David Scott’s attempt to avoid the galeforce winds battering north-east Scotland five years ago unwittingly led to the creation of what has become a nationally acclaimed run.
The experienced Aberdeen ultra-distance runner is the driving force behind the Brewdog Run, which has been voted the UK’s top fun run in the 2020 Running Awards.
The popular north-east event, which starts at Aberdeen’s Castlegate and follows a 21-mile route to Ellon, also took second position in the best medal category of the awards, behind the world famous Marathon des Sables.
But had it not been for the wild winter storm which devastated the country in December 2015, Scott might never have stumbled on the idea.
He said: “I was heading out for a run at the time Storm Frank hit us. There was something like a 100mph gale coming from the south so, to avoid facing it, I decided to run due north with the intention of taking the bus back.
“I followed the old railway line from Dyce and found myself in Ellon where I noticed the Brewdog Brewery. I had a couple of beers then got the bus home.
“It hadn’t been planned but afterwards I thought the day had worked out well and decided I’d do it again.
“So the following December I let others know about it and a few friends joined me. It just grew from there, going from maybe 15 runners to 25, then 50.
“We held three runs every year after that and it has become amazingly popular. Now numbers have been capped at 130, plus about 30 volunteers from the Fit Like Joggers club, who help with marshalling and other tasks.”
The format is kept simple as Scott stresses the emphasis being placed on it is that it’s very much a sociable run and is definitely not a race.
He added: “We meet at the Castlegate and some people have a beer before they start. We head off along the Gallowgate, along Great Northern Road and Stoneywood Road to Dyce then join the old railway line.
“There are two beer checkpoints, at Dyce and Udny Station, but there’s also water and snacks available too. Beer isn’t compulsory.
“It’s definitely not competitive. When the last runners arrive at a checkpoint, the first runners are often still there, so no one is left behind.
“At the end of the day everyone takes the bus home or gets collected. We have quite a number of runners from Ellon and Newburgh and they usually get dropped off in Aberdeen for the start and basically run home.”
Scott admits he was surprised when discovering that the event had won the national award and he was equally pleased to take second place in the best medal category.
He said: “It’s exciting to get these awards because we don’t have as big a reach on social media as many other events, so it’s great that people voted for us.
“The medals we give out are fairly basic.
“They are handmade. We design them ourselves, cut them out, laminate them and attach a ribbon.
“Most people like them, although I think a few folk would prefer proper medals.”