WHEN Inverurie’s Garioch Sports Centre advertised its annual 10-week training programme for Run Garioch, they hoped for a turnout of around 60 participants, in line with previous years.
What they actually got was over 140 keen runners looking to prepare for the Specsavers 5K, 10K and Half Marathon races in March.
General Manager, Stuart Gordon commented, “We are absolutely delighted to see so many local people want to improve their fitness and make the commitment to run the race.
“We closed the training programme to new entrants in the first week, something we never imagined we would have to do, to make sure we could support each and every runner across the finish line in the way we had planned.”
Race Director Frank Mathers puts part of the success of this year’s Ten Weeks Programme down to rethinking the training to include previous race runners who want to increase their competition distance or speed, as well as the traditional beginners keen to ‘take up the healthy challenge’ the opportunity of Run Garioch presents.
The training, delivered in association with the Garioch Sports Centre and local running clubs Garioch Gazelles and Garioch Roadrunners, offers race-specific training to runners of all abilities.
Eric Simpson, Associate Race Director and coach of the intermediate group said, “The highlight for me is seeing first-time older runners progress so quickly from a walk / run to a run, and sharing with them their great sense of achievement. The training programme is a fantastic contribution to community fitness and I’m proud to be a part of it. Both the runners and the coaches have been extraordinary!”
A particulary impressive part of the programme has been the retention of runners throughout the end of Winter. With over 100 runners still turning up for the 5K and 10K training on blustery Mondays and Thursdays, and a smaller group braving long Half-Marathon runs and intervals too, the challenge for the Centre and clubs involved will be how to keep the momentum going after the races.
Eric Simpson added, “We are exploring a number of options to keep everyone moving into summer and beyond. For us, this wasn’t just about Run Garioch, but about creating a buzz about running in the community, and making runners of all abilities feel they are part of something. There’s no doubt we have achieved that and more!”
Run Garioch will be held on Sunday, March 18. For further information or to enter visit www.rungarioch.co.uk.