The newly-launched Baker Hughes Aberdeen Running Festival, entries for which opened yesterday, has the potential to develop into an even bigger sporting and community event in future years.
That’s the view of newly-appointed race director Kyle Greig, who is part of the team from Aberdeen Sports Village charged with putting together this year’s festival, which is to be held on August 30.
The Great Britain ultra-distance trail running international is relishing getting started.
The centrepiece will be a revamped Baker Hughes 10km road race, while a series of children’s races are to be held on the running track.
The 10km, which has for many years taken place in May, moves to its new summer date and to a new venue. It had previously started and finished in the vicinity of the Beach Ballroom, but this year the reinvigorated running festival will be centred on Aberdeen Sports Village.
Greig said: “It’s an exciting project to be involved with and I’m looking forward to it.
“We previously had the BHGE 10km in the city and our event will build on that and re-energise it.
“The 10km will follow a new route from previous ones, which is quite exciting.
“It will start on Linksfield Road, go past Pittodrie, along the beach and into Old Aberdeen before heading back to finish on the track in front of a packed grandstand.
“We are still finalising the full details, but I feel it will be an attractive course which will, hopefully, give people fast times.
“There should be a great atmosphere at the finish as we want to build the whole day into a massive community event which involves lots of people including charities and corporate teams. We can probably cater for up to 4,000 participants.
“But we want to see how we might grow the event in future years with possibly a half marathon being added to the programme.
“There was an Aberdeen half marathon in the 1980s which started and finished here, so it would be good to bring that back.
“We also want to attract more elite runners to our races and people from all across Scotland, not only the north east. We want it to grow into a real community event .
“We are also keen to promote a Corporate Challenge to get businesses and other organisations involved.”
Entries can be made at aberdeensportsvillage.com/runfest