Organisers of an inaugural north-east charity race will be hoping to avoid things that go bump in the night. That’s because each of the 600 entrants taking part in this year’s Illuminator Run will be equipped with a head torch to help guide their way through the darkness of the Glen Tanar Estate.
Billed as one of Scotland’s toughest endurance races, the Illuminator Run will be held after dark and requires participants to run or walk 15 miles and climb a total of 2,247 ft – aided by just the glow of their head torches – through the rugged hill trails of the Glen Tanar Estate in the heart of Royal Deeside.
The historic estate, set in the Cairngorms National Park, is a perfect backdrop for outdoor and sporting events, and is already well used for corporate team building. Organised by Firetrail Events, the Illuminator Run takes place on Saturday, November 14, with the rough terrain promising to make the race a testing challenge even for the most experienced runners.
Setting off from the Aboyne Community Centre at 6pm, entrants will cross the Dee Bridge, make a steep ascent up the Fungle track, climb Baudy Meg hill on open and exposed moorland and descend into the ancient Scots pine forest of Glen Tanar. They will then pass the estate’s trout loch and the Fairy Lochan, before making the final climb up past Craigendinnie and returning to Aboyne.
The route will allow runners and walkers to see the natural beauty of Glen Tanar’s ancient Scots pine forest in a spectacular new light. A specially created light zone area, constructed at the course’s halfway point, will see the bridge over the water of Allachy and surrounding Scots pine trees illuminated by a mixture of multi-coloured flood lights and spot lights.
As well as a stopping point for people to refuel, it is hoped the array of vibrant colours will help inspire and energise tired runners and walkers ahead of the remainder of the challenge having trekked miles through near total darkness.
Glen Tanar Estate owner Claire Bruce, who will be taking part in the event, says, “The Illuminator Run is shaping up to be a fantastic event and even though I regularly walk in this area, completing the course in the dark will be a completely new experience.
“We were very keen to support the event organisers with the Illuminator Run as part of our commitment to making this land accessible to as wide an audience as possible. It promises to be a truly unique event for running enthusiasts, and seeing the natural beauty of the forest lit up will be incredible.”
Jonathan Buckland, director at Firetrail Events, says, “It’s designed to be a fun, social event which has been reflected in the large number of runners of all levels of experience putting themselves forward for what is sure to be a great challenge. I’m certain running through the picturesque Glen Tanar Estate – even in the pitch darkness – will be an experience like no other, even for seasoned runners.”
Charity partner the Braemar Mountain Rescue Team aim to raise thousands of pounds from the event through sponsorship. Members of this essential voluntary service, which is this year celebrating its 50th anniversary, will be on hand to provide additional safety support to all runners in partnership with the event’s own professional staff and first aid teams.
The rescue team consists of 40 men and women who live and work locally. It costs £70,000 to run the service each year as the purchase, usage and upkeep of the team’s specialist vehicles and equipment is hugely expensive.
Places for this year’s Illuminator Run are sold out; however, organisers are already turning attention to next year’s event as they hope to make the Illuminator Run an annual event. Anyone interested in registering for the 2016 event should visit http://www.illuminatorrun.co.
Glen Tanar Estate is set in the
Cairngorms National Park and offers a wealth of activities and attractions from fishing and walking to adventuring on estate safaris. Glen Tanar Estate’s grand ballroom is available to hire for functions, including corporate events, weddings and conferences and the estate has a number of self-catering holiday cottages.
For more information on Glen Tanar Estate, visit www.glentanar.co.uk or contact 01339 886451.