Revolutionary running series planned to celebrate Union and Caledonian Canals 200th anniversaries

Scottish Canals, in association with UK Running Series, is launching a new four part running series in celebration of the 200th anniversaries of the Union and Caledonian Canals.

Members of the public aged 3+ are being invited to register and lace up their running shoes join in one, two or all four of the races taking place across Scotland’s canal network in 2022.

Each of Scotland’s four main canals; Union and Forth & Clyde Canal in the Lowlands and the Caledonian and Crinan canals in the Scottish Highlands, will host a 1K, 3K, 5K and 10K race as well as a half marathon distance for more experienced runners.

Registration is now open for the Union Canal and Forth & Clyde Canal races with details of the Crinan and Caledonian Canal events due to be announced this spring. Scotland – UK Running Series

The running event will get underway on Saturday 28 May with hundreds of runners gathering at The Falkirk Wheel, the world’s only rotating boat lift, to depart along the Union Canal towpath, a blue and green active travel route connecting Falkirk to Edinburgh city centre. The out and back race will finish at The Falkirk Wheel where a full day of 200th anniversary celebrations including; a medal ceremony, music, stalls, paint fight and much more are planned for runners, their friends and family, boaters and visitors alike to enjoy. The weekend also marks the 20th birthday of The Falkirk Wheel, one of Scotland’s busiest tourist attractions outwith a city centre.

“This is a big year for Scotland’s canals and we’re committed to ensuring as many people as possible can get involved in the celebrations and really experience first-hand the benefits our canals have to offer them.

“The running challenge is a great opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to get together in a fun filled way to enjoy the unique views our 140 mile canal network has to offer, from the iconic Falkirk Wheel, to the majestic Great Glen we hope these races will inspire people to take advantage of what we have on our doorstep.”

Catherine Topley, CEO of Scottish Canals

The second event in the series will take place on Sunday 26th June with participants gathering once again at The Falkirk Wheel before departing along the Forth & Clyde Canal towpath, a 38 mile active travel route which connects Falkirk to Glasgow city centre.

Organiser Ziyad Rahim, Founder & CEO, UK Running Series said:

“We are proud to be presenting the first in a series of running events for the Scottish Canals Challenge. The aim of the events is twofold apart from promoting the historic significance of the canals, the challenge is organised to promote healthy lifestyle in a family-friendly environment with multiple distances to cater for athletes of all abilities and ages. The day will end with a medal ceremony for each running category and all finishers will take home a bespoke finisher medal.”

Whether runners are taking on the challenge of a half marathon for the first time,  seeking a personal best or getting that first medal for the 1K dash the Scottish Canals Challenge is the ultimate, accessible, fun-filled, family friendly running event this summer. Scotland – UK Running Series

A calendar of all the events taking place throughout the year is available on the Scottish Canals website. This calendar will be updated throughout the year with more plans as they are confirmed including details of the Caledonian and Crinan Canal events.

Notes to Editors

For further information, please contact:

Lisa Ross at Scottish Canals on 07976555241 or email

Nicola Sturgeon at Scottish Canals on 07767383557 or email

Notes to the editor:

About Scottish Canals

  • Scottish Canals is responsible to the Scottish Government for the management and development of five of Scotland’s canals as well as the surrounding estate and The Falkirk Wheel.
  • Built two hundred years ago to fire the Industrial Revolution, today the canals contribute to the Scottish Government agenda of developing a Greener; Healthier; Smarter; Safer and Stronger; and Wealthier and Fairer Scotland by acting as a catalyst for sustainable economic development, regeneration and tourism; contributing to education, biodiversity, heritage and promoting active living and healthier lifestyles
  • Today Scottish Canals is utilising these 18th century assets along with innovative technology to tackle modern problems. Through working with partners to create pioneering systems, Scottish Canals is helping to combat flooding and driving positive transformation in some of Scotland’s most disadvantaged areas
  • The Forth & Clyde, Union, Monkland, Caledonian and Crinan canals are recognised as Scheduled Monuments and attract 20 million visits per year. See  for more information


For more information, visit or follow @ScottishCanals on Twitter

Z Adventures Scotland – UK Running Series follow on Twitter @z_adventures

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