53 mile Ultra Trail Marathon through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, Scotland, UK




General Questions
Planning your race
Pre-Race Stuff
Drop Bags
Parking and Transport
Race Registration
Raceday Stuff
Race Rules
Safety and Medical

General Questions

The Fling started in 2006 as a low key training run for the West Highland Way race, with fewer than 20 runners taking part. Since then it has grown and grown, and this year, its 15th anniversary, there will be approximately 800 runners taking part. The race starts in Milngavie, on the outskirts of Glasgow, then rapidly heads out into the countryside. It goes through Drymen and over Conic Hill to Balmaha, then follows the east side of Loch Lomond up past Rowardennan, skirting Ben Lomond, the most southerly of all Scotland's Munros. Further on up the lochside is the remote Inversnaid Hotel, then the path carries on past the head of the loch and upwards through the 'rollercoaster' forest above Crianlarich to finish in the pretty Highland village of Tyndrum.

The race is organised by John Duncan, better known as Johnny Fling (or Fanny Fling to some!) and is run as a non-profit event. John gets a lot of help from other people too. No one gets paid anything for their time - not even John - and every penny of entry fees is put towards event expenditure with the aim of giving runners the best race experience and best value for money possible. On race day, there will be around 200 Fling Team members who have volunteered their time to help out, so please appreciate their input and remember to thank them all.

The Highland Fling is sponsored and supported by a number of organisations and companies who all contribute to and help the event a lot. Race sponsors are Run and Become, Beta Running, Lyon Outdoors, Ultimate Direction, Injinji, La Sportiva, Petzl, and the Real Food Café. Supporters of the race weekend are By The Way Hostel and Campsite, Albert Bartlett, Mackies, Innis and Gunn Brewery, MacSween, the Burnbrae Inn, Strathfillan Community Trust, Forestry Commission Scotland, Police Scotland, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, East Dunbartonshire Council, Stirling Council, and Argyll 1st.

The race route has 2300m (7500 ft) of ascent, and is 90% off-road with just a few short sections on tarmac. The off-road sections are a mixture of wide landrover tracks, flat railway lines, tough uphill slogs, manicured paths, shingle beaches, rough stone steps, pretty forest trails and fairly demanding technical scrambles. Cow Poo Alley is sadly no more. It’s the end of an era. Sigh...

Either would be okay. Most of the paths are very good and unless it's been raining for the whole week before the race, it's not likely to be too muddy underfoot. Basically, whatever you normally run off-road in will be fine.

Yes. The Highland Fling has been classed by ITRA as a three point qualifier for the 2021-2022 UTMB.

Planning your race

The race starts in Milngavie station car park, G62 8BX, 7 miles northwest of Glasgow city centre. The race finishes in the grounds of By The Way Hostel and Campsite, Tyndrum, FK20 8RY.

Friday 24th April 2020
4pm – 9pm Race Registration at the Burnbrae Inn, Milngavie, G61 3DQ

Saturday 25th April 2020
3:45am: Event coaches leave Tyndrum (the Green Welly Stop, FK20 8RY) going to the race start
4.45am: Event coaches leave Glasgow west end (Kelvingrove Museum, Argyle St, G3 8AN) going to the race start
4:30am - 5:45am: Registration at race start, Milngavie Station car park, G62 8BX
4:30am - 5:45am: Bring drop bags to race start and put into checkpoint vehicles
4:30am - 5:45am: Bring luggage (for finish at Tyndrum) to race start and put into large truck
5:45am: Race Director's race briefing for ALL runners, at race start area
6:00am: Race start. Run 53 miles to Tyndrum
5:00pm: Prizegiving at race finish, By The Way Hostel, Tyndrum, FK20 8RY
6:00pm, 7:00pm, 9:00pm, 10:00pm: Event coaches leave Tyndrum going back to Milngavie each hour on the hour (must be booked in advance)
8:00pm - 11:30pm: Afterparty in event marquees at finish line. Chat, fun, and maybe some dancing.
11:00pm - 1:00am: The Tyndrum Inn is open late if anyone fancies a nightcap

Sunday 26th April 2020
10:00am - Final event coach leaves Tyndrum going back to Milngavie (must be booked in advance)

Drymen - 12.6 miles - park in Stirling Rd car park, G63 0BW and walk along
Balmaha - 19.8 miles - Balmaha car park, G63 0JQ
Rowardennan - 27.2 miles - Rowardennan car park, G63 0AR*
Inversnaid - 34.5 miles - Inversnaid Hotel car park, FK8 3TU
Beinglas - 40.9 miles - Beinglas Farm campsite, G83 7DX*
Bogle Glen - 47.5 miles - park opposite Crianlarich police station, FK20 8QN and walk up

*Please note that these locations are provided for runner information only. On race day NO SPECTATOR ACCESS is allowed to either Rowardennan or Beinglas checkpoints.

Drymen - water - portaloos - NO drop bags
Balmaha - water - portaloos - drop bags
Rowardennan - water - public toilets - NO drop bags
Inversnaid - water – public toilets (in hotel) - drop bags
Beinglas - water - portaloos - drop bags
Bogle Glen - water - Coke - no toilets - no drop bags

Drymen, 12.6 miles, 20km, No cut-off
Balmaha, 19.8 miles, 32km, No cut-off
Rowardennan, 27.2 miles, 44km, 7 hrs, 1:00pm*
Inversnaid, 34.5miles, 55km, No cut-off
Beinglas, 40.9 miles, 66km, 11 hrs 15 mins, 5:15pm*
Bogle Glen, 47.5 miles, 76km, No cut-off
A82 road crossing, 50 miles, 85km, 14 hrs 15 mins, 8:15pm*

Pre Race Stuff

No. All pre-race communications are sent out via email. Race numbers and timing chips are collected at race registration.

If you need to change any details, this must be done online. Log into Si Entries, select the Highland Fling from your list of races entered, then Edit and Save your Participant Details. This can be done right up until midnight on Sunday 12th April. Please ensure we have correct medical information and emergency contact details. Also please make sure that the mobile phone number you have given us is definitely that of the mobile phone you will be carrying during the race!

A 75% refund is available up until 1st March 2020. After that date no refunds can be given. We do not operate a deferral system.

Sorry, no, this isn't possible. We don't operate a waiting list and you can't transfer your place to a friend. And please do not unofficially pass your number on to someone else - it is strictly against ScottishAthletics rules and will result in both you and the other runner being barred from future races. And yes, if you try it you WILL be rumbled, thanks to the ubiquity of smartphones with cameras and the intrusive power of social media.

Sorry about that! The Facebook group is really mostly intended for Fling runners to share information with each other. Important questions will often get lost in amongst all the chit-chat and gossip. If you want to ask anything 'official', please email the Fling team directly team@highlandflingrace.org

Drop Bags

Drop bags allow runners to take part in long races without the need for support crews and without having to carry supplies the whole way. A drop bag is a SMALL secure parcel with food/drink in it and a waterproof label with your name, race number, and the checkpoint that you want it taken to stuck on the outside. At the start of the race there are vehicles with the names of each checkpoint on them that you put your drop bags in, and they are transported to the checkpoints for you to collect when you arrive there. As well as food and drink, you might want to have stuff like blister plasters, suncream (fingers crossed!), or fresh socks at halfway. Drop bags are not for anything of value or anything you will need desperately, as sometimes (very rarely) they go missing. They are also not for full changes of clothing or spare pairs of shoes.

We will NOT be accepting drop bags at Friday registration. Please just bring them to the race start on Saturday morning.

You can have drop bags at the following checkpoints:

Balmaha - 19.8 miles
Inversnaid - 34.5 miles
Beinglas - 40.9 miles

Please make sure that your name, race number, and checkpoint are clearly marked on your drop bags.

No drop bags at Rowardennan this year - we are trying to reduce waste.

Please bring them to the race start on Saturday morning. Please do not bring them with you to Friday registration, as we will not be accepting them then.

No. When you leave a checkpoint, any unused food/drink items will be left out for later runners to help themselves to. If you want to put fresh socks into a drop bag that’s fine, but if you leave your sweaty ones behind they’ll be binned. And please do not put a change of clothes or shoes in any drop bag. We will NOT transport your grubby clothes/shoes to the race finish for you.

Oh yes you certainly did! This is a competition held at Balmaha checkpoint, for the most fabulously designed and decorated drop bag. You can be as inventive as you like, but please remember to put your name and race number on your drop bag. Size guideline: your drop bag should be no larger than an average shoebox. First prize is an amazing assortment of clothing, shoes, and equipment from our lovely sponsors La Sportive, Injinji, Ultimate Direction, and Petzl. Runner-up prizes will also be awarded.

Parking and Transport

Tyndrum 3:45am: The coach will leave from the Green Welly Stop, FK20 8RY

Glasgow 4:30am: The coach will leave from the front of Kelvingrove Museum & Art Gallery, on Argyle St in Glasgow’s west end, G3 8AG.

Marshals with lists of names will be checking runners on to each coach.


Please DO NOT plan to leave your car in Milngavie train station car park. There will be traffic marshals controlling access to the car park and you will not under any circumstance be allowed to bring your car in.

For dropping off at the race start and short term parking (i.e. friends/family), please use the Tesco car park right beside Milngavie train station. Please note that any cars left here after 7:30am will be fined/clamped by Tesco.


Yes. In the car park at the start of the race there will be a large truck taking kitbags to the finish. Please attach the provided tear off baggage label (on the bottom of your race number) to your bag. Reasonable size rucksacks or kitbags only please; no huge suitcases. If you withdraw from the race for any reason, we will get your finish line kit bag returned to you, but this will likely take at least a week. If your car is parked in Milngavie, you should carry your car key with you rather than put it in your bag for the race finish. If you withdraw from the race early on, you really don't want your key to be in Tyndrum while you are heading back to Milngavie!

Please note that there is NO vehicle access to the race finish area or to ByTheWay campsite, and very limited vehicle access to Lower Station Rd.

All event coaches will leave from the end of Lower Station Road - head out of By The Way campsite towards the A82 main road - it’s about a 5 minute walk. Marshals with lists of names will be checking runners on to each coach.

If you finish earlier or later than you expected and you would like to travel on a different coach than the one you have booked, this may be possible but cannot be guaranteed. To ask us about changing your coach booking, please come to the big blue merchandise tent at the race finish and speak to one of the marshals on duty there. If we can confirm a change for you, we will. If we can't, we will ask you to go and speak nicely to the marshals who are checking runners on to the coaches. Chances are there will be a spare seat and we’ll be able to squeeze you on, but you’ll be asked to wait until all the runners with confirmed bookings have boarded.

Yes, if there are seats available. Priority is obviously given to those with advance bookings but if your travel plans have changed unexpectedly we’ll do our best to find a seat for you. Price on the day will be £15. Cash only, thanks.

Yes. On Saturday afternoon, trains depart from Tyndrum Lower station at 5:10pm and 7:15pm. Advance booking with Scotrail is advised. As is checking you’re at the correct station – there are two different ones in Tyndrum. Train tickets are approx £22. Buses depart from just opposite the Pine Trees campsite at 3:15pm and 8:25pm. This is the last public transport available that day. Advance booking with Citylink is advised. Tickets are approx £20.

The trains go to Glasgow city centre. The buses go to Glasgow city centre via Glasgow Airport. For full details on public transport options please use the Scotrail and Citylink websites.

Race Registration

There are two options for race registration. Please note you only need to come to one, not both. (Someone always asks...)

Friday evening, 4:00pm - 9:00pm: the Burnbrae Inn, Glasgow Rd, Milngavie, G61 3DQ,
Saturday morning, 4:30am - 5:45am: Milngavie Station car park, G62 8BX.

At race registration all runners will be required to show photographic ID to collect their race number, and all runners will be fitted with non-transferable wristbands and timing chips that must not be removed until after the race.

If arriving on Friday evening, please DO NOT park in Milngavie station car park overnight. This includes camper vans!

The only thing you need to bring is some form of photographic ID. Passports and photocard driving licences are ideal. If you don't want to bring the original, we will accept colour photocopies. We will also accept photographic staff badges i.e. NHS/armed forces/council/university etc.

If you have recently changed your name/surname and your ID is still in your old name, please email us beforehand to let us know. It'll save you having to explain it to us at registration.

No. All runners MUST pick up their own race number. No exceptions. Please note that all runners are required to show photographic ID in order to register.

Raceday Stuff

Yes! There will be online live results throughout the event. On race day, the link for live results will be on the home page of this website.

As we have said elsewhere, Balmaha checkpoint and Bogle Glen near Crianlarich are recommended as the best places to spectate, as both locations have good parking facilities.

Before Balmaha checkpoint, spectators and their vehicles are welcome anywhere along the race route they can access safely and park legally without causing disruption to anyone. After Balmaha checkpoint, spectators should head straight for Crianlarich, to spectate at Bogle Glen. Note: This involves a short walk along a signposted trail. After leaving Crianlarich, spectators should drive straight to Tyndrum. (Spectators are also welcome at Inversnaid but we don’t expect many will go there as it’s a bugger of a drive.)


1. Anywhere at all along the road/race route between Balmaha and Rowardennan
2. Rowardennan Checkpoint (27 miles)
3. Beinglas checkpoint (41 miles)
4. Anywhere along the A82 south of Crianlarich (inc. the Drovers Inn, all lay-bys, all access roads, all public car parks)
5. The A82 road crossing (50 miles) between Crianlarich and Tyndrum.

We are imposing these restrictions on spectator access/parking due to severe congestion on narrow roads causing road safety issues as well as problems for local residents and local businesses. Please inform any friends and family who may be coming along to cheer you on, and ask them not to jeopardise the future of the race by ignoring this. On race day, marshals will be controlling traffic at all of these locations.

If you've trained properly for the distance and the terrain, we reckon roughly 3 x your current road marathon time. This is just a rough estimate and it won't be accurate for everybody, but it does work fairly well for a lot of people.

There are plenty of portaloos at the race start. Tea, coffee and hot snacks are available from the coffee shop next to the train station from 4:30am onwards. The local Greggs in Milngavie pedestrian precinct is open from 5:00am. We definitely think a bacon butty or hot pasty is perfect running fuel!

The race starts at 6:00am. To avoid congestion on the trail in the first couple of miles we will be setting runners off in waves. If you've ever run a big city marathon you'll know how it works, but if not, basically we'll be asking you all to estimate your finish times and assemble in pens based on those times: sub 10hrs, 10-12hrs and 12+hrs, and we'll be setting you off in waves a minute or so apart. Don't worry about the extra time it'll take you to get across the start line, your timing chip means your race time will not start recording until you cross the start line.

For the overall race winners we will be using gun time not chip time, so if you're expecting to be super speedy, please make sure you set off in the first wave of runners.

Female runners expecting a sub 10hr finish should also set off in the first wave.

The event provides water at all checkpoints, and also Coke at Beinglas and Bogle Glen. Proper full-fat ‘It’s the real thing’ Coke. No other energy drinks or solid food is provided but leftovers from the drop bags of faster runners will be available at Balmaha, Inversnaid and Beinglas. There is usually a large selection of sweet and savoury nibbles at these checkpoints - however this should not be relied on.

Yes, there will be experienced sports therapists at Rowardennan checkpoint (27.2 miles) who will hopefully be able to help you with any little niggles you’re feeling and keep you moving on towards the finish.

Yes. There are toilets at:

12.6 miles - Drymen checkpoint (portaloos)
19.8 miles - Balmaha checkpoint (portaloos)
22.0 miles - Millarochy Bay (public toilets)
25.0 miles - Sallochy Bay (public toilets)
27.2 miles - Rowardennan checkpoint (public toilets)
34.4 miles - Inversnaid checkpoint (portaloos) 
40.9 miles - Beinglas checkpoint (portaloos)

(If you really need to go to the toilet between these locations, please move well off the trail and do your best to make sure no one can see you - especially the general public and local residents!)

You absolutely MUST NOT drop any litter on the trail! Please dispose of your litter at the recycling tables at each checkpoint. If you see a runner dropping litter please ask them to pick it up. If you come across any race litter on the trail, e.g. energy gel wrappers, please pick it up and take it to the next checkpoint.

We will have special ‘Green Team’ marshals in charge of the recycling table at each checkpoint. Hand over your rubbish to them, and they will sort it into different bins for recycling, food waste, and general rubbish.

Please help us out here. Have a think about what you’re putting in your dropbag, and whether the packaging can be recycled. Don’t put bottles of water in your dropbags - there is unlimited water available at all checkpoints! Try not to pack lots of stuff you’re probably not going to need, and try not to leave lots of stuff behind. The best way to be green isn’t by recycling, it’s by not using stuff in the first place!

There will be about 200 Race Team marshals and helpers who are there to look after all you runners. They will all be wearing hi-viz vests and Race Team ID badges. If you have a question or need help with anything, please just ask one of them.

If you want to overtake a slower runner on a narrow section of trail, ask politely! Say please and thank you. Offer some encouragement to them. Don’t just shout "Coming through!" and hammer past.

Yes, so please be polite to everyone you pass, not just other runners. Say hello, and don't get annoyed if you have to slow down for small children or dogs. They have absolutely as much right as you do to be there. Please bear that in mind!

If you pass through an open gate, leave it open. If the gate is closed, please close it behind you. And if another runner is coming up behind you, do try to wait a second and hold the gate open for them too.

We try our hardest to make the Highland Fling race finish fabulous. As well as your medal, race t-shirt and goody bag, the following treats are provided at the finish line for all runners completely FREE of charge:

Homemade soup* and rolls - courtesy of Matt and Ena Duncan (Mum and Dad Fling)
Baked potatoes with a variety of fillings* - courtesy of Albert Bartlett and The Real Food Cafe
Ice cream - courtesy of Mackies and The Real Food Cafe
Heated marquees to relax in
Unlimited tea and freshly brewed coffee for all runners (50p per cup for non-runners)
Hot showers
Post-race massage

Yes, all of the above treats are provided completely FREE for all runners :-)

* FOOD INFORMATION: All soup will be vegetarian. There will be a vegan soup option, and this will be gluten free too. Baked potato fillings - there will be meat, vegetarian, and vegan options. All food will be clearly labelled and ingredient information will be available on request.

There will be first aid/medical assistance available at the finish for any runner who requires it.

The prizegiving will take place at the race finish at approximately 5:00pm. We will do our best to notify prizewinners by text beforehand. If you know you’ve won a prize but you have to leave before 5:00pm, please come to see us at the Race Control tent and we’ll try to give you your trophy to take away with you.

1st, 2nd and 3rd overall in each gender category
1st, 2nd and 3rd Vet 40 in each gender category
1st, 2nd and 3rd Vet 50 in each gender category
1st, 2nd and 3rd Vet 60 in each gender category
1st, 2nd and 3rd Vet 70 in each gender category

Murdo McDonald Cup (previously the Coors Cup) - awarded to the club with the highest number of finishers.

Sponsor kit and clothing prizes - awarded to the lucky winners of the Balmaha drop bag competition.

Yes! We are hosting a very informal event afterparty from approximately 8:00pm-11:30pm in the finish line marquees. There will be live music, chat and fun. There will most likely be some singing and dancing too. No tickets are required and entry is completely free. Everyone is welcome to attend - runners, spectators, friends & family, and of course marshals too. It is a private function, so children are welcome. Please bring your own bottle. Or multiple bottles :)

Race Rules

Yes. All runners MUST carry the following items with them at all times

1. An emergency foil blanket
2. A charged and switched on mobile phone
3. A waterproof jacket or smock, with taped seams

Yes, but as there are several busy road crossings and several sections of the race where the route runs along public roads, there are a couple of rules about earphones:

1. You must be able to hear what is going on around you at all times.
2. You must remove your earphones completely at checkpoints, at road crossings, when approaching marshals, and at all times when running on public roads or any sections of tarmac.
3. No iPod/MP3 players on narrow sections of the trail.

If a marshal signals you to remove your earphones, you MUST do so immediately. Any runners causing hassle in this regard may be withdrawn from the race for their own safety, i.e. disqualified.

No, not at all. Support crews are not allowed. You must run the race completely unsupported. This means you must not arrange for family/friends to meet you along the race route and give you food/drinks/spare kit etc.

No, the use of support runners/pacers is strictly forbidden.

No. Walking/running poles are not allowed.

No. Dogs are not allowed to accompany runners at all. This is a condition of our Scottish Athletics race permit and also our race insurance. Much as we love dogs, we have to be strict on this. Anyone seen running with a dog will be stopped by race officials and withdrawn from the event, i.e. disqualified.

BUT: If you want to cross the finish line with your dog, they can meet you at the start of the red carpet and run across the finish line with you 

Your race number must be worn on your FRONT, and must be visible to marshals at all times. If you wear your race number on your back, you will be stopped by race officials and told to move it to your front.

Carry it with you till you reach the next checkpoint!You absolutely MUST NOT drop any litter on the trail! Please dispose of all your litter at the recycling tables at checkpoints. If you see a runner dropping litter please ask them to pick it up. If you see any race litter on the trail, e.g. gel wrappers, please pick it up and dispose of it at the next checkpoint.

This rule has been brought in at the insistence of our medical team. Ibuprofen and other NSAIDs are known to put stress on the kidneys and occasionally this can cause life-threatening problems for ultrarunners. Our medical team are highly experienced and highly competent ultra-medics, they know what they’re talking about and we fully support them on this rule. If you were planning to use ibuprofen on race day, DON’T DO IT. If you are sceptical about this information, please google 'ibuprofen and ultrarunning' and read about the risks yourself. If you have a prescription for NSAIDs, please include this information in the ‘medical details’ section of your entry form, or email us and let us know in advance.

If we become aware you are using ibuprofen or any other NSAID without a prescription, as a casual raceday painkiller, you WILL be disqualified.

Safety and Medical

Yes, yes you really do. Please just make things easy for us and comply with the kit rules. It could save your - or someone else's - life in an emergency. You may be kit checked at any point in the race.

Yes. If you cannot produce a waterproof jacket, foil blanket and mobile phone when asked, you will be withdrawn from the race for your own safety, i.e. disqualified. Last year we disqualified several people for failing kit checks.

This is so you can contact us in the event of a serious accident or other situation that requires our urgent attention. Please think of it as the equivalent of 999, and only call it in an emergency. Not because you've run out of gummy bears and have wet socks.

You absolutely MUST stop and try to help. It is very important that we all look after each other out on the trails. If a runner is seriously injured then you should call 999 first (ask for POLICE then MOUNTAIN RESCUE) then call Race Control (the number will be on your race number). If you have no mobile phone signal please wait till another runner arrives to assist then run on until you get a signal. If the runner can't move and is getting cold, please use your and other runners' emergency foil blankets to keep the injured runner warm.

No, not at all. The whole West Highland Way footpath is waymarked with wooden marker posts. In addition to this there will be additional race route markers at the awkward bits where some runners might manage to go wrong. On race day there will be about 800 other runners sharing the route with you so it's very unlikely you'll get lost. But if you want some reassurance, get the official Harvey's West Highland Way map, or download our gpx file of the race route, Highland Flingrace route, available here.

If you realise you have gone wrong somewhere, you should turn around and retrace your steps until you get back onto the race route. Once you're back at the point where you went wrong, you'll probably be able to see what the correct way actually is. If you become seriously lost and can’t find your way back on to the race route, please phone Race Control and we will do our best to help you out. If you’re worried that this might happen to you, PLEASE download our gpx file and store it in your smartphone/GPS watch just in case.

If you withdraw from the race at one of the checkpoints, please let a marshal know you are stopping, and make sure you give them your name, your race number, and also your timing chip. If you decide to withdraw from the race in between checkpoints, please try to get yourself to the next checkpoint along the route. (Think carefully before turning round and heading back the way - if you return to a previous checkpoint after it has closed, there will be no one there!) If you are injured and can’t walk, phone Race Control.

If you decide to withdraw from the race between checkpoints and have a friend/family member pick you up somewhere, please phone (don’t text!) the number for DNF runners (this phone number will be on your race number) and let us know you're okay. If you decide to withdraw, let us know IMMEDIATELY. Don’t leave it till you’re back at your B&B and have had some food and a shower and a nap. To repeat: DO NOT exit the race without telling us immediately!

Yes, there will be members of the Fling Medical Team at every checkpoint. They will all be wearing green 'FIRST AID' hi-viz vests. If you fall and hurt yourself, or if you start to feel unwell during the race, please ask one of them for help.

Supporting Sponsors
Highland Fling Secondary Sponsors