In the week the Queen turned 90, more than 5,000 runners will head to Aberdeenshire for a royal rumble as the Run Balmoral returns to the royal estate this weekend. The festival features a programme of eight races taking place across the weekend (23–24 April)
All Saturday races are full but a limited number of entries will be accepted on Sunday for the Apollo Duathlon, the Glacier Energy 15 Mile Trail Race and the Three Mile Wee Trail Race.
Inverness athlete Jenny Bannerman will be all smiles when she competes in Saturday's ConocoPhillips 5K at Balmoral Castle as the North District 10k champion has just learned she has been selected to make her Scotland international debut in Denmark’s Lillebaelt Half Marathon on 7 May.
Aberdeen AAC's Nicola Gauld and Central AC's Jenn Wetton could threaten the longest standing Balmoral course record. It's 10 years since Aberdonian Lynn Wilson (Carnethy Runners) recorded 36min 23secs to win the women's prize in the Stena Drilling Tartan 10K. No one has bettered that mark since then but there's no doubt Gauld and Wetton are more than capable of putting it to the test on Saturday. North of Scotland cross country league champion John Newsom (Inverness Harriers) is the leading entrant in the men's competition.
Aberdeen-based doctor Moira Davie (Forres Harriers) returns to defend the women's title in Sunday's Glacier Energy 15 Mile Trail Race but she could be challenged by 2014 champion Veronique Oldham (Cosmic Hillbashers) and 2011 winner Clare Whitehead (Deeside Runners). Men's course record holder Andrew Douglas (North Highland Harriers) is an absentee as he is preparing for the mountain running season in Portugal, so Michael O'Donnell (Inverness Harriers) and Brian Bonnyman (Westerlands) could be among the front runners.
Aberdeen's Ian Russell and Laura Wood will defend their respective men's and women's titles in the Apollo Duathlon which has attracted a field of 250.
For more information, go to the Run Balmoral website.