Over 5000 runners will head to the Highlands this weekend (26/27 April) to compete at the Run Balmoral running festival. The event consists of junior races, a 10K and 5K on the Saturday and a 15 Mile Trail & Wee Trail race on the Sunday.
One competitor, Mark Hendry, will be running in both the 5k and 10k races, just two weeks after completing the Virgin Money London Marathon.
Mark said: “I’m looking forward to Run Balmoral this weekend, and I’m hoping to beat my current record of 20 minutes for the 5k but it’s hard to get your legs moving fast after you’ve done a marathon – hopefully I’ll still have the energy! I’m sure that having lots of colleagues from Kongsberg Maritime on the start line with me will make me even more determined to put in a good time.”
Despite winning all three previous 15-mile trail races, Great Britain mountain running champion Robbie Simpson will be focusing solely on the 10K event this year. In Simpson's absence, Ben Hukins of Ron Hill Cambuslang Harriers appears to be favourite to pick up the winner's prize. Other contenders include Forfar's Brian Bonnyman, Metro Aberdeen's Barry Ingram, Braemar's Al Hubbard and Kemnay's Gregor Young.
Portobello RC's Nicola Duncan, who is to represent her native Ireland in the marathon at this summer's European championships in Switzerland, has entered the women's race but may not compete. If Duncan doesn't run, then Veronique Oldham (Cosmic Hillbashers), who has finished runner-up twice over the past three years, will be aiming for top spot.
Hoping to emulate Simpson’s hat-trick of achievements, albeit in the 5K, is GB international Rhona Auckland. She spoke about her love for the event: "I have competed there so often since I was a youngster and I really enjoy it. It is one of my favourite events and it would be difficult to miss it."
For more information visit the Run Balmoral website.