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!

Intro to Mountain Running (Saturday)

This guided running session is aimed at road or trail runners who would like to venture into the mountains. It is led by ultra-runner and Mountaineering & Climbing Instructor Giles Ruck, assisted by a local hill runner. Find out more about Giles here.

 | Overview


Highest Point Gained
874m - Goatfell

Total Ascent

Walk Duration

Forestry tracks and trails, rough and rocky mountain paths, steep ascents and descents.

Technical Rating
Easy scrambling, elements of exposure, some rough terrain.

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


Saturday 14 May 2022

Meeting Time

 | Photo Gallery

 | Run description

This session is perfect for trail or road runners who are keen to experience running in the mountains.

Whilst the plan is to head up Goatfell, the route may be amended depending on the conditions on the day and on the group’s ambitions. Despite largely being an “out and back” route, it offers plenty of different terrain of varying steepness to learn about running techniques, with the added thrill of scaling the island’s highest peak fast and light! There are numerous forestry tracks and trails to choose from lower down to add diversity to the route.

Participants can expect to be out for 4 – 5 hours, longer if perfect weather means there are more stops to take in the views. The pace will be modest to moderate, probably averaging about 4 km/hr during the day (about twice the typical hillwalking pace, once in this terrain).

Expect a total of around 900 metres of height gain (and descent!) during the outing, but steep sections will be hiked rather than run on the ascents. There will be some clambering over rocky ground, within the Arran Mountain Festival ‘moderate’ grade.

The session includes advice to help equip aspiring mountain runners with the necessary knowledge, such as clothing and route choices, simple navigation, nutrition and hydration as well as some coaching on hill running techniques.

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!