City Centre shoppers get that finish line feeling in granite city

Shoppers in Aberdeen city centre were given a glimpse into what thousands of runners will have to look forward to for next month’s Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Run.

A section of the Granite City’s bustling streets was transformed into a Great Run finish line - complete with gantry, a pounding soundtrack and a stretch of running track - where passers-by were encouraged to take on a sprint finish in a bid to win prizes.

The event took place in front of the Bon Accord shopping centre entrance on St Nicholas Street, just metres from where the real Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen starts and finishes on Sunday 25 August.

Thousands of runners of all ages and abilities will take on the challenge of a half marathon, 10K or family run on a closed-road course that features some of Aberdeen’s most iconic locations.

Some of the runners taking part in next month’s event were invited along to the city centre to see the finish line in action, with just over three weeks to go until the big day.

Scottish international runners Fiona Brian and Kyle Greig showed their support for the event. Fiona, who has represented her country on the road and in cross country competition, will be competing in Aberdeen hoping to replicate her victory on Union Street in 2017.

The pair were joined by Dana Petroleum, who are entering the Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Run for the first time as part of the ENGIE Business Challenge.

There was also representation from Fit Like Joggers, who have been regulars at the Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Run.

Staff from Great Run were on hand to encourage sign-ups to the event, as well as handing out Aberdeen Activity Challenge trackers to youngsters wanting to take on their own running challenge this summer.

The Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Run is an event staged in partnership with Aberdeen City Council, Celebrate Aberdeen, VisitAberdeenshire, Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce and Aberdeen Inspired.

Councillor Marie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council’s culture spokesperson said: “Sport and culture is so important to the city and we are looking forward to welcoming the Great Aberdeen Run for a third year.

“We hope to see both locals and visitors signing up to the unique experience of running around the city, taking in various landmarks.

“The Great Aberdeen Run is one of many events on our summer schedule and is part of our wider Aberdeen 365 events strategy, a City Centre Masterplan initiative, which will see events such as The Tour of Britain bringing the streets of Aberdeen to life, helping to underline our role as a global city and a must-visit destination.”

Chris Foy, VisitAberdeenshire chief executive said: “The Great Aberdeen Run is set against a backdrop of the city’s magnificent sights. From the Nuart installations to the shoreline of Aberdeen Beach, the course ensures all runners will be inspired by Aberdeen’s brightest and best. I wish all runners well and look forward to a brilliant day in our city’s events calendar.”

Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said: “The Great Aberdeen Run is a fantastic spectacle which draws in locals and visitors alike to the heart of our city. With just over three weeks to go until the event, this is the perfect time to get signed up and be a part of something really special.

“The past two events have been a great showcase for Aberdeen and emphasise the city’s growth into a must-visit destination. The Aberdeen Inspired team is leading by example and tackling the 10k Business Challenge for Friends of Anchor, one of many great causes that can be supported, so we would encourage the public to get involved and join us on the day.”

Russell Borthwick, chief executive of Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, said: “The Business Challenge is a great way for organisations to encourage their employees to get active whilst engaging a bit of friendly rivalry. The Chamber team will once again be doing their bit and I would encourage others to sign up and be part of this inspiring community-wide event.”

Entries are filling up fast for Aberdeen’s Greatest day, to secure your place on the start line visit greatrun.org/Aberdeen