Organisers at the National Trust for Scotland’s Crathes Castle are limbering up as they prepare for one of the biggest dates in the visitor season.
Next Saturday, September 14, around 700 athletes will take part in a half marathon.
Thousands of spectators and visitors will also take part in a special programme of events and activities from 11am until 3pm as part of the Crathes Games which is an opportunity to try out some traditional, and some less traditional, Highland Games events, including archery, shot putt, welly throwing and an inflatable assault course.
The Crathes half marathon has become a well-established event on the North-east running calendar, with the 2013 race open to 300 more participants than last year, the demand to take part is growing year on year.
Property manager Gareth Clingan said: “The half-marathon is getting bigger every year and it has a great family-friendly atmosphere at Crathes on the day.
“We are putting on loads of activities to entertain spectators while the run is underway. Of course, if you still have the energy after racing more than 13 miles, runners are more than welcome to join in too.
“It’s a great course for first time half marathon runners as it’s on a relatively flat course, which also gives experienced competitors a good opportunity to clock a personal best.”
The Crathes half-marathon is sponsored by Aker Solutions.
Matt Corbin, managing director of Aker Solutions UK subsea business, will be taking part in this year’s race, along with more than 90 staff from the company
He said: “I’m delighted that so many of our employees will be taking part on the day.
“Many are first-time runners and have been training hard and raising lots of money for a number of local and very worthwhile causes. “We look forward to what promises to be a great family day out at one of Scotland’s most scenic running events.”
The third Crathes half-marathon takes place at noon. Starting at the Castle, the route will take runners to country roads to the north and east of the estate grounds.
The mid-way point is nearly at another local National Trust for Scotland property – Drum Castle – before the route turns back towards Crathes again.