Banchory’s Great Britain mountain running international Robbie Simpson is poised to make his debut in the world of ultra-distance running.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games marathon bronze medallist has been toying with the idea for some time and is now seriously thinking about taking part in next month’s 78km Grand Trail des Templiers at Millau in southern France.
The route includes more than 3,000m of ascent as it winds its way through forested mountains and limestone plateaus within the Grands Causses national park.
Simpson, who is putting the finishing touches to his preparations for the defence of his title in this weekend’s Jungfrau marathon in Switzerland, is ready for a new challenge.
He said: “I’m keen to try it but I’ll decide for sure after the Jungfrau race.
“I’ve always wanted to try an ultra and as I’ve been doing a lot of long runs recently, I feel now is the time to give it a go.
“I’ve time to have a short break after Jungfrau, then get a few weeks of training done before the race on October 20.
“I recently did a 22-mile run then 20 miles the day after and I felt really good.
“I actually felt better on the second day.
“If I decide to take part in the ultra it will probably be my only one for at least a year as I’d like to build up for a spring marathon after it.
“I just want to try something different and see how it goes.”
Meanwhile, Robbie has joined forces with experienced former GB marathon running international Fraser Clyne to form Hidden Peak Running – a new business offering training advice to runners of all levels, from complete beginners to budding international athletes.
The duo, who have vast experience of competing over a wide range of distances on roads, trail, track, cross country and hills at the highest level, are also planning a series of training weekends in spectacular settings.
These can be customised to meet the needs of individual clubs or running groups.
Weekly guided group training runs are also being organised in and around Aberdeen. The first is at Duthie Park on Wednesday September 12, with a 6pm start.
Q&A sessions, seminars, workshops and other services are also being offered.