The Run Balmoral meeting has a new event this year with the addition of the Petrofac Challenge, held over a 13 mile mixed terrain course. The new race will take place on Sunday, April 24, the day after the popular Stena Drilling Tartan 10K. The weekend programme which is staged at the Balmoral Estate also includes the Balmoral Conoco Phillips 5K and 2.5/1.5K schools races.
Event Director Alastair Simpson said: "It's great that we have something new to offer. The Stena Drilling Tartan 10K on the Saturday is almost full now with 2,400 runners, so the Petrofac Challenge on the Sunday will offer an alternative to experienced runners who have maybe missed out.
"It'll be a tough and testing course. It starts beside the cricket pitch next to the Castle before heading along the banks of the River Dee. Competitors will then climb up through the estate to Glen Gelder and, if they pause for a breath,they'll be able to take in some fantastic views of Lochnagar and the Cairngorms to the west. The route then meanders across some open moorland before descending through a pine forest and back to the finishing line close to the Dee."
Jim Knowles, Chairman of the Board of Balmoral Road Races Ltd, is equally excited about the new race. He said: "We are delighted that Petrofac Offshore Engineering & Operations is involved with Run Balmoral and greatly value their support. We anticipate the popularity of distance running will feed the new event and help create a whole Run Balmoral weekend, attracting leisure tourism to Royal Deeside."
The inuagural Petrofac Challenge is likely to attract a field of between 250 and 500 runners, although more can be accommodated if there is a surge in demand for places. Meanwhile, entries for the other races at Balmoral on Saturday April 23, are continuing to pour in. Only a handful of places remain in the Stena Drilling Tartan 10Km while the ConocoPhillips 5Km is also filling up.
In all, around 5,000 runners and as many spectators are expected to turn out for the meeting.