The countdown to Run Garioch 2014 began on Tuesday at Inverurie’s Garioch Sports Centre with a launch attended by sponsors, local runners and students from Strathburn School and Inverurie Academy.
Race Director Eric Simpson said: “Run Garioch is Inverurie's largest annual community event. Thanks to the support of all our sponsors and patrons, we’ve been able to invest heavily in race infrastructure to make the next Run Garioch on 23 March 2014 better than ever.”
“From a new online entry system to state-of-the-art chip timing and the race-day experience itself, runners will notice a lot of improvements. They’ll also be pleased to hear that we’ve held prices at 2013 levels.”
The Race Committee has chosen event specialist FR Systems to time the 2014 races and generate the results. The company, with over 25 years of experience, will also be sending runners everything they need for race day a few weeks before the event.
Managing Director Pam Wowk said: “From the early days of working with Run Garioch we could tell that the team and personnel behind the scenes have the talent and work ethic to perform and execute what is going to be a fantastic event. Our team are looking forward to working with Run Garioch and wish them the very best for the 2014 event and for many more to come.”
Run Garioch has also entered into a partnership with the HND Coaching and Developing Sport programme at Aberdeen College to manage and deliver the CP & Co. Junior Run. The College will be contributing their expertise from the planning stage through to race day.
Moyra Cowie, Aberdeen College Lecturer in Sport, said: “The students are delighted to be given the opportunity to be involved in such a big event in the local area. Having been along in 2013 to assist with marshalling they’re looking forward to actual management of the Junior Run. Working closely with their tutors, they’ll gain ‘real life’ event-management experience to add to the academic qualifications they’re working towards.”
Another big change for Run Garioch 2014 is that last year’s sponsor of the 5k race, award-winning property developers Dandara, will now be supporting the 10k event, taking over from long-time sponsors Specsavers.
Dandara's Managing Director Gavin Wyley said: "At Dandara we’re always keen to support the local community and consider corporate social responsibility to be just as important as any other area of our business. Last year several of us participated in the 5K and this year will be no different, as we have a significant number of employees who will be more than willing to take part. I’m sure there will be healthy competition in the office and onsite.”
Taking part in the launch of the Dandara 10k were Team GB Marathoner, Commonwealth Games favourite and first British runner across the line at the 2013 London Marathon, Derek Hawkins, the Chief Executive of Scottish Athletics Nigel Holl, Gillian Roberts of Dandara, Perthshire Highland ½ Marathon record holder George French (Garioch Roadrunners) and last year’s Specsavers 10k winner, Ben Hukins (Ronhill Cambuslang Harriers).
With Dandara taking on the 10k, Ferguson Group of Kintore seized the opportunity to sponsor the 5k event. After the launch with jogscotland Programme Director Ann Davidson and pupils from Inverurie Academy, Ferguson Group Marketing Manager, Hayley Yule, said: “We’re delighted to be able to support our local community through sponsoring the new Ferguson Group 5k.”
Aberdeen’s Accord Energy Solutions will be sponsoring Run Garioch’s long-distance challenge for the second year. Joining Derek Hawkins and Nigel Holl to launch the Accord Energy ½ Marathon with Directors Alan Spence and Phil Stockton was last year’s winner and Garioch Roadrunner, Tammy Wilson. Tammy plans to defend her title next March.
The CP&Co. Junior Run was launched by Rachel Gray from Aberdeen College, Allan Charles from sponsors CP&Co. and P6 and P7 pupils from the Strathburn School jogging group – all with a little help from Jog Scotty. Strathburn School Depute Head Ruth Wight said she expects many children from the school to take part next March.
Entries to all races are limited, and will close towards the end of February to allow for the processing and posting of race packs, or when individual races sell out.
Run Garioch will be held on Sunday, 23 March 2014. Entries are now open on www.rungarioch.co.uk, where you’ll also find the latest news. Run Garioch is also on Facebook.