Fancy getting active on New Year’s Day?

The Firth of Forth, South Queensferry near Edinburgh, annual New Year's Day Loony Dook 2015.
The Firth of Forth, South Queensferry near Edinburgh, annual New Year's Day Loony Dook 2015.

While most of us will be nursing a hangover on New Year’s Day, some hardy souls will be braving the chilly outdoors. Why not join them?

New Year’s Day has traditionally been a day for staying warm and comfortable indoors after the excesses of Hogmanay – but now there are a surprising number of organised outdoors events and races taking place on the first day of the year.

For runners - the Aonach Mor Uphill Race is a tough run of 4km with a 610m climb and takes place at Nevis Range Ski Centre, near Fort William.

The tough uphill event is organised by Lochaber AC and the winner is the first person to reach the mountain gondola top station. All entrants are treated to soup and a roll at the top before returning by gondola.


For triathletes there’s the Tri Centre New Year’s Day Triathlon in Edinburgh. Organised by Edinburgh Triathletes, the race features a 400m pool swim, an 11-mile cycle and a 3.5 mile run.

The focus for this event is the Commonwealth Pool and Arthur’s Seat. Participants race solo or in a team. There’s also a duathlon for children aged eight to 15. Surprisingly, a third of entrants are new-comers to triathlon.

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There are also an increasing number of official and unofficial New Year’s Day dooks (swims) in the sea or lochs across Scotland and the number of brave swimmers is growing.

The Stoats Loony Dook takes place at South Queensferry every year. This dip sees swimmers jumping into the freezing waters of the Forth, many in fancy dress. It takes place 10am to 3pm.

At noon, on the same day, the RNLI New Year Swim takes place at Rhu Marina, Helensburgh, raising funds for Helensburgh RLNI.

A New Year’s Day Dook is also organised by open water swimming club, Ye Amphibious Ancients Bathing Association (YAABA), in Broughty Ferry Harbour, near Dundee from 10.30am to 11am, and has taken place every year since 1989.