With thanks to Leanne Carter, Account Manager, Tricker PR.
Runners of all abilities are assured of a fairy tale finish at next month’s Crathes Half Marathon – thanks to a castle that looks like it has come straight from the pages of a story book. The stunning Crathes Castle near Banchory in Aberdeenshire provides the back drop for the finish of the event, and all participants will get a welcome fit for a king – or queen – as they cross the line on September 16.
Organisers promise that participants will be not encounter any evil goblins or gremlins during their 13.1-mile adventure – the scenic course through the Deeside countryside is renowned for its PB potential guaranteeing runners a happy ever after.
However, Crathes Half Marathon will soon reach the end of a very important chapter: the deadline for entries is September 8.
Natasha Finlayson, events co-ordinator at Crathes Castle, Gardens and Estate near Alford, says the course has been a real favourite with past participants.
“Over the years Crathes Half Marathon has become really popular, with runners travelling from all over the country to take part,” explains Natasha.
“It’s a challenging course with a couple of hills, but it is predominantly on the flat. It’s best known for helping many runners achieve a personal best and as a great event for those attempting the half marathon distance for the first time.
“While the atmosphere, marshals and camaraderie out on the course are great, the one thing we always get really positive feedback about is the scenery and how beautiful the route is.
“There are sections on the road, short sections off-road, and of course that spectacular finish line in front of the castle which really helps to put a spring in the step of runners down the finishing straight.
“But it’s not just completing the course that will give runners the feel-good factor, as all proceeds from the event will go towards the National Trust for Scotland’s conservation work.
“It is incredibly hard work and takes a lot of time, effort and commitment – and funds. As part of the Trust’s Footpath Fund appeal this autumn, runners are encouraged to raise sponsorship and take a step towards protecting Scotland’s heritage.”
With its harled façade, magnificent turreted towers and walled gardens, Crathes Castle, which is managed by the National Trust for Scotland, Scotland’s largest conservation charity, is a standout property from the 16th century.
The castle and its gardens will be open to visitors during the half marathon, and organisers will also be laying on plenty of entertainment to help inspire the future generation of runners.
A family fun day will be the centrepiece of the day’s entertainment, complete with traditional children’s events including the egg and spoon, three-legged and sack races. There will also be a chance for adults to show their sporting prowess in these events too.
“It’s going to be a fantastic day out for the all the family, whether they are taking part in the half marathon or spectating. In addition to the traditional races, we’ll also have an assault course, a bungee run and giant inflatables.
“The great thing about Crathes Half Marathon is its appeal to runners of all abilities, whether you are aiming to finish in a little over an hour, or expect to be nearer to three hours.
“We have a pretty even mix of both male and female runners – our youngest participant so far is 18, while the oldest entrant taking part this year is a very sprightly 75-year-old.”
Entries to the Crathes Half Marathon – with all proceeds going to help the work of the National Trust for Scotland – are open now at http://www.nts.org.uk/Site/Crathes-Half-Marathon/Crathes-Half-Marathon/ All finishers will receive a medal and a technical t-shirt.
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