To sign up for the Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Run please visit greatrun.org/Aberdeen

Runners in the small Aberdeenshire town of Aboyne shouldn’t get too concerned if they see a gorilla running around the streets over the next few weeks.

No, it’s not a frightened wild animal on the loose, but only local resident Bethany Tennant getting into training for the inaugural Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Run on Sunday 27th August.

Bethany works for the GoApe treetop adventure company at Crathes Castle on Deeside and she has signed up for the half marathon along with her colleagues Pauline Anderson, John Black and Ewan Kerridge. 

They have chosen to represent GoApe in the Business Challenge team competition and to add an extra bit of interest all four have decided to dress appropriately for the occasion.

Bethany explained: “We are up in the trees in harnesses most of the day looking after our customers who have a lot of fun enjoying the experience of rope swings and zip slides. We cater for people of all ages from 10 upwards and recently had a 94 year-old taking part, which was fantastic. 

“Given the nature of the job, I love putting on the gorilla costume for marketing purposes, but then Pauline came up with the idea of wearing it in the race. 

“As John and Ewan are going to be faster than us, she suggested they should dress as bananas as they would be in front of us, while we would put on the gorilla outfits and would be chasing them. It’s crazy, but it should be fun.

“I haven’t done any training runs in the suit yet, but I might have to, just to get used to it because it is quite heavy, although I might scare a lot of people in my home town if I’m seen running around as a gorilla.”

Bethany is excited by the prospect of tackling the half marathon although admits she hasn’t a huge amount of running experience.

She said: “Ewan is the only one of the four of us who is a proper runner as he has done quite a few hill races, so he knows what he’s doing. 

“I don’t really run but I am in training now. As a company we are trying to get more involved in local events so when we heard about the Great Aberdeen Run we decided we just had to be involved.

“I’ve only once before tried to do a half marathon, and that was a few years ago, but I picked up an ankle problem. So this is my opportunity to redeem myself. I hadn’t done any running since that previous attempt but Pauline gave me a 10 week training plan which she found and I’ve been trying to follow it.

“It involves running different distances each day although the longest I’ll be working up to is 11 miles. The first time I run 13 will be in the race itself so that will be interesting. 

“I’ve had a look at the route and it looks good. There’s no doubt it’s going to be a challenge but I’m looking forward to it.

“The whole thing should be fun, but we are also aiming to raise money for two charities, Befriend a Child and the Archie Foundation.”

The GoApe squad will join many other teams taking part in the Business Challenge incorporated within the Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Run.

With two distances to choose from, 10k and half marathon, companies can enter male, female or mixed teams to compete for the trophy awarded to the fastest small, medium and large businesses across the categories. There’s the added bonus of encouraging the team members to stay fit and healthy, as well as the opportunity to raise money for local charities. 

The Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Run is from the organisers of the Simplyhealth Great North Run, the world's biggest half marathon, held every year between Newcastle and South Shields.

The event is being delivered in partnership with Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, VisitAberdeenshire, and Aberdeen Inspired. It is being supported by the Aberdeen City Centre Masterplan.

To sign up for the Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Run please visit greatrun.org/Aberdeen