Commonwealth Games runner Simpson inspires pupils to run 2K race at BHGE 10K Running Festival

Robbie Simpson visited Westpark Primary School to promote running and the BHGE 10k Running Festivals Active Schools 2k Race. Robbie is pictured with school pupils, from left, Lewis Moir, Aimee Cumming, Connor Raitt, Aalyah Wilkinson, Karin Watt and Sophie Imlach. Picture by Kath Flannery

A North-east runner who is representing Scotland at next month’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games inspired local pupils to take on a running challenge this year.

Robbie Simpson, who won the Inverness half-marathon at the weekend in a personal best and course record time of 1:04.27, visited Aberdeen’s Westpark School to speak to pupils about his running experiences, from his first race to his preparation for going Down Under.

The visit by Banchory athlete Simpson, who will run in the marathon for Team Scotland at the Games, came ahead of the official 10-week countdown to the North-east’s longest-running road race next Sunday.

A spokeswoman for organisers of the BHGE 10K Running Festival said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for pupils to be inspired by a local sporting star and take on the Active Schools 2K race, part of Aberdeen’s BHGE 10K Running Festival this May”.

The BHGE 10K Running Festival, now in its 31st year, is run by registered charity Sport Aberdeen and sponsors BHGE.

The Active Schools 2K is open to children from P6-S4 and includes a wheelchair race category.

The event will take place on Sunday, May 20.

Simpson said: “Events like these are a great way for kids from all backgrounds to get in to running, it’s really enjoyable to compete in a big race close to home alongside friends and family.

“For some it may be their first step in discovering natural talent or passion for competitive sport and for others it may be a way to make new friends and keep fit – the important thing is having the opportunity to get involved in a fun and healthy activity.”

Jill Franks, Sport Aberdeen’s director for business development, said:

“The BHGE 10K Running Festival is a family event at the very heart of our community and highlights Sport Aberdeen’s commitment to creating opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to take part in sport and physical activity.

“The Active Schools 2K run is a great chance for younger participants to join in, get active and ignite a passion for sport that can last a lifetime.”