The Royal Deeside town of Banchory is set to host its first ever multi-terrain 10k this summer.
Scott Birse, a keen runner himself, owner of SB Fitness and now race director, long questioned why a town the size of Banchory didn’t have such an event.
He told runABC Scotland Online: “I was determined to organise an event that could bring the community together whilst also benefitting local organisations and charities. The hope is that the event will grow into a festival of running and bring a lot to the local community.”
He added: “We’re in negotiations with local charities with regard to providing support. However, my main aim is to help local initiatives in and around Banchory – whether charities or sports groups – that will make a difference to local people.”
With just over four months to go, preparations for runBanchory are well underway – and Birse feels that he and his committee of 10 are making good progress. He said: “We all have experience of events, but there are always areas that we need to look into further before we can make decisions.”
Birse told us that the most difficult challenge so far was choosing the route
– in the end a very scenic 50/50 mix of tarmac and forestry road, taking in the surroundings of Blackhall and Scolty Woods. The route will rise to a height of 628 ft/191 m and gain 528 ft/160 m over its duration.
In addition to the 10k route, which Birse is 'delighted with', there will also be a 1k race for Primary 1–7 children in the grounds of the KGV park.
Local support for the inaugural runBanchory has been positive and continues to grow.
Birse said: “We’ve done everything through the council and we were advised by local police on the route. I’ve had various meetings with organisations and feel that we are gradually gaining interest from the community and local businesses.”
“I’ve absolutely loved being the 'race director' but it very much is a learning process. It has been a little stressful at times, but I’m looking forward to the event in June. I just hope it’s a sunny day!”
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Image: Race director Scott Birse admiring the view from the route of the new runBanchory 10K