Siver celebrations for Bennachie Hill Race

A runner nears the summit
A runner nears the summit

Inverurie’s Garioch Roadrunners welcomed a record field of 192 starters to the Bennachie Hill Race on Sunday, (October 5).

Competitors travelled from as far away as Jura, Dumfries, Surrey, Yorkshire and Cheshire to take part in the iconic Aberdeenshire event on its 25th birthday.

Competitors tackling one of the climbs during the Bennachie Hill Race

Competitors tackling one of the climbs during the Bennachie Hill Race

Although the day itself was clear and cool, recent persistent rain made for difficult conditions underfoot throughout the challenging 8.2-mile course.

Club Chair and Race Director Rod MacInnes said: “Getting a good day sandwiched between a really wet day on Saturday and a pretty awful day forecast for Monday was a very lucky break for all our runners and volunteers. Even the cool breeze after the event was held at bay by the marvellous marquee sponsored by Mackies of Scotland.”

The first person to cross the line was Kyle Greig (Forres Harriers) whose time of 54.17 was just 26 seconds outside the course record of 53.51 set in 2009 by Chris Smith (Thames Valley Harriers).

The first lady home in 2014, as in 2013, was Veronique Oldham (Cosmic Hillbashers), in a time of 1.09.55.

A group of runners near the top of Bennachie

A group of runners near the top of Bennachie

Both winners received custom bottles of 12-year-old single malt donated by Glenfiddich, and presented by Scottish marathon legend, Mel Edwards MBE.

The Junior Hill Race was dominated by talented youngsters from Aberdeen Amateur Athletic Club and the Huntly Nordic Ski Club, who between them provided 12 of the 19 starters. Runners from the two clubs took home all four Junior prizes.

But pride of place among all the competitors was held by Pete Stephen (Garioch Roadrunners), who has not missed a single race since co-founding the event with John Sharp in 1990. He finished the course in just a shade under two hours (1.59.33).

The Bennachie Hill Race has long been known for its superb post-race hospitality and the generosity of all involved. An incredible £465.56 was raised for this year’s chosen charity, the Aberdeen Mountain Rescue Team, by all those who enjoyed the home bakes provided by the host club.

Co-founder of the event Pete Stephen (no. 606) in his 25th Bennachie Hill Race

Co-founder of the event Pete Stephen (no. 606) in his 25th Bennachie Hill Race

For a full list of results please visit: http://www.gariochroadrunners.com/Garioch_Roadrunners/Bennachie_Hill_Race.html