People from across the UK are being encouraged to run one of the most scenic routes of their life, in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire.

Runners are being encouraged to sign up for a ‘fare challenge’ later this year with the launch of one of the north-east of Scotland’s most scenic races.

‘The Fare Challenge’ – a 5k, 10k, or half marathon run across Royal Deeside – will take place on Sunday, August 24.

The routes have been designed by local runners to ensure participants have the best views, and local farmers are even opening up sections of their private land to make the runs more enjoyable.

All runners will make their way either around or up and down the Hill of Fare near Banchory, and will start and finish at the Raemoir House Hotel, Scotland’s Country House Hotel of the Year twice in a row.

One of the organising committee members, Gareth Cordiner, who lives on the edge of the hill, said the routes had been designed to showcase the stunning views from the Hill of Fare that often go un-noticed.

Mr Cordiner, who took part in the New York marathon last November with fellow committee member David Cunningham said the scenery was, in many ways, even more spectacular than what they saw pounding the streets of the Big Apple.

“The Hill of Fare is located just a few miles from Aberdeen yet you could be in the complete wilderness once you are out running on it,” he said.

half marathon route looking west  over Deeside from above the cloud

“From the ruins of a 17th century castle to views over the Cairngorms and Lochnagar, the Hill of Fare is a wonderful place to run and we hope many people will take up this challenge.”

The day has been designed to offer something for runners of every fitness level too, with organisers keen to stress that no one should be put off by running or jogging on the hill.

“Our 5K route is great fun and very achievable for everyone from complete beginners through to more experienced runners. The 10K enjoys a bit more of the climb but only the half marathon actually goes to the top of the hill, before circling a valley that is completely hidden from anywhere but this route. Most importantly though, we simply want to encourage people to run and take advantage of this beautiful hill,” Mr Cordiner said.

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