Next Sunday (October 9) will see the running of the 22nd Annual Bennachie Hill Race, starting and finishing at the Back o'Bennachie car park near Oyne. The race, an 8-mile route with 1150 feet of ascent around the area's famous landmark, takes in Watch Craig, Oxen Craig, Craigshannoch and the mighty Mither Tap.
The senior race is open to all runners over 18, while a junior hill race, with a shorter course and considerably less climbing, has been designed for runners 13-17. Registration will be open from 12.30-1.30pm with both races starting at 2pm.
The Inverurie-based Garioch Roadrunners organise the hill races, with Aberdeen's Run-4-It the main sponsor.
Club chair Craig Kelly is looking forward to this year's event: "The Bennachie Hill Race has long been one of the highlights of the Scottish hill running calendar, and we are really proud to be able to continue the tradition. We had a record turnout last year, and are expecting a strong field again in 2011.
"This year, we'd really like to see more youngsters try the junior hill race, and encourage any teens interested in the race to come along on the day. We might even find the next Robbie Simpson!"
In addition to organising the Bennachie Hill Race, the Garioch Roadrunners hold two club nights each week. In autumn and winter, their Tuesday and Thursday runs start and finish at the Garioch Sports Centre, Burghmuir Road, Inverurie. All runs start at 6.35pm sharp, and there is a choice of a 6.25-mile, 8-mile or 10-mile route - all on the well-lit pavements of Inverurie.
Club Secretary Tamsin Morris adds: "Our 'New Member Night' on Tuesday is proving really popular, especially with those returning to running after some time away. No matter what your pace, someone will take you round the route. No one gets left behind!"