A race sponsored by a shortbread baker was never going to be ‘short’ of entries, given the likely post-race spread. And so it was no surprise that Huntly’s ‘Room to Run’ started with a totally full field, for the third year in a row.
The Dean’s 10K, along with the NoW 5K and three ‘Wee Shorties’ children’s races, are an important part of the ‘Huntly Hairst’, an annual food and farming festival centred around the square of the historic Aberdeenshire market town.
Participants in this year’s new ‘Huntly Hero’ race – the 5k plus the 10k – would have had a tough time staying away from the gourmet burgers, pizzas, cheeses and home-bakes filling the centre of the square in the hour between their events.
runABC Scotland’s Christine took part in the Dean’s 10K for the first time. She said: “This race was a real delight, but deceptively tough. The first 2k or so were on the road, and very scenic, but the track up to the Bin Forest and the loop around it were challenging. The organisers also managed to hide an extra hill in the forest itself, which wasn’t really what I needed just over half way through!
“I thought the last 2k or so back on the road to the town square would bring me a bit of relief and allow me to get back into a steady pace, but a local runner let me in on a well-known secret at the 9k mark: the route was more than a ‘wee bitty’ over 10k.
“But what’s a few hundred extra metres when you’ve got three kinds of biscuits and the absolutely fantastic atmosphere of the Huntly Hairst waiting for you at the finish line?”
Room to Run is co-ordinated by the Huntly Sports Hub, an initiative of Huntly & District Development Trust in partnership with Networks of Wellbeing and local club Huntly Rinnin’ Quines and Loons.
All proceeds raised from the event go towards supporting and promoting sports, health and wellbeing activities in the local area.
Jake Mcdiarmid, from Huntly Rinnin’ Quines and Loons (and winner of the women’s 15k ‘Hero’) said: “This is such a great event. It’s great for the runners and it’s great for the town too. We’re very proud to be part of it. We have around 120 runners in our club and many of them are helping out with marshalling, as well as running. We can’t wait for next year!”
The men’s and women’s Dean’s 10K was won by Michael Barker (40.27) and Ruth Pirie (48.01).
The men’s and women’s NoW 5K was won by Jonathan Cordiner (17.16) and Sarah Milne (20.03). Cordiner also took home the title of men’s ‘Hero’ (58.04).