Banchory’s Robbie Simpson is clear favourite to win tomorrow’s Kinloss to Lossiemouth half marathon which has attracted a capacity field of 350 competitors.
The Deeside man, who is to represent Scotland in the marathon at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April, is using this weekend’s race as part of his preparations for Australia.
He said: ”My plan is to do a long warm-up, maybe about 10 miles, then try to run the half marathon at my marathon pace.
“I want to get a fast run under my belt but at the same time I don’t want to tire myself out too much. But I’ll see what the weather conditions are like.
“Sometimes they get a good tailwind on the point-to-point course, and if that’s the case I might want to take full advantage of that by running as fast as I can but without pushing to the limit.
“Whatever way it works out, I’d like to get about 22-23 miles done.”
Chris Richardson, Ben Ward, Kyle Henderson and Cammy Robertson will lead Metro Aberdeen’s bid for success in the men’s team competition.
Mark McCluskie (Garioch Road Runners) and Johnny Cordiner (TrYthan) are among the other north-east competitors looking for a high finishing position in the open men’s classification.
David Barclay (Garioch Road Runners) will aim to retain the over-40s crown but is up against Dyce half marathon winner Tom Roche (Garioch Gazelles).
Robbie Youngson (Fraseburgh Running Club) will defend the over-50s title but faces a strong challenge from Alan Reid (Peterhead AC) while George McPherson (Metro Aberdeen) looks for over-60s success.
Clare Russell, Sarah Milne and Alison Pilichos, who led Metro Aberdeen to the women’s team title in 2017, are all competing again. They’ll be joined in a strong Metro squad by Dyce half marathon winner Hazel Wyness.
Garioch’s Marie Baxter, who was third last year, will be aiming to bounce back from recent injuries while Fraserburgh half marathon runner-up Lisa Allan (Fraserburgh Running Club) should also do well.
RAF athlete Tamsyn Rutter is another who should be in the frame for prizes.