Balmoral winners to win trip to Ethiopia

The men's and women's champions in the Petrofac Challenge 15 mile run at Balmoral Castle this year will win a trip to a major race in Ethiopia. 
The prize is the most valuable ever offered in a running event in the north east of Scotland and organisers are hopeful that it will persuade many of the country's top distance runners to make the journey to Royal Deeside over the weekend of April 28th-29th.
James Knowles, Chairman of Balmoral Road Races, believes the prize will prove to be a big attraction.
He said:"Our programme of races at Balmoral offers something for runners of all ages and abilities, but we felt we wanted to go a step further by doing something positive and exciting to promote opportunities for the country's best athletes.
"Ethiopia is one of the strongest distance running countries in the world and we have developed some good contacts over there.
"This has allowed as to put together a package which will give the men's and women's winners of the Petrofac Challenge the chance to compete in a top Ethiopian race.
"The event is a half marathon and usually takes place in early May and Ethiopian distance running legend  Haile Gebrselassie usually attends the race. Our winners will go to it in May 2013."

Banchory's Great Britain mountain running international Robbie Simpson, winner of the Petrofac Challenge at Balmoral last year, admits he's excited by the opportunity of competing for a trip to Africa.
He said:"It sounds really great. Having a top prize like this will probably attract some good runners to Balmoral, which is great.
"I'm looking forward to doing the race again, especially with it being a 15 miler this year compared with 13 miles last time. 
"There aren't too many races of this type, where you've got some parts on road and some off road, so it should be attractive to a lot of runners."
The Petrofac Challenge is one of a series of races being held at Balmoral over the race weekend.
The programme opens on Saturday 28th April with the Stena Drilling Tartan 10Km and the ConocoPhillips 5Km races for adults, as well as the Kongsberg Maritime secondary schools 2.5Km and the MPH primary schools 1.5Km .
The following day there is the Petrofac Challenge and the Taqa Bratani Diamond Jubilee Mile.
Entries for all the races can be made online at