Stirling will become the newest venue on the cross country circuit as it joins a new-look British Athletics Cross Challenge circuit for the 2019/20 season.
After it was announced that the Great Stirling XCountry would not be held next year, British Athletics have moved to incorporate the meeting within its regular season of Cross Challenge fixtures.
The series will once again kick off at Cardiff’s Llandaff Fields on Saturday, 12 October, before heading to Milton Keynes’ Teardrop Lakes on Saturday, 9 November.
Liverpool’s Sefton Park will once again host the trials for the European Cross Country Championships, which will be held in Lisbon, Portugal, on Sunday, 8 December, and the series will culminate with the Inter-Counties race at Loughborough’s Prestwold Hall on March 7.
The Northern Ireland International Cross Country event in Dundonald has this year been cancelled due to fixture congestion at the start of 2020, but the meet is expected to return for the 2020/21 series.
Interim CEO of UK Athletics, Nigel Holl, said: “We are thrilled that the Cross Challenge series is able to add the Stirling Cross Country to its list of fixtures, incorporating the Scottish Inter-District championships.
“The Cross Challenge series has such a strong and prestigious reputation of attracting the best distance runners in the country to our shores and it is fantastic that we will have the chance to see some of the best runners on the cross country circuit in action in Stirling.
“Cross country is etched into the very heart of endurance runners’ training and preparations for the indoor and outdoor season. Furthermore, with Scotland leading the way in terms of running all cross country races at equal distances, the Cross Challenge event in Stirling will be yet another example of how this approach is the way forward – a model we are striving to achieve in all Cross Challenge events.
“On a personal level I am particularly pleased that a Cross Challenge event is now heading back to Scotland. With my background in the sport in Scotland, I know the passion for Cross Country that exists in clubs and among athletes the length and breadth of Scotland – including the Islands! A British Cross Challenge is what athletics in Scotland deserves, and I know it will be a #muddybrilliant day.”
Alasdhair Love, Scottish Athletics’ Events Manager, added: “We’re delighted to be hosting a fixture in the British Cross Challenge Series early in 2020 at Stirling.
“It’s long been an aspiration for Scottish Athletics to bring one of these events to Scotland because we believe it can be a real success here – with clubs having backed spectacularly our own cross country season in recent years with big rises in numbers.
The fixtures for the new season in full:
12 October 2019 – Llandaff Fields, Cardiff
9 November 2019 – Teardrop Lakes, Milton Keynes
23 November 2019 – Sefton Park, Liverpool (Incorporating the European Cross Country Championship trials)
11 January – Kings Park, Stirling
7 March – Prestwold Hall, Loughborough