The event, which was a huge success, attracted participants from all over the UK, keen to take on Scotland’s toughest night trail half marathon, using only their head torches to light their way around the demanding track.
The hilly 15-mile course, which incorporated several types of terrain and 600 meters of ascent, took the participants on trails through beautiful ancient forest and barren moorland at the Aberdeenshire estate in Aboyne.
The Illuminator organisers provided additional inspiration to tired runners at the halfway point and at the finish line with spectacular multicoloured light displays.
Organiser Jono Buckland from Firetrail events said: “After running or walking for hours with just the glow of your head torch to light your way you suddenly arrive at this spectacular light zone, where ancient Scots pines, a river and an old Victorian bridge are illuminated with a full spectrum of colours. It’s a real buzz and a much-needed mental boost before taking on the second half of the course’.
Charity partner the Braemar Mountain Rescue Team supported the run with a strong presence of trained volunteers and vehicles, and used the event both as training and fund raising opportunity, raising over £10,000 to help maintain their vital emergency equipment.
Sally Wallis took home the prize for ‘Fastest Female’, with a stunning time of 2hrs 2mins and 54secs, while Sam Milton, came in under two hours with an incredible 1hr 40mins 19sec to pick up the ‘Fastest Male’, smashing last years course record by almost 15 minutes. Prizes included hundreds of pounds of running equipment sponsored by Run 4 It.
Sam Milton said: “I only bought a head torch a few weeks ago and have run in the dark a handful of times. This is the first race I have won!”
Richard Lawes of Firetrail Events said: “We are delighted to see the event more than doubled in size since its first year in 2015 and attract people from as far south as London. It’s great for our home town Aboyne and It’s great for Deeside. Many people choose to stay the weekend providing a real boost for local businesses especially after last year’s devastating floods.”
• Find the full list of results and times here.