Run Garioch 2016 is streets ahead in the success stakes

They're off - competitors in Run Garioch 2016
They're off - competitors in Run Garioch 2016

The streets of Inverurie turned green on Sunday morning when thousands of runners wearing bright new race t-shirts gave it their all at Run Garioch.

More than 700 children from 70 different schools in Aberdeen City and Shire took part in the first event of the day, the CP&Co Junior Run.

Local sporting heroes, including Olympian Hannah Miley and players from Inverurie Locos, encouraged the junior runners around all three races.

This year’s Run Garioch saw the debut of a new route for the 5k event, now sponsored by EBLAST of Kintore.

The changes also allowed organisers to take entries from competitors using wheelchairs.

EBLAST Group finance director Fiona Booth said: “There was such a brilliant community atmosphere and it was wonderful to see so many people achieving their goals.

Race organisers, the Garioch Sports Trust, also made significant improvements to the final few kilometres of the Dandara 10k and Accord Energy Half-Marathon for the 2016 event. As a result, all three adult races started and finished directly outside the Garioch Sports Centre on Burghmuir Drive.

The changed routes were well received by runners, but proved a bit tougher in the running than the previous ones.

Runners at the elite end of the field seemed unfazed by either the hills or the day’s headwinds. Kenny Wilson, North District 10km champion, stormed across the finish line to win the Dandara 10k in a time of

32.32, two minutes ahead of the second-place runner, Kenny O’Neill (34.49). Aberdeen’s Nicola Gauld retained her Dandara 10km women’s crown with a brilliant run (37.10) and a sixth-place finish overall.

The Accord Energy Half-Marathon was won for the second year in a row by Scotland international hill runner Kyle Greig (1.10.41); the women’s title went to Jennifer Elvin (1.27.05), with last year’s winner and Garioch Roadrunner Marie Baxter (1.27.56) taking second place.

First runner home from the all-new EBLAST 5k route was Callum Symmons in an impressive time of 17.13. First female across the line was Team Scotland triathlete Debbie Moore (19.08). Tony Stott won the first EBLAST 5k wheelchair event.

Race director Eric Simpson said: “This year’s Run Garioch was without a doubt the best yet. Thanks to all the runners for taking on the challenge and all our volunteers for giving up their time to make the event happen.”