A new festival of running is set to be launched in the new year, when Run Stirling launches in January.

The day-long event will include a mass participation 7km Great Stirling Castle Run to junior and senior cross-country competitions, offering runners of every level the opportunity to take part, with the races set against the backdrop of Stirling Castle and across the grounds of Stirling Golf Club and historic Kings Park.

The cross-country will also include the Home Countries Cross-Country and Celtic International Cross-Country, which will see representatives from Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales battle it out for honours.

All races are part of the British Cross Challenge Series, which gives up-and-coming athletes the opportunity to match themselves against established cross-country stars with competitive fields across all age groups: Senior, U20, U17, U15, and U13.

The launch of Run Stirling comes on the back of the news that the Stirling Scottish Marathon will return to the city on Sunday 11 October, 2020.

Mhairi Maclennan, Scotland and GB international from Inverness Harriers, won the Scottish Inter-District title at Stirling in January 2019 at the start of a spell which culminated with a 32nd place finish in the Senior Women’s race in the World Cross in Denmark at the end of March.

"RunStirling looks like a great event and I’m delighted we’re coming back here in January 2020," she said.

"Stirling have stepped in after the Great Edinburgh XC event collapsed and that’s good for the sport.

"From my point of view, having raced for Scotland many times in the Home Countries XC International and the Celtic XC when a bit younger, it would be an occasion to really savour. To run for Scotland in Scotland, and somewhere as historic as Stirling with family and friends in the crowd, would mean a lot to me."

"It’s a really good course and to get the chance to mix it with England, Ireland and Wales would be great and something to aim for during training on dark winter nights."

Jonny Glen, who ran the fastest lap at the XC Relays in Cumbernauld last weekend, beating Callum Hawkins to the accolade, is also thrilled about the launch of the event in Stirling.

"I’ve been in America for three years so not raced the New Year event for a while. I watched the races Stirling back in January online while out in New Mexico and it looked good," he said

"Representing Scotland in the Home Countries and the Celtic XC will be a big target for many athletes. It is always such an honour to pull on that vest and from my own point of view it has been a while with being away – I’d love to do that again in January."