Hundreds turn out for Illuminator

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Close to 600 runners and walkers took part in the first-ever Illuminator - a 15 mile run or walk through the forest of the Glen Tanar Estate.

Start and finish were at the Aboyne Community Centre, where the crowd created a buzz of excitement when participants got registered for the event and switched on their head torches during the “Dark Disco” warm up.

The route took the runners and walkers through the night on demanding trails through forest and over open moorland, where they were expected to illuminate their progress and carry enough equipment to be self-supporting.

With 685 meters of ascent the event offered significant challenge and adventure and is the toughest night trail run in Scotland.

At the halfway point the participants enjoyed a snack and hot drink while taking in a spectacular multicolour illuminated area.

This light zone lent bright colours and a completely new look to one of the Victorian stone bridges and the ancient Scots pine trees of Glen Tanar Estate.

The Braemar Mountain Rescue Team supported the event with a strong presence of trained volunteers and impressive vehicles. They are the Illuminator’s nominated charity partner and used the event both as training and fundraising opportunity.

Stephanie Proven won the prize of ‘Fastest Female’ with Wa stunning time of 02:02:38, and Stewart William came in under two hours with an incredible 01:54:14 to pick up the ‘Fastest Male’. Prizes included outdoor equipment sponsored by Craigdon Mountain Sports and an overnight stay with dinner and breakfast at the popular Aboyne Boat Inn.

Richard Lawes of Firetrail Events said:“We are expecting the event to raise over £8,000 for the Braemar Mountain Rescue Team, who are a fantastic match for this event and a great asset to add to our safety plan.

“The team not only brought their special four-wheel drives and experienced outdoor rescue staff but also contributed two stalwart pipers in kilts. They did a great job to encourage the runners and walkers to tackle the next big hill with some fine tunes.

“We thoroughly enjoyed working with the Mountain Rescue Team and hope to be able to contribute to their fundraising efforts again in the future.

“This year’s event was a sell out and the Illuminator will be back next year with more colourful light displays and other surprises for our participants.

“We were delighted to see so many people at the first Illuminator and receive lots of positive feedback and enthusiastic comments.”