The Stirling Scottish Marathon will have an added dimension in 2018

The Stirling Scottish Marathon is to host the Scottish Marathon Championships in 2018.

Following two years in which London has staged the Scottish Championships, the Road Running and Cross Country Commission have taken a decision to give Stirling championship status in its second year.

It means medals will be up for grabs for individuals and for teams – runners with a valid Scottish Athletics membership will be eligible – on Sunday April 29 next year.

Stirling’s first-ever marathon event in May saw 6500 sign up and event organisers The Great Run Company unveiled a brand new route for the 2018 event which will once again showcase the beautiful scenery and historic landmarks of central Scotland, starting and finishing in the city centre.

The Stirling Scottish Marathon became one of the UK’s biggest marathons in its first year, with the decision to award the event championship status underlining the ambition of making the marathon Scotland’s biggest 26.2-mile running event.

Scottish Olympian Andrew Lemoncello (pictured) was the first winner of the event, clocking 2:25:01, while fellow Scot Lesley Pirie was the inaugural female winner of the event in 2:47:36.

Prior to being held in London, the Scottish Marathon Championships were hosted in Inverness at the Loch Ness Marathon for five events from 2011 to 2015. Edinburgh and Lochaber have also been hosts previously.

Mark Munro, chief executive of Scottish Athletics, said: “Following discussion, the Road Running and Cross Country Commission have decided to take the 2018 Scottish Marathon Championships to Stirling after a couple of years at the London Marathon.

“I think the first Stirling Scottish Marathon earlier this year caught the imagination of many runners and, with its central Scotland location, proved very accessible and popular.

“We hope this decision will encourage a really strong entry for Stirling from our clubs and the race for team medals could be as exciting as the battle for the individual podium places.”

Paul Foster, CEO of The Great Run Company, said: “We’re delighted that the Stirling Scottish Marathon will host the Scottish Marathon Championships in 2018.

“The Great Run Company and Scottish Athletics have been working together for many years, and Stirling is a perfect home for the Championships.

“We look forward to welcoming the best athletes and clubs from all over Scotland to Stirling in April, and to a fantastic race.”

To enter the Stirling Scottish Marathon, visit Entries are due to close on January 29, 2018.