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A SENSE OF ADVENTURE; There are many good reasons to take on a challenging event this year.

SCOTLAND is acclaimed for its growing list of adventure races. In 2011, the number will be even greater and includes long-distance walking events, adventure runs, off-road mountain bike races and multi-activity challenges.

You don't need to be super-fit - many events offer a novice level or else you can compete in teams.

Of course, it's a good idea to put in some training for such events - just to ensure you make it to the finish line.

But the main requirement is a sense of adventure and a lust for fun.

Here, we bring you 10 of the best Scottish adventure events:

THE MIGHTY DEERSTALKER

WHERE: Traquair Estate, near Peebles, Scottish Borders.

WHEN: March 19

WHY: There's adventure fun for all runners at this action-packed event. A 5k and 10k race sees participants negotiating obstacles, including a river crossing and a ropes challenge, while running an off-road trail. The 10k takes place after sundown.

CONTACT: www.ratraceadventure.com

THE WEE TRIATHLON

WHERE: Lochaber, Highlands

WHEN: March 19

WHY: Triathlon is becoming popular for a wide range of fitness fans and age groups. This beginner-friendly event includes a pool-based 400m swim, followed by a 10-mile mountain bike in Glen Nevis and a three-mile crosscountry run.

CONTACT: www.nofussevents.co.uk

THE KINROSS CYCLE SPORTIVE

WHERE: Fife

WHEN: April 23

WHY: Take part in Scotland's newest cycling event through beautiful Fife countryside. A sportive isn't a race but many people do like to ride as fast as they can. Others make the outing a more leisurely affair and ride with friends for fun. There are three distances to suit a range of abilities, including the 45-mile Blue route, the classic 73-mile Red route and the 87-mile Black route.

CONTACT: www.sportive-kinross.co.uk

MAGGIE'S MONSTER BIKE AND HIKE

WHERE: Great Glen Way, Highlands

WHEN: April 30/May 1

WHY: This 24-hour team challenge raises funds for cancer charity Maggie's Centres. The event heads from Fort William to Inverness along 73 miles of the Great Glen Way.

Participants cycle 30 miles then hike eight miles for a bronze finish, 22 miles to the silver or go the whole way and walk 43 miles to the gold.

CONTACT: www.maggiescentres.org TRAIL HALF MARATHON AND 5KM FUN RUN

WHERE: Nevis Range, near Fort William.

WHEN: May 22 WHY: Take your running off-road in this fabulously scenic trail half-marathon. There's also a 5k fun run for all the family.

CONTACT: www.nofussevents.co.uk CAIRNGORM CLASSIC CYCLE SPORTIVE

WHERE: Cairngorms

WHEN: June 4

WHY: This is the UK's highest event on a public road (2073ft) with a finish line on Scotland's Alpe D'Huez. There are two routes, 50 and 100 miles, and both take cyclists on a fabulous tour of the heights of the Cairngorms through the north of the Spey Valley.

CONTACT: www.handsonevents.co.uk CALEDONIAN CHALLENGE, 2011

WHERE: West Highland Way

WHEN: June 11/12

WHY: Take on a walking challenge to beat all others. The goal is to walk 54 miles in 24 hours along the West Highland Way as part of a four-person team. The epic journey will see you walking through stunning scenery - and raising money for charity.

CONTACT: www.caledonianchallenge.com PEDAL FOR SCOTLAND

WHERE: Glasgow to Edinburgh

WHEN: September 11

WHY: With a bit of training, most people can cycle the 51 miles between the two cities along closed roads, quiet back routes and cycle paths. The event has a huge family following and always boasts a great atmosphere. A new 100-mile sportive cycle also takes place in tandem with the Pedal for Scotland event and is better suited to keen road cyclists.

CONTACT: www.pedalforscotland.org NOKIA COAST TO COAST CHALLENGE

WHERE: Across the Highlands.

WHEN: September 17/18

WHY: The event was new in 2010 and greatly enjoyed by all participants. The goal is to cross 100 miles of rugged Scottish countryside by bike, on foot and in a kayak, taking in amazing views of Ben Nevis and Loch Ness. There are different challenge levels.

CONTACT: www.ratraceadventure.com MEN'S HEALTH SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST

WHERE: Edinburgh

WHEN: October 16

WHY: This is a city 10k with a difference. It has been described as an urban assault course. Running through the streets of Edinburgh, you will meet an obstacle or challenge every 1k. It's fun and open to all abilities and both men and women.

CONTACT: www.ratraceadventure.com

IT'LL DO OTHERS SOME GOOD TOO

A NUMBER of charities would like you to take up a challenge this year.

You can help make a difference to the lives of Scotland's veterans by joining Team Erskine and take part in a challenge in 2011.

Or Pick up the Pace for the MS Society, Scotland's largest charity dedicated to supporting the 10,500 people with the condition.

The Scottish Spina Bifida Association, which strives to ensure everyone affected by spina bifida and hydrocephalus has the best quality of life possible, is also looking for support.

And Macmillan Cancer Support are urging runners to take part in the Women's 10K in Glasgow to help raise more than pounds 35,000 for those affected by cancer.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 26, 2011
Words:855
Previous Article:GETTING THE MOTIVATION; Two women explain why they want to become fitter and take on challenges to raise funds for charity.
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