Robbie gets the win but misses out on Bennachie record

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Wet and windy weather greeted the 160 runners who took part in the 28th annual Bennachie Hill Race earlier this month.

Favourite to win the sold-out event was GB international Robbie Simpson, who set out to shatter the course record of 53min 51sec – but tough conditions on the day meant he had to settle just for the win, crossing the finish line in 55min 21sec.

The Deeside Runner, who has done much of his recent training abroad, said after the event: “It’s great to be hill running back in Scotland.

“It’s my first race back here since 2014. It’s nice to be back in the mud and I really enjoyed the race.”

First lady home was Veronique Oldham (Cosmic Hillbashers), who has won the ladies’ division of the event for six of the last eight years.

First home in the Age 13–14 division of the Junior Bennachie Hill Race was Ben Cameron (Forres Harriers); Aberdeen AAC teammates Kirsty Oldham and Cameron Stone were top of the Age 15–17 division.

Nearly £300 was raised for Aberdeen Mountain Rescue from donations from the tea tent.

Chair of host club Garioch Roadrunners, Nicola Redgwell, said: “These were the most challenging conditions we’ve ever had for the Bennachie Hill Race, but also one of the most exciting fields – from the front with Robbie Simpson and two-time winner James Espie, to the back, with Pete Stephen returning to the race for the 27 th time.”

“The time and trouble everyone takes being part of the BHR team is phenomenal, and I’d like to thank all our volunteers, marshals and runners for making it such a great day.

“We hope to see you all again next October.”