Thousands of runners and cheering spectators took over the streets of Aberdeen today, as the inaugural Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Run was staged.

Participants of all ages and abilities pounded the pavements of the Granite City in the half marathon and 10k, which showed off the most scenic areas of the city, including Brig O’Balgownie and Old Aberdeen.

Union Street was packed with athletes, fun runners and charity fundraisers, who were set on their way by local lad and Olympic silver medallist swimmer Robbie Renwick.

He then stepped down from the starters’ podium and ran the 10k himself, crossing the finish line in 59:49.

He said: “It was a brilliant event running in my home city! I'm so impressed at how many people were there having fun and also running for charities. I hope this event inspires people to live a fit and healthy lifestyle."
 
The event saw almost 8,000 entrants across the 10k, half marathon and Family Run, and there were more celebrations on the finish line, as Jim Tole entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the fastest half marathon wearing a kilt.

The minimum time required was 1:30:00, and Jim sailed into the record books with a time of 1:25:59.

He said: "It’s not every day that you set a new world record, and to do it here in my home city with my friends and family watching is absolutely amazing. As a runner you always want a route to provide variety and to really challenge you, and the Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Run certainly did that. The support from the crowds around the whole route has been fantastic, but the final stretch as we ran along Union Street was just incredible.”

Both the 10k and half marathon proved to be competitive races at the front of the field.

Kenny Wilson from Moray Road Runners was the first male athlete across the finish line in the 10k, and sprinted home in a time of 31:54. In the women's race, Scotland cross country international Fiona Brian claimed victory in 36:31.

GB international athlete Robbie Simpson took the lead in the half marathon. He raced home in a time of 1:08:41. 

He said: "It's great to be the first winner of this race. It was a good experience but I think it will only get harder to win in the future as I'm sure this event will grow and attract faster athletes."

Fionnuala Ross won the women’s race in 1:16:56.

She said: “It was a good, well organised event and the crowd support was brilliant."

Families and young runners enjoyed the Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Family Run in the afternoon. Almost 300 people completed a one mile route around the city centre.

Live music was staged Union Terrace Gardens throughout the afternoon, with runners and spectators alike enjoying the entertainment, which was staged by Celebrate Aberdeen.

Kerry Simpson, communications manager at The Great Run Company, said: “Thousands of people lining up on Union Street in aid of fun, fitness and fundraising was a sight to behold.

“The Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Run highlighted the most beautiful areas of Aberdeen, and even saw us enter the record books for the fastest half marathon wearing a kilt.

“It’s been a celebration in the city and we hope that we can continue to make this event a success in the future."

James Glover, chief corporate affairs officer at Simplyhealth comments: "We want to get millions of people moving through our partnership with Great Run and what better way to see the great landmarks Aberdeen has to offer than to run, walk or jog the in the brand new Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Run.

"The whole weekend has been a real celebration and it's fantastic to see so many people of all ages and abilities take part in the 10k, half marathon and family run."

Sign up to the Reminder Service for the 2018 Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Run here