Stirling’s reputation as a world-class events venue will be further cemented this weekend (Jan 12) when it welcomes thousands of visitors for a sporting spectacular climaxing with the SimplyHealth Great Stirling XCountry.

It will be the first time the city will host the world-famous event, which had been held in Edinburgh for the last 13 years.

Spectators will be able to see the world’s top athletes, including Scottish star Laura Muir, battle it out against the stunning backdrop of Stirling Castle as Great Britain & N.I. take on Europe and the USA in a thrilling team competition over a tough cross country course.

BBC One will screen the event live to a UK and global audience, showcasing Stirling as a must-visit destination for tourists and key events venue.

It comes hot on the heels of Stirling’s successful Hogmanay celebrations which saw both Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument dazzle in a stunning fireworks display in front of a sell-out crowd.

Other recent large-scale events to be staged in the city included last summer’s Runrig ‘Last Dance’ concerts, which attracted 45,000 fans over the course of a weekend.

On April 28, the city will also host the third Great Stirling Run, which incorporates the Stirling Marathon, a half marathon event and family events.

The Cross Country Championships are a major sporting event on the international calendar, with an estimated economic impact in the first year of up to £1million, while the added value of media coverage and promotion of Stirling is estimated to be worth a further £3million.

Working with the Great Run Company and Active Stirling, Stirling Council has also ensured the event will have positive health benefits by encouraging residents to get active.

Throughout the day, 1,600 people will make the perfect start to their New Year in the inaugural Simplyhealth Great Stirling Castle Run, an exciting multi-terrain course encompassing some of the city’s most iconic landmarks.

Fun activities will also be available for families in the event village, which will have a selection of food and drink on sale.

Stirling Council Leader Scott Farmer said: “The excitement is now building as we count down the days to hosting another fantastic, top-class event – the first of many in Stirling in 2019.

“We are looking forward to showcasing our stunning city to a world-wide TV audience as a must-visit destination, while the influx of visitors will also deliver an economic boost at a quieter time of year.

“It’s wonderful news that all the places have been filled in the Great Stirling Castle Run, with participants from all over the country grasping the opportunity to take part in this unique and unforgettable event.

“I am also pleased that Active Stirling will provide a chance for families and young people to try out a range of activities on the day, demonstrating our commitment to get people active as part of this international event.”

Convener for the Community Planning and Regeneration Committee, Councillor Chris Kane, said: “Fresh from the success of our spectacular Hogmanay celebrations, we are now thrilled to welcome thousands of visitors to our beautiful city again for this prestigious sporting spectacle, reinforcing our blossoming reputation as a host for high-profile sporting events.

“This will be a unique event where people can be inspired by watching elite athletes at close hand, get on their running shoes for the Great Stirling Castle Run and also get involved in a range of fun activities.

“We want this day of top-class sporting action to be the starting gun for anyone, regardless of their fitness levels, to get active and lead healthier lives.”

The Great Stirling XCountry will see world-class talent compete over three races, with Laura Muir featuring in the mixed relay and captaining the Great Britain and N.I. team in front of a home crowd.

The event is free to spectate and will be shown live on BBC One from 13:15 on Saturday 12 January.

For further information on the event visit A Guide To The Simplyhealth Great Stirling XCountry

For road closures during the Championships visit www.stirling.gov.uk/roads-transport-streets/planned-road-closures

Normal on and off-street parking will be available in the city, aside from those roads which are closed.  Springkerse Park and Ride will also be in operation.

Picture shows (from left) Amy Wright, Events Scotland PR; Alex Jackson, Project Manager of the Event from Great Run; Scottish elite athlete, Luke Traynor; Stirling Council Leader, Scott Farmer; and Councillor Chris Kane

Note: The Championships will further develop the partnerships between organisers Great Run, Stirling Council, EventScotland, Sportscotland – the national agency for sport – and Scottish Athletics. 

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