Top runners head for Balmoral

Robbie Simpson

Some of Scotland's top athletes will be among the 5,000 competitors in the Balmoral road races which take place this weekend.

Great Britain internationals Robbie Simpson (handicap MINUS 4.7) (pictured) and Rhona Auckland (handicap MINUS 0.3), both of whom are from the north east, will be aiming to add to their already impressive list of honours.
Simpson, who has been in great form on the roads this year, will attempt to break his own course record of 31min 17secs in the Stena Drilling Tartan 10Km.
The course suits the mountain running specialist as it features a 1.2 kilometre uphill stage which tests the strength and resolve of all the competitors.
Auckland will bid for a hat-trick of victories in the women's division of the ConocoPhillips 5Km.
The 20 year-old Edinburgh University student is coming off an excellent cross country season during which she became the youngest winner of the Scottish senior title and helped Great Britain win under-23 team gold medals in European championsips in Belgrade where she finished seventh.
Commonwealth Games 1500m hopeful Ali Hay is the best bet to win the men's 5Km title for the second time in three years.
Aberdeen-based Scotland international Ben Hukins (handicap MINUS 3.3) is among the favourites to win the 15 mile trail race.
It is hoped that Nicola Duncan (Minus 1.2)will also compete if she has recovered from her outstanding performance in the Virgin London Marathon.
Duncan, who is to represent Ireland in this summer's European championships, recorded a personal best 2hr 33min 28secs in the capital.
Entries have closed for all the Balmoral races except the Wee Trail race which is part of this year's Jogscotland Challenge Series.
This is held over a spectacular three mile course within the magnificent grounds of the Castle. Entries will be taken on the day.
RunBalmoral Timetable
Saturday 26 April
11am: MPH Primary Schools Boys 1.5Km
11:25am: MPH Primary Schools Girls 1.5Km
11:50am: Kongsberg Secondary Schools 2.5Km
12:30pm: ConocoPhillips 5Km
2pm: Stena Drilling Tartan 10Km
Sunday 27 April 2014
11:00am: RunBalmoral 15 mile trail race
11:15am RunBalmoral Wee Trail Race