Walkers, runners and cyclists in BRG Challenge

This year's BRG Challenge in full swing!
This year's BRG Challenge in full swing!

The eighth annual BRG Challenge was held on Saturday, August 2, when a total of 83 walkers left Fraserburgh Beach at 10am en route to Gardenstown via Sandhaven and Rosehearty.

They were followed at 12 noon by 62 runners and ten relay teams. Then at 1pm, the BRG’s answer to the Tour de France set off with 103 cyclists keen to take on the roads and hills to Gardenstown.

Many of those taking parts wore their BRG t-shirts emblazoned with the ‘It’s Only a Hill – Get Over It!’ strap-line emblazoned on the back.

The event was once again sponsored by Colaren Homes whos owner (and cyclist) Colin Smith finished in 13tharound 5 minutes after winner Mark Wood from Portsoy crossed the line.

Conditions were tough for all participants this year with a brisk head wind to contend with and so the water stops and refreshments along the way were enjoyed by almost everyone.

Lidls again sponsored all of the refreshments and a number of the staff from the Fraserburgh store took part in the running group recording some impressive times.

Store manager Alan McRae completed the course in 2hrs 53minutes.

For the most of the day, participants were able to enjoy spectacular scenery andwere very grateful for the wealth of refreshments including water, oranges, bananas and the now customary jelly babies - all provided by Lidl of Fraserburgh.

Over 50 volunteers turned out to support the event helping to marshal busy road junctions or handing out refreshments along the route.

Organiser Duncan Abernethysaid: “We owe a huge thanks to those who gave up their time to support this year’s BRG Challenge – including marshals, time keepers, patrol vehicles, sponsors, first aiders and those who simply came along to offer encouragement to the participants. Everything went very smoothly on the day and it is only as a direct result of the excellent help we get from everyone.”

First male and female walkers over the line in Gardenstown were Kevin Mutch and Jacqueline Buchan who completed the course in just over 3hrs 30 mins.

George French was first male runner in a hugely impressive 1hr 46 minutes while Lisa Stephen put in a tremendous effort to record her first win in this event in 2hrs 13 minutes. Andrew Blackhall and Ally Mathers were first in the relay event in 1hr 57 mins.

Andrew also continued running to complete the course himself in just over 2hrs 10 minutes.

In the cycling event, Mark Wood from the Deveron Cycling Club completed the course in 58 minutes pursued closely all the way by rookie, Kris Urquhart.

A bike length was all that separated them after 16 miles.

Ella May Duncan was first female cyclist across the line in 1 hour 12 minutes.

The Gardenstown Harbour Café was buzzing at the end of the event as competitors arrived at the finish line keen to replace all the lost calories.

Organiser Carol Watt was delighted with the success of the day, stating: “The volunteers in the café have been flat out all day serving teas, coffees and pancakes as well as all the home bakes which have been provided. Thanks to all the volunteers in Gardenstown for giving up their time and making it such a successful event.”

This year the Medical Support Team were on hand with 2 vehicles patrolling the route to ensure no one got into difficulty or needed help.”