MORE than 3,000 people are expected at Kings Park this Saturday as part of a festival of running.

Run Stirling will see a host of events from international and inter district cross-country races to the sold-out 7km Great Stirling Castle Run.

Dunblane Olympian Andy Butchart will be on home turf as he leads Scotland in the Home Countries XC International.

Fellow GB international Mhairi Maclennan will lead the Scotland Senior Women’s team in the Home Countries match with England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Races in the British Cross Challenge Series, in which rising talent can match themselves against established stars, will give opportunities to athletes of all ages.

The Run Stirling event is being organised in partnership with EventScotland, scottishathletics and Stirling Council with the Great Run staging the Great Castle Run.

Councillor Chris Kane, convener of the Community Planning and Regeneration Committee, said: “Stirling has a growing reputation for bringing top class sporting opportunities to the area and I want this event to become as synonymous with the start of the new year as fireworks and resolutions.

“Whether you are taking part, going to support somebody, watching the amazing elite athletes in action, or simply looking to soak up a great sporting atmosphere in spectacular surroundings, I know you will have a great day out.

“Good luck to all those who are taking part and if anyone is already looking for their next challenge, there is still time to get training for Stirling’s marathon in October.”