The Devil of Deeside at RunBalmoral 2017 event has attracted a major sponsor which will result in a greater range of prizes being offered.
Aberdeen-based company Repsol Sinopec Resources UK will support the new event which will be a key feature of the 20th anniversary RunBalmoral race meeting to be held over the weekend of April 22-23 next year.
Close to 5000 competitiors are expected to take part in the programme of races across a range of age groups.
Competitors in the Devil of Deeside Challenge have ot take part in all four adult races held over the two days of the meeting.
They will start with the ConocoPhillips 5km and the Stena Drilling 10km on the Saturday, before doing the Apollo duathlon and the TRAC 15 mile trail race on the Sunday – all held within the grounds of the Balmoral estate.
James Knowles, RunBalmoral chairman, said: “I am delighted that Repsol Sinopec has come on board to support this exciting new initiative.
“We wanted to come up with something a little different for our 20th anniversary and believe the Devil will test the hardiest of competitors.
“We know that some people have tackled all four races in previous years so decided it would be interesting to turn it into a proper competition for 2017.”
Explaining what the sponsorship means to the competition, he said: “Repsol Sinopec’s involvement will allow us to offer some wonderful prizes with the men’s and women’s winners each receiving a specially commissioned and uniquely designed trophy.
“Competitors will also be given distinctive t-shirts to wear which will make them easily identifiable in all the races.
“We already have 45 people signed up for the Challenge, which I must admit, is more that I expected and I’m hopeful of seeing at least 50 taking part in what promises to be an exciting but exhausting two days of competitions. Perhaps some of the Repsol Sinopec staff might be persuaded to have a go.”
Bill Dunnett, managing director of Repsol Sinopec, added: “Many of our staff are already looking forward to getting involved either by running themselves, cheering others on, or helping to raise funds for the many good causes the event supports.
“I intend to raise some sponsorship and to participate myself.”
Sarah Knox, one of the people to have signed up, explained why she did so.
“I just decided I needed a challenge,” she said. “I have never done any of the events at Balmoral, but I’ve heard a lot of good things about it from friends who have run there before, so I thought this was the perfect way to experience it.
“I’ve never run any further than a little over 15 miles in my life before while I’ll have to run about 30 over two days, but I’m sure I’ll be able to do it.”