Runners get ‘keys’ to the castle at Balmoral in 2018


Runners can earn a key to the castle when competing in the 21st anniversary Run Balmoral races over the weekend of 21st-22nd April 2018.

Entries have now opened for the popular Deeside event and to commemorate the occasion iconic key-shaped medals featuring a symbolic outline of the Balmoral castle turrets will be given to all competitors, which is expected to be more than 5,000 runners of all ages who will take part in a programme of eight races over the two days of competition.


“With the new sponsors on board we thought this would be an ideal time to make a fresh attempt to encourage more secondary school youngsters to run at Balmoral. To assist with this, we have allocated £1,000 from our successful sports bursary programme for projects which lead to an increased number of runners in the 2.5km race.

“The other part of the Bursary programme offers a further £2,000 and bids are invited from schools, clubs and other organisations within the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire local authority areas seeking funding for projects which encourage youngsters to take part in running or other active sporting activities. We have supported 32 different projects over the first three years of the Bursary scheme and look forward to helping more in 2018.”


The race weekend will kick off as usual on the Saturday with the MPH Ltd primary schools 1.5km races , followed by  the FOS Group secondary schools 2.5km, the Conoco Phillips 5km and the Stena Drilling Tartan 10km. The 5km and 10km also include a highly competitive corporate team challenge competition. Then on the Sunday there’s the Apollo duathlon (6km run/15km cycle/5km run), the TRAC Trail Race (15 Miles) and the TRAC Wee Trail race (3 miles).


And, returning for a second year is the Repsol Sinopec Devil of Deeside Challenge. This gruelling event requires competitors to take part in all four adult races over the two days - the Conoco Phillips 5km and the Stena Drilling 10km on the Saturday, followed by the Apollo duathlon and the TRAC 15 mile trail race on the Sunday.

The man and woman with the best cumulative time from the four races will win a fantastic trophy and prize, and everyone taking part in the challenge will receive a limited edition Devil of Deeside race t-shirt and running vest.


 Knowles also paid tribute to the many sponsors who make RunBalmoral possible, saying:

 “I am grateful to all our sponsors who, despite given the harsh realities of the economic climate, continue to give us tremendous support. These companies have always worked with us in a positive and proactive way to ensure we have a successful event. Not only do they provide financial backing, they also encourage their employees to take part in big numbers, which they do.  Without this loyal support, RunBalmoral could not happen.


“With thousands of spectators coming along to support the runners, the estate will be buzzing with excitement and for those not taking part in the races there is an opportunity to visit the Event Village where a range of activities for all ages will be on offer.


“In the lead-up to the race weekend, Come-and-Try days will be held when people will have an opportunity to be taken on guided runs around the race courses. These will be on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th March 2018.


“Also, in conjunction with RUN-4-IT, we are once again organising a t-shirt design competition. School pupils have the chance to design an exciting image for the front of the t-shirts to be given out to all participants in the MPH Primary Schools 1.5km and the FOS Group Secondary Schools 2.5km races. There are separate competitions for primary schools and secondary schools.The winners will receive a free entry to RunBalmoral 2018 and a voucher from RUN-4-IT. In addition, the winner’s school will receive £250 to be used for any sports related project.