January’s cross-country international moves from Edinburgh to new venue in central Scotland

The Simplyhealth Great Stirling XCountry will be staged in a new location of City Park, against the dramatic backdrop of Stirling Castle, for the first time on Saturday, January 12, 2019.

The organisers of the popular cross country, which has hosted international superstars and been a pivotal event in the career of many top class Scottish athletes, have confirmed the event will move to Stirling after 13 years in Edinburgh.

Nicky Homes, commercial director of The Great Run Company said: “We’re delighted to be able to announce Stirling as the new location for the event, we’ve worked closely with Event Scotland, part of Visit Scotland’s events directorate, to keep this iconic athletics event in Scotland.”

The Simplyhealth Great Stirling XCountry will continue to attract top sporting talent and will be broadcast live on BBC. Organisers have also confirmed the event will still be free to spectate and that there will be an opportunity for amateur runners to take part in a mass participation event on the same day.

First staged in the North East of England in 1988, before moving to Scotland in 2004, the event has a rich history of elite competition and has seen athletes such as Paula Radcliffe, Liz McColgan and Haile Gebrselassie take part. In recent years the crowds have been treated to performances from Mo Farah as well Scottish athletes Laura Muir and Callum Hawkins.

Brendan Foster, chairman of the Great Run Company, said: “We’re delighted to confirm our new partnership with Stirling Council and look forward to working with them and Event Scotland to deliver the first Simplyhealth Great Stirling XCountry in 2019.

“Stirling as a city is embracing sport as an important part of its future, it’s the perfect location for the event, which is a hugely significant fixture in the international athletics calendar.”

Stirling Council leader Scott Farmer said: “The iconic landscape of Stirling, with the castle overlooking Falleninch Field, is the perfect setting for these championships and we are pleased to welcome all the athletes and visitors from around the world for this occasion.”

Paul Bush from Visit Scotland said: ‘“The backdrop of the Castle and the Trossachs will provides a suitably iconic setting for this signature event, which will kick-off an exciting year of amazing international sporting events for the country.

“Scotland is the perfect stage for events and EventScotland has worked closely with the Great Run Company to retain the event. We look forward to continuing our relationship with them and working with Stirling Council to deliver another outstanding athletics event.”