Banchory runner’s Boxing Day win

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Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Robbie Simpson won the Banchory Boxing Day 5k fun run for the eighth time in 11 years.

The Deeside runner has a special place in his heart for his local event.

“Although it’s not officially a race my favourite is the Banchory Boxing Day fun run as it’s in my local town and has been going since 1981,” he tweeted.

Deeside Runners’ Ginie Barrand was 1st Female and Kirsty Campbell third.

Robbie, 28, told the Deeside Piper this week of his plans for the year ahead. “As a rough outline I’m planning to run the London Marathon in April which is the main target for the first half of the year.

“I ran a personal best in London last year.

“I’m hoping to do a few build-up races including possibly the Kinloss to Lossiemouth Half Marathon [on Sunday February 16] and The Big Half – a half marathon in London in early March – then maybe a few other local races.

“After the London Marathon I’m planning to get back to some mountain running from June onwards and target a few races on the continent but they haven’t all been planned yet, possibly the 
Sierre Zinal again and a few ones I’ve not done.”

The Sierre-Zinal is a mountain running race that takes place in the canton of Valais in Switzerland each August. It is also known as the race of five 4000ers, as five peaks over 4000m are visible along its path: Weisshorn (4506m), Zinalrothorn (4221 m), Obergabelhorn (4073m, Matterhorn (4478m) and Dent Blanche (4357m).

As well as recording a PB in last year’s London Marathon, Robbie ran for GB at the European Mountain Running Championships, where the men’s team won gold, and won the Jungfrau Marathon for the third time.

He continued: “I also ran my first ultra race at the North Face 50 mile in San Francisco which was a completely new experience. I finished fifth which was satisfactory enough considering how the preparation went.”

A relative newcomer to the marathon following success as a mountain runner, Robbie put in a stunning run at Gold Coast 2018, working his way through the field to take bronze, Scotland’s final medal of the Commonwealth Games.

The last big road race of 2019 in the north-east took place at Lossiemouth with the 10 mile Turkey Trot where Deeside’s Jamie Ross set a personal best over this distance in a time of 60min 55sec with David Oliver finishing in 84.27 and Jane Oliver in 92.46.