Entries are closed for the Stirling Scottish Marathon, and a limited amount of places are available in the Stirling Scottish Half Marathon. To enter, visit greatrun.org/Stirling

Television and film actor Sam Heughan will take some time off from his busy schedule to take part in the Stirling Scottish Marathon next month.

The Outlander star has announced his participation in the 26.2-mile event on Sunday, 29 April, the first of two marathons to be tackled this year to raise money for Bloodwise, Marie Curie and Cahonas Scotland as part of his own My Peak Challenge initiative.

The 37-year-old will be joined by around 6,000 runners as part of the Stirling Scottish Marathon and Stirling Scottish Half Marathon events which take in a scenic route through Doune, Dunblane and Bridge of Allan with a city centre start and finish.

With filming for season four of Outlander well underway in and around Stirling, Sam felt that taking part in the city's own marathon event was the next logical step.

He said: “It's close to where we're shooting at the moment, so I knew I'd be able to get there. We're shooting a lot around Stirling and the marathon runs around a lot of the locations we have shot at such as Doune Castle. We stay in Stirling quite a bit and there's some great locations around there.

“I thought it would be a nice idea to run around these places that I see a lot in the car, or when we're shooting on one of the hilltops, so it felt like the perfect location.”

Scotland's tourist bodies have cited the ‘Outlander effect' as a reason for increased visitor numbers to the country, with its filming locations across central Scotland reporting an uptake in interest since the programme started airing four years ago – and Sam added: “There really has been a great celebration of Scotland and its heritage and its culture since the show has been on.

“A lot of people have been coming here to get their own particular Outlander experience and it has been great. It has been fantastic to show Scotland at its best and share the culture with the rest of the world. I think people are really interested in it.

“It is a beautiful place which I will be running around, the marathon course has changed for the better so I'm really looking forward to it.

“Those monuments are amazing, starting near the castle then out to Doune – it's going to be a really nice day I hope.”

Sam is the founder of My Peak Challenge, an online fitness community which offers a fully integrated training, nutrition and support programme to help members reach their goals. It is a 12 month course which develops a foundation for creating mind, body and lifestyle improvements and is fully adaptable to any level of expertise.

Half of the profits go to My Peak Challenge's chosen charities for 2018, Bloodwise and Marie Curie with special edition merchandise and fundraising for this event going to Cahonas Scotland.

Sam explained: “It's about sharing my love of the outdoors. The most rewarding part is the people who really take it on board and are creating healthy habits, making small changes to their lives. There's been an amazing response. To see the people who have made a difference in their lives is incredible.

“I wanted to do my own peak challenge and I thought two marathons would be a fitting challenge. I've been working with Cahonas Scotland for a while now. Testicular cancer is something that people need to be more aware of, the benefits of early detection and reducing the stigma and embarrassment about talking of the subject. They're a fantastic small Scottish charity with big results and we wanted to make people aware of the great work they do, spread the word and support the work they do.

“I'm looking forward to the beer afterwards. To be honest, it has been a while since I ran a marathon so I'm just going to enjoy the event. I'm not going to be crazy or going for a personal best, I'll just enjoy the sights of Stirling. Hopefully we have the weather for it. I'm really excited to be taking part.”

Entries are closed for the Stirling Scottish Marathon, and a limited amount of places are available in the Stirling Scottish Half Marathon. To enter, visit greatrun.org/Stirling