Aviemore Half Marathon. Image: Robin McConnell

The ‘Big Ones’ For 2023

The Cairngorms National Park is a honey pot of superb and diverse fitness events – events that will challenge and inspire, in an environment that will touch your soul.

Here are our top picks for fitness and challenge events that will be taking place throughout 2023.  

There is fabulous diversity – from 5 km you can walk to 60 km wilderness ultras.  

Take a look, feel inspired and get outside – your body and brain will thank you!


Fitnessat58° Wellness Festival – Saturday 4th March

Join the first Wellness Festival and get exclusive access to an incredible line up of leading fitness and wellbeing influencers to support your wellness journey. 


Glenlivet 10k – April 2nd

In the stunning landscape of the Glenlivet Crown Estate, the route follows quiet country roads that meander around the River Livet, passing ancient castles and offering amazing views of this secret glen.

Image: Glenlivet 10k, Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland

Run Balmoral22nd and 23rd April

Has races for children, a range of distances, a duathlon and even a corporate team option – as iconic as its location, this event has something everyone can get stuck into.

Image: Run Balmoral

Grantown Try Tri

Is back for Spring 2023 and embodies everything that is great about giving it a go.  Beginners and kids can feel as involved as the pros, and you can race as a team.  The atmosphere will be phenomenal.


Cairngorm to Coast (aka C2C)

Is a 100km hike and bike challenge that takes place along the beautiful scenery of the Dava Way on the 27th May.  What a way to see the magnificent Cairngorms.


The Cairngorm Ultra – Saturday 3rd June

A 60 km trail race, spectacular and challenging in equal measure.  The trail from Mar Lodge is superb: race in true wilderness.  Places are limited and sought after.


Bikeathon 2023 with Cycle Friendly Kingussie – Sunday 18th June

Is set to be a bumper celebration, marking 30 years since the first Bikeathon.  Family friendly and brilliant fun.  The Cairngorms on two wheels are hard to beat. 

Image: Cycle Friendly Kingussie, Kingussie Bikeathon

Lairig Ghru Hill Race – Sunday 25th June

Is a Long Hill Race run over 43 km between the police stations of Braemar and Aviemore, a classic race over the historic drover road.


Aviemore Half Marathon & 10K

Is the perfect autumn challenge.  Starting from Badaguish, runners will take in the fabulous forests, lochs and mountain scenery – let the landscape spur you on; the colours will be breathtaking.

Image: Aviemore Half Marathon, Badaguish

The Glenmore 24 on 2nd and 3rd September

Takes endurance to the next level.  With 12 or 24 hour options, runners will be on a 4 mile loop (with a wee hill on mile 2 and 3!).


The Aviemore Triathlon – 17th September

The Loch Morlich waters and the Glenmore forest trails are unbeatable.  This triathlon has to be one of the most beautiful on the tri circuit – come and get stuck in!


The Illuminator – 28th October

Is night trail running at its best.  Setting off from the beautiful Glen Tanar Estate, the trail is challenging, the dark sky awe inspiring and the lighting zone a true spectacle.  Race the Cairngorms by night.


The Glen Clova Half Marathon

Is our November closer.  Picturesque, undulating and with runners needing to be ready for winter sun, rain, ice or snow (and maybe all four).  This one is for the dedicated…but what an end to your running year!  


Here are Sam Cairns from Fitnessat58° Top 3 Tips for Winter Training

1. Take the time to warm up – a cold start increases your risk of injury, the time spent on your warm up will pay dividends.

2. Dress for the conditions – use layers when you train outside, and remember to take them off and put them back on again depending on your body temperature, with extra protection for your head, hands and feet.

3. Mindset – is key for winter training.  Dig deep and understand your ‘why’. This will help you to get out on the coldest of days.  

Starting small…

All of this adventurous chat can feel overwhelming, tiring (!) and a bit out of reach.  

But the good news is that being active does not have to mean hours pounding the trails if that is not your thing – it can be as simple as a 20 minute daily walk and stepping into nature is brilliant for our emotional wellbeing too.  

Start small and keep it simple. 

And the New Year is the perfect time to get going.


Health Walks

You can make your walk social too – Health Walks throughout the National Park are regular, social and great fun.  


Parkrun Aviemore

Is a fabulous community event, it can actually be a Parkwalk…and maybe you will build up to a Parkrun…

Keep it small.  Keep it simple.  Enjoy it.  You will not get a more beautiful place to do just that.

Image: Aviemore Parkrun

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