The 2022 Festival is now over. Many thanks to everyone who took part and enabled it to happen. Hope to see you all next year!

Coached mountain running – advanced

Some exposure & rock clambering. This guided running session is for hill runners who would like to push themselves a bit further and are happy moving across steep rocky terrain. It is led by ultra-runner and Mountaineering & Climbing Instructor Giles Ruck, assisted by a local hill runner, with a ratio of two leaders to a maximum of six participants. Find out more about Giles here.

 | Overview


Highest Point Gained
859m – Caisteal Abhailm

Total Ascent

Walk Duration

Rough mountain paths, some steep ascents and descents, some hands-on clambering.

Technical Rating
Exposed scrambling, head for heights required, rough terrain.

Endurance Rating
Participants must be able to travel up to 20km at a pace of about 4 km/hr.


Monday 16 May 2022

Meeting Time

Meeting Place

 | Photo Gallery

 | Run description

This session is aimed at runners with good hill running fitness who would like to push that bit further and perhaps a bit harder than their current experience level. Whether the objective is to gain the confidence to compete in big races, tackle more technical routes or to simply run longer and further, Giles’ coaching experience will help bring those ambitions a step closer.

The plan is to traverse the Arran mountains from north to south, taking in all of Arran’s Corbetts bar Goatfell, but this may be amended depending on the conditions on the day and on the group’s ambitions. Expect to be out for about 6 – 7 hours.

Starting at North Glen Sannox, the intended route climbs up Sail an Im and the Castles (Caisteal Abhail), then follows the sweeping Hunter’s ridge to take in the lofty summit of Cir Mhor. Descending southwards, the A’Chir ridge is by-passed on its western side, before steeply ascending Beinn Tarsuinn. The ridge towards the last summit of the day, Beinn Nuis, offers great running terrain. From there the descent leads into Coire a’Bhradain, then follows the Garbh Allt into Glen Rosa. The last section is on tarmac back to the festival hub in Brodick.

The pace will be moderate, probably averaging about 6 km/hr during the day. The session will certainly aim to include more than one peak, potentially gaining 1600 metres of height in total.

If conditions are suitable the route will include a small amount of exposed ground, in the Arran Mountain Festival ‘challenging’ grade.
Throughout the day, coaching will be given on running and scrambling techniques and a variety of mountain running topics will be covered whilst out on the trails, such as route choice and safety, navigation, nutrition and hydration, mountain running objectives and races.

Route Profile

 | Advised Kit List

Essential clothing for mountain running sessions

  • Running clothing for the conditions - could be shorts and short-sleeved running top (check the mountain weather forecast)
  • Running trainers with grip suitable for rocky trails (not road running shoes, but also not 'hill walking shoes')
  • Running pack or running vest, but with capacity to carry spares, food and water for the day (traditional backpacks tend to swing about and cause chafing whilst running)
  • Long-sleeve thermal top
  • Water- and windproof running jacket
  • Leggings
  • Means to carry 1litre of fluids (reservoir or soft flasks)
  • Food for the day (snack bars and gels are fine, so long as you can carry about 1000 calories, more if you know you’ll need it)
  • Thin hat or buff - so long as you can cover your head
  • Gloves

Also consider:

  • Lightweight showerproof over-trousers (if the weather is particularly wet)
  • Running cap and sun cream
  • Mini-gaiters (sometimes called debris-gaiters)
  • Anti-chafe cream
  • Hydration tablets
  • Map and compass (for those keen to learn about navigation)
  • GPS watch if you’re data-interested

If you have options on different clothing etc. then please bring these along and we can decide on the day which items to wear and take, e.g. on a perfect forecast we may not need leggings or overtrousers.

The 2022 Festival is now over. Many thanks to everyone who took part and enabled it to happen. Hope to see you all next year!