Taking part in the first ever Great Aberdeen Run

John at the start of the Great Aberdeen Run

Aberdeen hosted its first ever Great Run event on Sunday, with around 8000 people taking part in the event, which included a 10k, a half marathon and a mile-long family run.

I decided to take part in this inaugural run because I know the buzz of a big city event such as this from running the Great North Run in Newcastle on several occasions. It transforms a city and fills it full of energy and a vibe it just doesn’t get when it is dominated by traffic and the daily slog.

I wasn’t disappointed. Union Street, the city’s main thoroughfare, was closed to traffic from the early hours of Sunday morning and slowly more and more people filled the street.

First off was the 10k and I enjoyed being able to watch the start of that race before having to even think about getting myself ready for the start line of the half marathon. I even managed to see the first 10k finishers before I headed for the baggage buses to drop off my spare kit and do some warming-up exercises.

The half marathon itself was a great experience, with fellow runners and the crowds helping by encouraging everybody out on the course. The route itself wasn’t one I’d have chosen – there were a few too many out-and-back loops for my liking – but it did take in many of the city attractions. The sunshine also helped paint Aberdeen in a fine light and the success of this first year bodes well for the future.

My race wasn’t ideal, though. I’d been suffering with a light illness for a few weeks so training had frustratingly lapsed as the big day approached. I knew I wasn’t going to repeat my PB efforts from Inverness in March, but I set off at a decent enough pace but unfortunately couldn’t maintain it in the heat of the day. I managed a reasonable time of 1hr 46mins 36secs but have been suffering with very tight muscles in the week since, so I am now hoping I can loosen up enough to be ready for the Great North Run on September 10th.

* By running the Great Aberdeen Run and Great North Run two weeks apart I am raising money for The Christie cancer research hospital where my mum was treated. Please click on the link below to sponsor me. Any donations would be most gratefully received. Thank you.

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