The Great Run company has published the new Stirling Marathon route, and it looks good. I’ve grabbed a copy of their map, and posted it here:
From what I can tell, it looks as if the route starts at or near the King’s Knot, where the race finished in 2017. It then goes out the A84 through the business park, past Craigforth and out past the Safari Park.
From there, it stays on the A84 to Doune – this will be a long and flat, but potentially a rather bleak stretch. It might be hard to keep a good discipline about pace here.
After that, into Doune and we turn right to head for Dunblane. That’s another rural stretch, and I could imagine that here too it might be difficult to keep the concentration going.
At Dunblane, there is a short rise onto the main road, and we turn right. We go past the Dunblane Centre and head south towards the Keir Roundabout. Again, there is a dip here – and a rise as we get to the roundabout and head towards Bridge of Allan. That rise continues until we are above the town, then there is a long sustained downhill towards the Uni.
When we turn into the University there is a pretty good-going hill taking us up and past the macrobert, out towards Innovation Park at the back of the Uni (where I took photos of the marathon last year). That is almost immediately repaid with a downhill, as we go back down to the junction where we entered the Uni. That’s probably the last big hill of the run (though there is a decent rise to go just at the end of the race).
From the Uni we turn left and run along to the A91. We turn north towards the sheer cliffs of the Ochils, and follow the road through the village of Blairlogie. We turn right onto Gogar Loan, running south across the flood plain and beautifully flat land on a tiny little single track road – let’s hope the field has thinned out by this point.
At the end of this road we turn right again and pass Manor Powis, then turn left when we hit the A91. We cross the Forth then turn right again, past the Forthbank Stadium and The Peak leisure centre. Along another flat stretch to the new cinema, and then doing something in the centre of the town to get to Kings Park Road. There’s a bit of a hill here, but not a huge one – though at twenty-five miles, it might feel pretty huge.
The finish appears to be in Kings Park itself – a beautiful formal Victorian park which I will be delighted to finally reach!
So, that’s my take on the route. It looks much better than that which was reported last year, and while there are some hills in it they appear to be mostly confined to the earlier part of the race.
I’m really looking forward to it!