To sign up for the Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Run please visit

Shetlander Holly Jamieson has never been a runner but the 22 year-old from the small island of Walsay is prepared to push herself through the pain barrier for the benefit of less fortunate members of her community.

The Anderson High School learning support worker will join her mum Kathleen and friends Joanne Stewart and Julie Leask in making the 500-mile round trip from the Northern Isles to take part in the inaugural Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Run on Sunday 27th August.

All four will be raising funds for Disability Shetland, a charity which is close to their hearts.

Holly said: "I have a lot of time on my hands over the summer months when the school is off, so I help out as a support worker with the Disability Shetland holiday club. Joanne is involved there as well.

"Two of Julie's sons have recently been diagnosed with autism and would be interested in attending the club in the future.

"And my mum has a friend whose daughter benefits from the services the charity offers, so we all have a strong interest in it. 

"Over the years, however, cutbacks have led to it struggling to keep going with all the things it does, so we decided to start some fundraising. Taking part in the Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Run is one of the challenges we have decided to do in a bid to raise £5,000."

Holly admitted that of the group, she is very much the novice when it comes to running. She said: "My mum has taken part in a few 10km races in different parts of Scotland while Joanne and Julie have done a fair bit as well.

"But it will certainly be a challenge for me as I am not a runner. Julie initially suggested we should all do the half marathon, but I thought that was a bit much for my first event.

"So, me and my mum will do the 10km and the others will do the half marathon.

"I downloaded a 'couch to 10km' training app and have been following it. It's a 14-week programme of running and I go out three days a week.

"It gives you runs to do in minutes rather than miles and to begin with I could hardly manage two minutes, but I'm up to 28 so far. There's still a bit of work to do."

"I wouldn't say that I've been totally bitten by the running bug just yet, but it's definitely getting easier. I have to keep going as I can't get beaten by my mum."

Holly trains on her own in Lerwick during the week but sometimes joins her mum for a run on Walsay at weekends.

Although the island extends to only eight square miles in area and has a population of little more than 1,000, it enjoys a relatively buoyant running scene.

Holly said: "The loop around the island is exactly 10km so that's quite handy. There's a few fun runs organised around it and quite a lot of people get together to run.

"I think there's a couple of other women from Walsay planning to take part in the Great Aberdeen Run.

"We chose to do it because it's one of biggest events nearest to Shetland and I think it's relatively flat in Aberdeen, which is good. It should be inspiring running with so many other people."

The Shetlanders face one final hurdle in getting to Aberdeen for the event and will be keeping their fingers crossed that the weather behaves.

Holly said: "It's not easy getting anywhere from Shetland so we will probably fly, although it can often be misty at that time of year in which case we may have to make a late rush for the ferry on the Saturday evening."

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