A Czech mountain runner who now lives in Peterhead will take part in her first Scottish road race when she lines up with thousands of other participants in the Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Run on 26th August.
Martina Robinson, who comes originally from Jablunkov in the Silesian Region of her native country, moved to the north east of Scotland last year after she and her husband fell in love with the area while on a holiday visit.
The 39 year-old, who confesses to having hated running when she was a youngster, only took up the sport five years ago, but now thoroughly enjoys it.
She has also done well in her home country, having finished second the Silesian mountain marathon in 2016 as well as taking top spot in a series of mountain races in her local area.
Now Martina is looking forward to tackling her first Scottish half marathon in Aberdeen, although she is keen to emphasise it will be very much a fun event and she has no serious aspirations for finishing anywhere near the head of the field.
Martina said: “We have been living in Peterhead for a year now after moving from the Czech Republic where we had stayed for 10 years. Before that we lived in England. My husband's mum comes from Peterhead and she stays in England, but there are still family links up here. We came for a holiday in 2016 and loved it so much we decided to move here.
“I have been out running regularly since we arrived although to begin with I didn't have much confidence as I didn't know many runners here.
“But I joined Jogscotland and ran with them, so that helped. Now I feel it is the right time for me to get involved in some local events and I am looking forward to taking part in my first Scottish race, the Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Run. I don't know much about it other than it is a big event and it should be exciting. It takes place on my daughter Grace's 12th birthday so I will have to do well.”
“It is very mountainous where I come from in the Czech Republic and I seem to be faster running up hills than I am on the flat so I don't really know how I will get on.”
Martina juggles her training around her work and a busy home life. She said: “I am a Support Worker in Peterhead, helping young people with autism. I also work for Aberdeenshire Council teaching English as a second language to people in Peterhead and, sometimes, in Ellon.
“Running is one of my favourite things to do. It is funny because when I was young I hated running. It made me cry if I had to do it, so it is amazing how you can change.
“I got started in 2013 because I had friends who were runners and they kept encouraging me to try it. To begin with I said no, but then I decided to give it a go on my own. I did 2km, then 3km, and every month I did a little more. Eventually I joined my local running club and I have been doing it ever since.”
Martina will be joined in the Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Run by thousands of other participants from a wide range of backgrounds, each with their own story to tell.
In addition to the half marathon there is also a 10km and a Business Challenge competition. Families will join in the fun at the one mile Family Run through the city centre, which takes place on the same day.
The event takes place on Sunday 26 August and runners will experience an incredible city centre experience, as the event starts and finishes on Union Street.
The closed-road course takes in many of the city's key historic landmarks such as Marischal College, Castlegate, the Beach Ballroom and Brig O'Balgownie. The half marathon also includes a new section through the beautiful Seaton Park.
Entries for the half marathon distance close on Monday 13th August at 1pm.
To enter the Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Run visit www.greatrun.org/aberdeen