List of Active Outdoors 2021 events – running, walking, cycling, mountain biking and multisport activities in the Highlands and Islands and in the North East of Scotland
With coronavirus restrictions starting to ease, a number of events are expected to unfold through the remainder of 2021, subject to government advice.
Here we have put together a selection of some of the outdoor events that plan to take place this year. More than ever, it is imperative to check with the organizers that these plans are still accurate, as there may be late changes to certain events.
There could also be events not listed here which will be confirmed at a later date.
All is well, Active Outdoors will bring you a full list of events for 2022 as life hopefully returns to some level of normalcy and we can all get out there and enjoy participating in other great events across the world. Highlands and Islands, and North East Scotland.
In order for an event to be considered for inclusion in this list or in the 2022 event list, send the event details to [email protected] with high resolution photograph (s) if possible. Events will be added at the discretion of the publisher.
All details believed to be correct at time of posting. Please check in advance to confirm details.
May 15-21 | Ballater March Festival
A modified program of guided walks organized by animators and volunteer assistants to help you explore the natural beauty of the Cairngorms surrounding Ballater.
June 5 | Cairngorms Ultra Trail
Taking ultra athletes on a 62km circular route around the Ben Avon Plateau, with 1146m / 3760ft of ascent, the new Cairngorms Ultra Trail begins at Mar Lodge near Braemar. UTMB qualifying race.
June 12 | Celtman Extreme Scottish Triathlon
Based in Torridon, the Celtman sees extreme competitors tackle a 3.4 mile cold water swim before embarking on a 200 mile bike ride through the Wester Ross Hills, ending it all with a marathon which ends on the two Munros of Beinn Eighe.
June 17-23 and September 16-22 | Moray Walking and Outdoor Festival
Walks, events and activities for all ages and all levels. From the foothills of the Cairngorms to the award-winning Moray coastline, you can enjoy long summer days exploring coastal, hill, forest, river and town walks.
June 28 | Lairig Ghru Hill Race
The Lairig Ghru is a 43 km long category C race between the police stations of Braemar and Aviemore. This classic race takes place in spectacular surroundings and follows the historic route that rises to 2,733 feet between some of Britain’s highest peaks. A significant portion of the cost of the race is donated to the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team.
July 24 | Ride north
A format change as Ride the North will be a Huntly-based one-day event for 2021, with three distance options from 100km to 180km.
August 1-8 | Cape Anger Ultra
Ultras aren’t much more ultra than that – 400 miles over eight days through the Highlands, from Fort William to Cape Wrath at the most northwestern tip of mainland Britain.
August 14-15 | Starman Night Triathlon
Starting at midnight, this event includes a 1.2 mile swim in Loch Morlich, a 56 mile cycle around Speyside and a 13.1 mile run in Cairn Gorm and Meall a ‘Bhuachaille.
August 22 | Loch Ness stage
The 66 mile closed road cycling returns to the shores of Loch Ness.
August 28 | Cairngorm to Coast
Cairngorm to Coast (C2C) is a 100km walking and cycling challenge that takes participants from the heart of Cairngorms National Park and along the Dava Way to the Moray Coast.
August 28 | Loch Ness Beast Race
Beast on a leg-numbing 10k along the shores of Loch Ness, through dense forest, undergrowth, heather and bogs, over rugged dirt roads and into the loch itself. . then add the obstacles!
September 4-5 | The Heb – Running on the wire
The Heb – Race on the Edge is a two-day multidisciplinary adventure race for solo competitors and couples. This will involve biking, off-road racing, kayaking, and basic sailing through the Western Isles – but the route is only revealed to competitors at the last minute!
September 5 | Glencoe Marathon
Dubbed Scotland’s toughest marathon, this epic 26.2 mile trail takes on a new twist as organizers Wild Fox Events turn the tide. The riders will now start at Glen Nevis and follow the West Highland Way up Kinlochleven and the Devil’s Staircase before descending through Glen Coe to finish near the village, accumulating a total of 1369 vertical meters along the way. A half marathon follows the second half of the course.
September 11 | Bealach Mor
A 90 mile sport cycle featuring the famous ascent of Bealach na Ba which rises from sea level to 626m (2053ft) in just six miles as well as the spectacular Glen Torridon and Glen Carron.
September 11 | Isle of Skye Half Marathon
Picturesque Half Marathon on the Isle of Skye as part of the Heb 3 Hebridean Half Marathons series.
September 11-12 | Coast-to-coast rat race
A 105 mile adventure race where participants run, bike and kayak past historic Cawdor Castle, legendary Loch Ness and the Glen Nevis and Glen Coe mountains. Take two days to complete the course or fight it in one day.
September 18 | Go swimming at Loch Morlich
A wild swimming event for everyone from beginners to experienced divers.
September 18-19 | Horizon Scotland
Running is a hill climb taken to the extreme – through mountainous terrain, narrow ridges and climbs. Choose from the Salomon Mamores VK (virtual kilometer race – from sea level to the top of Munro), the Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra (52 km, 4000 m drop), the Salomon Ring of Steall Race (29 km, 2500m vertical drop) and the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline (52km, 4750m ascent, controlled entrance – the route includes scrambling and climbing on exposed ridges). There are also three trail races, with a 5k, 10k and 18k starting from Kinlochleven as well.
September 19 | Aviemore Triathlon
Face the Long Hard Durty with 1000m open water swim in Loch Morlich before an 18km technical mountain bike route and 9km trail, or go for the Short Fast Durty with a 500m swim, 12 km mountain biking and a 5 km trail.
September 25 | Banchory Beast Race
It all starts on the shores of Knockburn Loch, in the picturesque countryside near Banchory, in the heart of Aberdeenshire. But don’t be fooled by the pretty heather and Scots pine decor, this Beast has a sting in its tail!
October 2-3 | Craggy Islands Triathlon
Beginning with a swim from the mainland to Kerrera Island, the Craggy Island Triathlon is a unique challenge through rugged and unspoiled country. It includes a 550 m swim, a 14 km mountain bike course and an 8 km hill climb.
October 3 | Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Running Festival
Scenic marathon along the shores of Loch Ness, with 10k, 5k and Wee Nessie races also on offer.
October 9 | Bennachie Ultra
This 31-mile ultra will see athletes compete against each other on a course that begins and ends at the Bennachie Visitor Center, traversing the region’s trails before climbing the major peaks.
October 16 | The Dramathon
A marathon along the Speyside Way from the Glenfarclas Distillery to the Glenfiddich Distillery, encompassing – you guessed it – even more distilleries along the way. Collect a set of miniature whiskeys at the end of the race.
October 17 | Aviemore Half Marathon
A magnificent half-marathon course taking the paths around Loch Morlich with views of the Cairngorms before a long descent to the finish line at Aviemore.
October 23 | Hill Climb Meall a ‘Bhuchaille
A 13km hill climb with 720m vertical drop over Meall a ‘Bhuachaille and along the ridge before a wet and muddy descent to Badaguish Forest.
October 31 | Glenlivet 10k
A scenic 10km road race in Cairngorms National Park, with an event base at the famous Glenlivet Distillery. Slàinte!