August is set to be a big month for supporters of Aberdeen FC. Not only will the club kick-off the season with a plum home fixture against Hearts on Saturday 3rd but they expect hundreds of fans to sport club colours at the city's big running event of the year on Sunday 25 August.
Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes has already issued a call to arms and wants Dons fans to join a dedicated red wave at the Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Run. In a pioneering initiative to encourage improved fitness and wellbeing in the community, the club and event organisers, The Great Run Company, have united to give fans the opportunity to show their 'true colours' at the autumn double-header which features a 10k and half marathon.
Supporters who sign up to take part in the event, which is for runners, joggers and walkers of all abilities, will be encouraged with special training programmes and advice from the backroom staff at Aberdeen FC ahead of the big day.
On event day itself, Aberdeen supporters will start in a special dedicated red wave, sporting the club logo on their run number and being sent on their way by some of the club’s legendary figures. They will be joined by a team of football club staff who will be raising money for the Aberdeen FC Community Trust.
The red wave will intensify the colour and excitement that the Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Run has come to represent since the event was launched in 2017.
Local hero and 2018 Commonwealth Games medallist Robbie Simpson is a big fan of the event. The Banchory man won the 2017 half marathon in 1:08:41, finishing over 20 minutes ahead of the second placed runner. And he returned last year to claim the 10k title in an impressive, but frustrating time, of 30:01.
That was a special day for Simpson as he was able to cheer his girlfriend Metro Aberdeen runner Ginie Barrand (36:39) to victory in the ladies 10k race. Barrand finshied 12 seconds ahead of club mate Kayleigh Jarrett.
If Robbie Simpson had run in the half marathon in 2018 he would have had a real battle on his hands. Kris Jones (Dundee Hawkhill Harriers) took the honours after turning an early lead into a convincing win. The GB track and orienteering international’s time of 1.06.35 was two minutes quicker than Simpson's the previous year.
Jones said: "I really didn't know what time to aim for, but I was pleased with my run. It's a fantastic event and there was tremendous crowd support all the way, especially at the finish along Union Street. I'd definitely come back again.”
Big race podium regular Fife AC's Sheena Logan, returned to the city where she had been a student, to score a comfortable win in the ladies half marathon.
An anticipated 5,000 field, including hundreds of charity runners and 5k graduates, will join the elites like Simpson, the colourful Aberdeen FC contingent and a huge turnout from North East clubs for what is the city's running event of the year.
They will enjoy traffic-free routes that will again start and finish on Union Street and take in the modern and historic areas of the city including Castlegate, Beach Ballroom and Brig O’Balgownie. The half marathon also includes a section through Seaton Park before heading past St Machar’s Cathedral and along the cobbled streets of Old Aberdeen.
In addition North Sea vistas, regular musical interludes and 'power you up' cheering points are all part of the Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Run experience.
TO FIND OUT MORE & TO ENTER VISIT THE GREAT RUN WEBSITE.