and 70 miles. As always, the event is non-competitive and is described by organisers as a celebration of all that is good about cycling in the beautiful north-east of Scotland.

www.ride-the-north.co.uk

The Loch Ness 24 is back this summer.
The Loch Ness 24 is back this summer.

August 24-25 | Loch Ness 24

The Loch Ness 24 is a 24-hour solo or team relay run, with runners clocking up as many 7km laps along forest and beach trails as they can in the time.

www.lochness24.co.uk

September

September 7 | Bealach Mor

A 90-mile cycle sportive taking in the famous Bealach na Ba climb which rises from sea level to 2053ft (626m) in just six miles as well as the spectacular Glen Torridon and Glen Carron.

www.handsonevents.co.uk/bealach-mor

September 15 | Aviemore Triathlon

An open-water swim in Loch Morlich followed by some gnarly mountain biking on the Glenmore trails and finishing up with an off-road run. Two distances available.

durtyevents.com/our-events/aviemore-triathlon

September 15 | Glencoe Marathon

Run through the mountains on a challenging 26-mile off-road route from the foot of Ben Nevis through Kinlochleven and into Glen Coe.

https://glencoemarathon.co.uk/

September 21 | Banchory Beast Race

The 10k Beast Race has wild hill climbs followed by non-stop obstacles, island crossings and the thickest mud in the heart of Aberdeenshire.

www.beastrace.co.uk

September 29 | Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running

Scenic marathon along the shore of Loch Ness, with a 10k, 5k and Wee Nessie races also on offer.

www.lochnessmarathon.com

Thousands of runners took part in the 2023 Loch Ness Marathon.
Thousands of runners took part in the 2023 Loch Ness Marathon.

* The Salomon Skyline Scotland events that usually take place in September from Kinlochleven are taking a break in 2024, with a new venue due to be announced for 2025. www.skylinescotland.com

October

October 19 | Dramathon

A marathon along the Speyside Way from Glenfarclas Distillery to Glenfiddich Distillery, taking in – you guessed it – even more distilleries along the route. Pick up a set of miniature whiskies at the end of the race.

www.thedramathon.com

October 26 | Meall a’Bhuachaille Hill Race

A 13km hill race with 720m of climbing over Meall a’ Bhuachaille and along the length of the ridge before a wet and muddy descent back to the forest at Badaguish.

www.highlandhillrunners.org.uk/clubraces.html

November

November 2 | Knockfarrel Hill Race

An 8km, 365m hill race from Strathpeffer to Knockfarrel and back.

www.highlandhillrunners.org.uk/clubraces.html

The Dava Way Ultra is a 50km event.
The Dava Way Ultra is a 50km event.

November 9 | Dava Way 50km

A 50km ultra marathon from Grantown-on-Spey to Forres over the 1050ft summit.

www.moraywayultras.com/dava-way-50k

December

  • All details believed to be correct at the time of publication. Please check with organisers to confirm events are going ahead as well as entry requirements.

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