A TOTAL of 163 runners basked in the sunshine of a perfect autumn day for the running of the 23rd annual Bennachie Hill Race, held at Back o’Bennachie near Oyne on Sunday (October 7). The event was organised by Inverurie-based club the Garioch Roadrunners.
Recent good weather meant that conditions underfoot were excellent, making for a fast course. The leading runners changed positions a number of times over the 8.3-mile route, with Alasdair McLeod of Aberdeen eventually finishing as first male. With a time of 56:54 he was less than a minute up on Felix Spitzl (Grampian Orienteers) who finished the course in 57:28. Local runner Rob Brookes of the Cosmic Hillbashers claimed the third spot in 58:26.
First Lady home was Josephine Anselin (Oxford University Cross Country Club), finishing in an excellent time of 1:08:55. In second place and first veteran female was Veronique Oldham (Cosmic Hillbashers) with 1:11:17. Ruth McKenzie of Deeside Runners was third on the women’s podium for her finish of 1:12:19.
In the Junior Hill Race, Alexander Chepelin (Cosmic Hillbashers) was the first boy over the 5km course in a time of 19:58. Eve Sealy (Banchory Stonehaven AC) was first girl home with 26:26.
Tamsin Morris, Club Secretary, said: “The Garioch Roadrunners would like to thank the race marshals and all those who helped out on the day to ensure another successful and enjoyable event. We’re also very grateful to our race sponsors, Run4It, who kindly provided the category prizes, and the Forestry Commission for the use of Back o’Bennachie.”