The leading field

RunBalmoral 2016 entries open - 6 October 2015

Entries for the 2016 RunBalmoral races opened today with organisers announcing they have submitted a bid to host the Scottishathletics 5km road running championships.

The RunBalmoral races will take place in the magnificent grounds of Balmoral Castle over the weekend of Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th April 2016. The Royal estate offers one of the most dramatic settings for a running event, not just in the UK, but worldwide.

Last year more than 5,000 runners of all ages signed up for the programme of eight races, and in keeping with the strong community focus of the event, these Balmoral runners raised well in excess of  £100,000 for local charities.

The race weekend programme will kick off as usual on the Saturday with the MPH Ltd primary schools 1.5Km boys’ and girls’ races , followed by  the Kongsberg Maritime secondary schools 2.5Km, the ConocoPhillips 5Km and the Stena Drilling Tartan 10Km. The 5Km and 10Km also include a corporate team challenge competition. Then on the Sunday there’s the Apollo duathlon (5km  run/20km cycle/5km run), the Glacier Energy Trail Race (15 Miles) and the Wee Trail race (3 miles)- for the past two years the Wee Trail race has been part of the jogscotland challenge series.

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.

If the bid to host the scottishathletics championship event is successful, this will be incorporated within the ConocoPhilips 5km which usually attracts a capacity field of 1,000 runners.

RunBalmoral Chairman James Knowles said: “We are looking forward to another successful year and if we get the scottishathletics championship race that will be a bonus.

The 5km course is part of what was previously a longer, five mile course, on which Paula Radcliffe set world record times of 24min 54secs in 1998 and 24min 47secs in 1999 so it is ideal for a championship event.

However, all our races promise to be exciting events in which  experienced international athletes and first time fun runners will rub shoulders as they compete on traffic-free courses offering magnificent views of the castle and the spectacular surrounding countryside.

We are very fortunate to have magnificent support from our sponsors who are genuinely interested in working with us to put on a successful event. Many of the sponsors have been with us for a long time and they not only 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.

We are also delighted to once again be working in partnership with Balmoral Estate and to have the support of Aberdeenshire Council. Local community organisations and charities also contribute to making the whole occasion something special.

As usual, we will be involved with a number of nominated charities which for 2016 are: Macmillan Cancer Support,Anchor,CLAN Cancer Support,CLIC Sargent,Gastrocan,The Archie Foundation,VSA,Charlie House,Cornerstone,Crathie Opportunity Holidays and Diabetes UK.We do encourage runners to get involved in sponsoring a charity. Such support raises a phenomenal amount of money locally. The charities have without doubt added a real vibrancy to the RunBalmoral event.

Knowles also highlighted a RunBalmoral project which he is particularly enthusiastic about.

He said: “Last year we introduced the RunBalmoral sports bursary award and £2,500 was distributed to nine north-east groups and clubs who benefitted in a variety of ways. The success of the bursary project means it is to be repeated in 2015-2016 and the fund has been increased to £3,000. Bids for up to this amount may be submitted, although smaller bids will also be welcomed. It is possible that a single award may be made for a major project or a number of smaller ones may be preferred.

We are also, in conjunction with RUN-4-IT, organising our t-shirt design competition again. 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 1.5K and the Kongsberg Maritime Secondary Schools 2.5K races at next year's event which take place on Saturday 23rd April.

There are separate competitions for primary schools and secondary schools.The winners will receive a free entry to RunBalmoral 2015 and a voucher from RUN-4-IT. In addition, the winner’s school will receive £250 to be used for any sports related project. This could include paying for transport to allow pupils to access sports events/facilities or for purchasing kit or equipment.

Finally, I’d like to advise runners to enter as soon as possible. Many of the races sold out well before the official closing date last year, so anyone thinking about taking part is encouraged to  sign up  quickly.

Full entry details and further information about the bursary project and t-shirt competition can be found at

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