Zola Budd, one of the most recognisable names in Olympic history, is to compete in the Stirling Scottish Marathon on 21 May 2017. She will be joined by Scotland's greatest ever distance runner Liz McColgan, who was recently announced as an ambassador for the Great Run British Marathon Series, for the 26.2 mile challenge in the heart of Scotland.
Zola, now known as Zola Pieterse, is a two-time Olympian and former world record holder over 5,000 metres. However, she is most remembered in Britain for the Olympic 3,000 metre final in Los Angeles, in which American world champion Mary Decker tripped and fell after coming into contact with one of Zola's legs. Although she was entirely blameless, it was a story that occupied the headlines for days to come.
Of her participation in Stirling, Zola, who now lives in the USA, said: "Having heard about the event, I immediately accepted the invitation. I love distance running and this will be a new challenge. I have heard great things about Scotland and the route sounds both unusual and interesting. It will be quite an experience to start in a safari park."
Stirling Scottish Marathon will be the first event to be staged in the newly formed Great Run British Marathon Series. The route will start west of the city at Blair Drummond Safari Park, before going past historic landmarks Doune Castle and the National Wallace Monument, as well as the picturesque spa town Bridge of Allan. Participants will experience a dramatic finish beneath the ramparts of Stirling Castle. The course is predominately flat and will be suitable for all abilities from elite runners to first time joggers
Meanwhile, Scottish runners who no longer live in the country will be encouraged to take part in the marathon in the #ComeHomeToRun initiative, with the inaugural event already proving to be a popular attraction.
The Stirling Scottish Marathon will be followed by the Birmingham International Marathon on October 15 2017, with a third marathon in the series set to be unveiled in the near future.
Entries for the Stirling Scottish Marathon are now open, to enter visit the Great Run website.