Hundreds of runners put their endurance to a test in one of the most enervating physical events this weekend to raise funds for charity.
Brave participants battled through thick, chest-deep swamps and threw themselves down a giant water slide as part of the Beast Race, held in Banchory on Saturday.
The hugely popular 10k course features a total of 30 different obstacles to challenge the participants’ strength, endurance and ability to withstand mud and water.
Runners from all over the country geared up for the brutal competition on the banks of Knockburn Loch to raise cash for Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland (CHSS).
Armed with big smiles and passion for their cause, entrants ran, crawled and dragged their way over muddy obstacles, crossed a giant A-frame wall and faced blasts from ice-cold jets.
Firm braves the Beast Race to support cause close to heart
Among the daredevils to brave the race were a team of three colleagues from IHS Markit in Aberdeen, who decided to leave their desks and swap their laptops for muddy trainers to back a cause close their hearts.
Beth Sinclair, 41, Martin Insley, 38, and Patricia Lavin, 41, put themselves to the challenege to ensure that people living with chest, heart and stroke conditions get the help and support they need.
Mr Insley, IT director, financial services, at the firm, joined the competition after two of his family members suffered strokes.
He said: “Both of my wife’s grandads have had strokes that have significantly impacted their mobility and quality of life.
“I want to help make a difference to others experiencing similar challenges from chest, heart and stroke conditions in my local region.
“Through our fundraising, I hope we can provide people with the tools, both mentally and physical, to experience a better quality of life following a traumatic event such as a stroke.
“I have run and walked many marathon-distance events, 50km trail races and 100km trail runs so the Beast Race is just one more crazy event in a long history of crazy events and definitely the muddiest.”
Having already smashed their £500 fundraising target, the team is hoping to raise even more to support the charity and help people rebuild their lives.
Product owner Ms Lavin, who also has a personal connection to the cause, added: “The work that CHSS does is really important to me. My father suffered a heart attack when he was 50, but thankfully we got another 21 years with him following surgery.
“A close friend of mine has a family member who recently experienced a stroke and I’ve seen and heard how much it is impacting them and just how crucial support, information and understanding the condition has been for them.
“I’ve taken part in the Banchory Beast Race before and I really enjoyed it! I love to sign-up for events as part of our fundraising at work to support important causes.”
Hayley Simpson, community, events and fundraising manager at CHSS praised the team for their efforts and support, and said: “They have done an incredible job in smashing their fundraising target already.
“The funds raised will help make sure people across Scotland get the support they need to live their lives to the full after they return home from hospital.”