FINAL preparations are being made for the Simplyhealth Great Stirling Run as thousands of runners are expected in the city centre for the event's third year.
More than 5,000 people will be taking on the marathon, half marathon and Family Run in the City across the weekend.
The Marathon and Half Marathon route for runners includes a city centre start and finish and takes in Doune, Dunblane, Bridge of Allan and the University of Stirling with magnificent views of some of Scotland's historic locations.
The Stirling Scottish Marathon will also play host to the Scottish Marathon Championships on Sunday. Medals will be up for grabs for individuals and for teams – runners with a valid scottishathletics membership will be eligible.
Four runners taking part in the adult events on Sunday gathered today at Wallace Monument ahead of their challenge. Each of them are running to support or inspire their own local community.
Chris is raising money for Strathcarron Hospice who supported his Mum and cared for his Dad for five years while he was living with cancer, until he sadly passed away in February. The Hospice helped Chris' dad with pain management and provided a support group where he could connect with others going through the same thing. As his disease progressed he would spend longer stretches of time there up until the time he passed away. In the last six weeks of his life the hospice provided Chris' mum with invaluable support, with a dedicated member of staff on call for them 24 hours a day. Chris has raised £4,500 so far to say thank you, but is still keen to raise as much as he can, you can donate to his fundraising efforts here.
Nicola runs the popular Daisy Baby massage and yoga classes from her business Baby Central based in Stirling. With over 150 mums a week attending various classes, the team at Baby Central provide a nurturing community supporting and empowering women through pregnancy and into parenthood. Nicola had never ran before but was inspired by Mums who attended her classes and took part in last year's event, some of whom were suffering from postnatal depression. Nicola decided to sign up for her first half marathon to promote the benefits of exercise and maybe inspire others to take part next year.
Is raising money for Port of Menteith Primary School to buy some much needed IT equipment, in the form of Chromebooks. The tiny school has just 5 computers for their 28 pupils, limiting the opportunity the children have to use computers, learn how to use a keyboard and mouse, and gain basic IT literacy skills. Alice would like every child in the school to have access to a shared Chromebook, but more realistically, she's aiming to fund 5, doubling the tally of computers in the school, all donations are welcome here.
Barry is the new minister at Raploch Church in the shadow of Stirling Castle. He is running on Sunday to inspire his congregation and also to raise funds for the Beaver Scouts group he founded recently. His parish covers areas dealing with economic deprivation and he wanted to give young people in the area more options for their free time. With 15 members aged 6-8 attending already, he is hoping the Raploch Scout Colony will grow to include Cubs and Scouts in the future.
All the action kicks off on Saturday with the Simplyhealth Great Stirling Family Run, where over 200 children and parents are expected to take on the 2 lap, 2km course.
This year there will be a whole range of 'come and try it' sports and challenges set up in Kings Park for the everyone to have a go at, all free of charge, including; Football, Netball, Basketball and Boccia. The Family Run event is still open and entries will be available on the day.
Stirling Council Chief Executive Carol Beattie said, “Excitement is building across Stirling as we gear up for the third instalment of the Stirling Marathon and stage yet another top-class sporting event.
“The reputation of the Stirling Marathon was cemented recently when it was shortlisted for the prestigious Scottish Thistles award, and we are looking forward to welcoming thousands of participants and visitors from across the country once again, promoting Stirling as must-visit destination.
“We would like to wish all the runners the best of luck in the races and hope they enjoy this unique route which takes them through our iconic city, beautiful villages and stunning countryside.”
Bambos Neophytou, Brand Director at Simplyhealth said, “It's great to be back in Stirling this weekend for the Simplyhealth Great Stirling Family Run, Half Marathon and Marathon. What a great way to kick off the weekend with over 200 children and families being active together as they take on the Simplyhealth Great Stirling Family Run 1k course.
“We know that being more active is really important for leading happier, healthier lives and a vitally important way for people living with or at risk of diabetes to manage their health more effectively. That's why we want our partnership with Diabetes UK to drive positive change to peoples' health and wellbeing, and encourage more people to make healthy choices to reduce the risk of diabetes.
“So, whether our runners are taking part in the family run or taking on the challenge of the half marathon or marathon, we'll be supporting them every step of the way.”