One of Aberdeenshire’s most popular races has grown into a new family-friendly festival.
Now joined by a cross-country 5km and a kids’ 1.5 km race, the former NTS Crathes Half-Marathon now forms part of the PIM Running Festival (Saturday, 14 September).
The new 1.5km race, held entirely in the castle grounds, is open to children aged 4–12. The new cross-country 5k, held on a Crathes Estate forest trail, is open to runners over the age of 13.
The popular – and surprisingly flat for Aberdeenshire – PIM Half Marathon, which starts in front of the ‘fairy-tale’ castle and heads out on country roads and tracks towards Drum Castle, is open to adults over the age of 18.
Organisers of the PIM Running Festival see it very much as a community event, and have aimed to get as many locals involved as possible.
As Paula Sledzinska, from the Events team at Crathes Castle told runABC Scotland Online, they’ve also worked closely with the parkrun community, who have been regularly running their 5k route around the Crathes Estate every Saturday morning since early February.
Sledzinska is particularly enthusiastic about getting the whole family involved this year: ‘Seeing so many younger kids involved in the children's race last year, we thought it would be wonderful to make the Festival even more family friendly.’
With that in mind, the new PIM Festival of Running isn’t designed just for those taking part. On race day there’ll be a family-friendly village on the South Lawn in front of the castle complete with drummers, inflatables and other activities for runners’ families and friends to enjoy as they wait for their return.
In addition to being a community event, organisers have also been keen to ensure the new Festival will be sustainable and eco-friendly.
To help combat plastic waste, runners will no longer receive plastic bottles at water stations. Instead, organisers will be trialling the use of fully biodegradable cups, sponsored by catering supplier Planglow. Runners can also bring their own water bottles to be filled if they prefer.
Post-race, runners will be able to make use of a massage station supported by the RGU Physiotherapy Society as well as drop in for a back check-up with Banchory Spinal Health.
Entries to the PIM Half-Marathon (age 18+), cross-country 5km (ages 12+) and 1.5km races (ages 4–12) can be made online until 12 noon on Friday, 13 September, subject to availability.