Edinburgh is to launch a dedicated women’s 10k race, three years after Glasgow axed the UK’s first all-female event after 25 years drawing criticism from track legend Liz McColgan.

The organisers of the Edinburgh Marathon Festival, GSI Events, will stage the 6.2mile event on October 23 for runners over the age of 15.

The scenic route could prove to be a major draw for tourists, taking some of the city’s biggest landmarks including the Scottish Parliament, Holyrood Palace, Arthur’s Seat and Edinburgh Castle.

GSI also runs men’s 10k races in Glasgow and Edinburgh, a half marathon in Bournemouth and running tours in Scotland’s capital city.

The new event has been welcomed by Scottish Athletics, which said: "We know a women-only or men-only event can be appealing". 

The organisers of the Great Women’s Run in Glasgow announced in 2018 that the landmark event was being scrapped after more than two decades due to dwindling numbers taking part.

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They said more female runners were now taking part in the mixed, Great Scottish Run 10k, which it also organises.

Glasgow Life, which contributed £150,000 to stage the event, said its goal of encouraging more women to participate in sport “had been achieved” and said resources would be focussed on the further development of the Great Scottish Run.


However, the decision prompted an angry and emotive backlash from women runners, who praised the event’s supportive and inclusive atmosphere, with one remarking: “It was a mark of pride that Glasgow held the UK’s largest women’s 10k road race.”

Scottish track legend Liz McColgan was among those who spoke out saying such races had helped, “encourage women who might not have confidence in their fitness to get out there and run”.


She said at the time: “I think more races like park runs are taking the numbers away as events are free but park runs are not the same as organized. properly measured races like the Glasgow women’s 10k.”

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Former Labour leader Johann Lamont said the event had helped foster her “love of running.”

A spokesman for Scottish Athletics said:  "The Women’s 10k was something of a landmark event in Glasgow for a number of years in that it attracted some very big fields at one time but also drew a lot of support out around the city.  

"So an Edinburgh version sounds good and we welcome any event that encourages people to get active. 

"We know that, for some people, a women-only or men-only event can be appealing."
SportScotland, the country’s national agency for sport, added:  “It’s great to hear that a new women’s 10k event is coming to Edinburgh. 

 “We know the health and wellbeing benefits that being involved in sport and physical activity can bring. 

"Participation events like this are a fantastic opportunity for women to challenge themselves, whatever their level, and to be part of a shared experience with family and friends.”


The new 10k, which costs £26 to enter, will begin on the Royal Mile, travelling past the Scottish National Gallery and into Princes Street Gardens. It will then make its way past the Scott Monument and the Scottish Parliament building, before progressing into Holyrood Park. 

The half-way mark is reached at the Grassmarket after which runners will make their way to Murrayfield Stadium for the finish line.

Glasgow’s women's 10k was originally held in the west of the city before it moved to the south, raising thousands for charitable causes every year. It later returned to the west, beginning on Kelvin Way.

The race was launched by Glasgow City Council, which set up a women’s jogging network to encourage female runners to take part with beginner running courses organised to prepare entrants that were hugely popular at the time.

The event was later taken over by the Great Run Company, which organises a series of 10k and half marathon events across the UK including the Great Scottish Run in October.