Ellie Buchan hopes to build on her fine three-mile race victory in the Gathimba Edwards Foundation cross country meeting at Haddo House.
The Aberdeen AAC runner lifted the women’s prize for the second year in a row when finishing well clear of her closest challengers.
Buchan said: “I love running here. It’s a really good course, very undulating, which I enjoy.
“Conditions were much better than last year when it was very muddy.
“I had a little break from training over Christmas but I’m now putting the miles in again and I’m aiming for next month’s Scottish cross country championships.”
Buchan is also excited about the prospect of getting back on to the road running scene with the aim of repeating some of her 2016 successes which included wins in the Isle of Skye Half Marathon and the Aviemore 10km.
She said: “I’d like to do the Skye Half Marathon again but hopefully in a faster time than last year.
“I’m also doing the Garioch Half Marathon in March and I’ll give some thought to the Balmoral 15-mile trail race in June.”
The 23-year-old isn’t, however, tempted to step up any further in distance for the time being.
She said: “I like doing the longer road races but I’m not ready for a marathon at this stage.
“I’d like to do one at some point but maybe when I’m a bit older. I wouldn’t want to rush into doing one.”
Katie Bain has always been a good runner but she showed equally impressive cycling skills to win the women’s division of the Westhill duathlon.
The North-east woman who is now based in Edinburgh, completed the 4km run/16km cycle/4km run in a combined time of 1hr 3min 56secs to finish ahead of her former Metro Aberdeen club-mate Ginie Barrand.
Barrand, who held a narrow lead at the end of the opening 4km run, clocked 1:06:10 while Aberdeen’s Kerry Prise was third in 1:07:15.
Lewis Champion won the men’s race in 58min with Ian Russell second in 59:01 and Davie Williamson a further nine secs behind in third position.
Entries for this year’s CETCO Ythan Challenge adventure race will open at noon on Sunday, January 29.
The popular event, now in its 17th year, takes place on Sunday, June 18, but all 800 available places are expected to be scooped up quickly.
Rab Sinclair (Insch Trail Running Club) is the men’s title-holder while Aberdeen’s Jennifer Elvin is the reigning women’s champion.
Entries can be made online at www.resutsbase.net