Runners from across the north-east of Scotland will be heading to Back o'Bennachie near Oyne this Sunday 6 October for the 24th Annual Bennachie Hill Race, organised by Inverurie's Garioch Roadrunners. Club chair Rod MacInnes said: "Seasoned hill runners return year after year to take up the challenge of our hill race, but we're also seeing more and more road runners making this event their annual off-road excursion."
He added: "Bennachie is such an iconic hill in the Garioch and beyond. Runners love the personal challenge of the route almost as much as they love the friendly atmosphere and legendary tea and cakes we provide afterwards!"
Sunday's senior hill race is 12.8 kilometres long with around 550 metres of ascent. The junior hill race, open to runners aged 13-17, is five kilometres long with 150 meters of ascent. Both events are open to runners of all standards. The race routes are well marked and marshaled; no previous experience of hill running is required to take part.
One local runner heading to the Bennachie Hill Race for the first time is Domenico D'Ambruoso from Methlick. He said: "I'm strictly a 5k and 10k road runner, so a hike up and down our local landmark will take me out of my comfort zone, but for an excellent cause. I'll be running the race for a local charity called Adam's Aim: a fund set up for an incredibly brave six-year-old boy with cerebral palsy called Adam Walker. Adam's 'aim' is to run about and be as active as any other boy his age; his parents are raising funds for an operation and I'm taking on this challenge to help them."
Entries will be available on the day with registration open from 12.30-1.30pm at the Back o'Bennachie car park. Both races start at 2pm. Tea, water and homebakes will be available at the finish.
In addition to organising the Bennachie Hill Race, the Garioch Roadrunners meet at the Garioch Sports Centre, Burghmuir Road, Inverurie. Tuesday night runs start at 6.35pm sharp, with a choice of routes. New members are always welcome.
Further information about the Bennachie Hill Race and the Garioch Roadrunners can be found on the club's website.