Runners bring curtain down on Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Run


The Sunday sun shone on the Granite City today as 5,000 club runners, recreational joggers and charity fundraisers joined some of Scotland’s top athletes in the final Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Run.

Enthusiastic spectators turned out in spectacular conditions to cheer on the runners who were taking part in the 10km and half marathon events which followed traffic-free routes through the most scenic and historic areas of the city. Brig o’Balgownie, King’s College at Old Aberdeen, Marischal College and the Art Gallery in the city centre, were among the landmarks along the way.

All of the events, including the one-mile Family Run, started and finished on Union Street in the heart of the city centre where the crowds were at their biggest.

Among the throng of runners were dedicated waves from Aberdeen University, Police Scotland, jogscotland and Aberdeen Football Club.

In particular, the Aberdeen FC ‘Red Wave’ was over 1,000 strong, and along with supporters, a number of staff members from the club took part in the event. Fans of all ages from 12 to 76 ran both the 10k and half marathon.

Aberdeen’s record goalscorer Joe Harper was honorary starter for the Red Wave, with Aberdeen City Council co-leader Councillor Douglas Lumsden and Chris Foy from VisitAberdeenshire also providing starter duties across the entire event.

In the half marathon, James Hoad won in 69.06, with Jason Kelly second in 72.44 and Donnie Macdonald third in 73.34.

Fiona Brian was first female home in 78.04, with last year's winner Virginie Barrand second in 82.39 and Nicola MacDonald third in a time of 82.54.

In the 10K, Ben Ward took the victory in 32.59, closely followed by Chris Richardson in 33.12 while Max Abernethy clocked 33.31 for third place.

Top female was Metro Aberdeen's Claire Bruce in 37.17, with Lucy Mitchell second in 39.26 and Hannah Morrison third in 39.48.

Earlier, families and young runners thoroughly enjoyed the Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Family Run in the morning. More than 350 families completed a one-mile route around the city centre.

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

Jayne Fearn, Simplyhealth Great Run Manager: “The Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Run has been amazing! It was truly inspiring to see so many runners of all ages and ability, taking on the challenge and pushing their own limits. We’re really proud to be supporting runners every step of the way, helping them achieve and maintain better health through being more active.”

Councillor Marie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council’s culture spokesperson, said: "The city has been brought to life this weekend, it has been a fantastic event with thousands turning out.

“It has also been great to see so many out and enjoying what the city has to offer with Celebrate Aberdeen and Inspired Nights flooding the city with entertainment and activity.

“It has been a pleasure working with the Great Run company and we look forward to working with the local running communities to explore new sporting and cultural opportunities to replace the run. Our thanks go to everyone who has supported the Great Aberdeen Run, both those who have taken part and the residents who have played their part.

“Our Aberdeen 365 events strategy has brought an array of new and fresh attractions to the city – everything from the Great Aberdeen Run and Tour Series cycling to Spectra, Nuart and many more. It’s important we keep constantly evolving to retain interest and reach new audiences.”

Chris Foy, Chief executive, VisitAberdeenshire said: “Hearty congratulations to all runners who took part on Sunday. Every aching muscle has contributed to another great chapter in the city’s sporting history.”

Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said: “Over the past three years, the Great Aberdeen Run has really shown off the gems of our city and the surrounding area, and attracted thousands of people to take part.

“There was an incredible atmosphere over the weekend with the combination of the run, Celebrate Aberdeen and Inspired Nights on the Green and it was amazing to see so many people in the city centre having such a good time.

“A huge well done to all the runners and our thanks also go to everyone that has supported and engaged with the Great Aberdeen Run.

“I do believe there is a strong desire by many to see an event of this scale and ambition continue in the city centre and wider Aberdeen and we will look to support appropriately.”

A spokesman for the Great Run Company said: "We’d like to thank all of our partners for their support and the people of Aberdeen for getting behind the event, whether as runners, volunteers or spectators over the last three years."