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One objective of these events is to raise funds for the Speyside Trust Badaguish Centre and we thank everyone most sincerely for their help in doing that over the past years. Your efforts make a vital difference to the facilities and services we can provide for people with special needs who come to Badaguish and enjoy taking part in outdoor activities just as much as anyone. The other objective is to continue to host a first class and spectacularly scenic running weekend event in Aviemore and encourage people to come and stay in this part of the Highlands of Scotland.

The Beginning - October 2006

October 14th and 15th 2006 saw the long-held dream of an Aviemore running event finally come true. Outstanding weather helped the launch of this new weekend event and welcomed the 250 fun runners and 600 half-marathon runners. People came from all over the UK and beyond to take part in this event set in one of the most scenic and beautiful landscapes in Great Britain. It is always brilliant sight to see all the fun runners on their Saturday mile run around the Aviemore Highland Resort. With amazing enthusiasm and the amount of kids taking part and it is genuinely uplifting for all the spectators and marshals to see them sprinting over the finish line and collecting their well-deserved medals – the Fun Run really does gives an opportunity for kids, families and everyone to take part in doing something together, regardless of ability and age to achieve something for themselves. A fantastic Cairngorms scene of hazy sun, dew and shimmering highland mist greeted the half-marathon runners as they arrived for the first Aviemore Half Marathon. To the sound of the Badenoch & Strathspey Pipe Band the runners were led and assembled at the forest start. The 13.1 mile course passed through some of Scotland’s best and outstandingly scenic landscape all set below the imposing northern corries of the Cairngorm Mountains; including Glenmore Forest, Rothiemurchus Estate, Loch Morlich and the River Spey. The first 7.5 miles allowed the runners to enjoy the spectacular views whilst running on excellent forest tracks, by Loch Morlich beach and then at 7.5 miles to the eastern end of the loch.

Joining the tarmac ski road at 8 miles, into Coylumbridge and to Inverdruie crossing the Spey River and up into Aviemore. The sound of 'Carrumba' drum band and enthusiastic cheers from the huge crowd of family, friends and supporters at the Finish line were heard for the last mile. Entering the final Finish lane in the Aviemore Highland Resort to a greeting by the hundreds of spectators surrounding the Finish area and each runner was individually welcomed back over the line via the PA system to tremendous applause; every single one a winner! Once their race was complete, runners could either bask in the sun for a wee while or enjoy the fantastic food and drink available at the accompanying Highland Feast Celtic Fayre in the resort Osprey Arena. This featured music from three bands, the Cairngorms Farmer Market, cooking demos, food stalls and a host of other things that made the day as entertaining as possible for runners and their families and friends.

Year Two - 2007

October 2007 saw the second Aviemore Half Marathon. Welcoming the fun runners and over 800 half-marathon runners. Again, we had visitors from all over the UK and beyond together with many local and familiar faces. The fun runners on their Saturday mile run around the Aviemore Highland Resort brought a smile to everyone. With the children’s enthusiasm once again, uplifting for all the spectators. The fun run gives an opportunity for people of all ages to take part in an event, keeping themselves fit and reaching a personal goal.

The weather was not so kind in '07 as it had been the year before – but this did not dampen spirits of the half-marathon runners as they arrived for the second Aviemore Half Marathon. The route being the same with stunning views. After the Finish line, runners could enjoy the food and drink available. The Cairngorms Farmer Market returned with cooking demos and food stalls together with Highland Feast Celtic Fayre situated in the Aviemore Highland Resort.

Year Three - 2008 - The Stormy One!

The fun run on the eve of the Half Marathon is proving to be popular with all.  A host of people of all ages turned up to take part in the Family Mile Fun Run – even a family dog joined in and we had a very brave Morlich the Monster completing the course!!  Despite a wind swept weekend the rain held off and we had nearly 900 runners on this 3rd year of the Aviemore Half Marathon.  We took a slightly different route to the past two years, using the newly opened cycle track as opposed to the tarmac road.  With the weather forecast promising rain, we were lucky that this was delayed until the Monday after! Runners were hounded by a fairly strong wind, as was one of our gazebo’s that took flight and had to be abandoned!! A few lessons to be learned regarding water stations, but all in all - another success.

Year Four – 2009

The Aviemore Half Marathon took place on Sunday 18th October, with just over 1000 competitors to tackle the 13.1-mile course, starting at Badaguish Outdoor Centre and finishing at Macdonald Highland Resort. Yet again, the Aviemore Half Marathon is proving to be a popular event.  People from all over the UK travel up to run in the scenic event, through Glenmore Forest Park, Loch Morlich and Rothiemurchus Estate.   Part of the course taking the off road path running alongside the ski road – if you are using the path on Sunday, please take care & be aware of the possibility of runners from around 11:30 up to 13:30. Again, a number of local runners took part including the Cairngorm Runners Group. – Who did a fantastic job with a warm up session at the start.  Last year’s winner, Tommy Lawrence held onto his title.

The customary Family Fun Run was held again within the MacDonald Aviemore Highland Resort on the Saturday afternoon.  We had a record number of over 350 and actually ran out of ‘goody bags’ for the kids – alternative goodies have been sent to those who didn’t get.  The Run is open to all ages and abilities and on a traffic free circuit around the resort.  ‘Scottie’ the Jog Scotland mascot, joined us and was brave enough to run the Fun Run after leading the Cairngorm Runners with a warm up to music!

Year Five – 2010

Nearly 1500 people laced up their running shoes to take part in both the Half Marathon and new 10k for All, plus two hand bikers taking the 10K route. Earlier this year the route was changed from using the ‘Old Logging Way’ to the alternative of a cordoned-off section of the Cairngorm ski road.  This gave us the opportunity to open the 10k as a suitable route for hand bike & wheelchair racers. The first leg of Half Marathon route ran through the Glenmore Forest, alongside Loch Morlich with Cairngorm as a backdrop, before joining the 10K route on the road. The traditional mile Family Fun Run was another success; the weather being kind brought a lot of eager budding runners to join in.

Many thanks, as always, goes to all who helped with the marshalling and the tremendous local support from individuals, companies and clubs – without your support these events would not be able to take place.

Many Thanks to all involved

As with any big event, it takes months of planning, lots of support and a massive team of people to make it happen. We have been incredibly fortunate to have the most amazing support from a truly huge amount of enthusiastic people, agencies and businesses whom have all played a most significant role in making this event so successfully.  It is becoming ever popular and is growing each year. There is a real buzz around the Aviemore area at this time and it is very exciting and enjoyable to be part of the genuine team spirit.

We would like to take this opportunity to genuinely thank every single person and organisation that has supported the event.

Congratulations go to everyone who has taken part over the past years and of course to all the various individual and team category winners.

In closing, we would like to once again give our sincere thanks to everyone for making this event go so wonderfully, so friendly and so enjoyable for all. See you next year!

Speyside Trust is a Registered Scottish Charity No SC016172
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Registered Office: Badaguish Centre, Aviemore, Inverness-shire PH22 1AD
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