A former bank worker is preparing to turn a passion for trail running by taking over the former Outrun running shop in Fochabers.
Sally Bruce previously worked in retail and banking in Elgin while her husband served 30 years in the police.
Three years ago the couple opted for a change of lifestyle and moved to Speyside, one of Sally’s favourite areas to run.
The 50-year-old took her first steps into business by setting up Skedaddle North, organising runs between 5K and 15K in the area for those not familiar with the area or keen for company.
Now she is preparing to turn her hobby into a business by taking over the former Outrun running shop in Fochabers.
Small beginnings for running business
Sally’s love for trail running ramped up when she launched Skedaddle North just weeks before the Covid pandemic hit.
What was initially awful timing turned into good fortune. The country came out of lockdown with many looking to embrace their newfound fitness interests.
Trips to picturesque spots or local places of interest including the Craigellachie bridge, Linn Falls near Aberlour and Duffus Castle among others soon generate a following.
Sally said: “A lot of people found running in lockdown, or got back into it, and wanted to keep it going but didn’t want to join a club.
“Some of the routes we use are maybe not obvious, so if you’re new to the area or live in a town, you maybe wouldn’t know it or necessarily have the confidence to run off into the woods on your own.
“It’s been small groups. I think the largest I’ve had is 12. It’s not just been random trail runs though. They’re always somewhere picturesque or interesting.
“People might go up and down the paths on the River Spey, but not know about Linn Falls.”
Why open a new shop in Fochabers?
The former Outrun running shop on Fochabers High Street closed last month. The previous owners moved on after 13 years to spend more time with their family.
Before they shut the doors, they approached Sally to find out if she would be interested in keeping the business alive in the village, albeit under a new name.
It’s an opportunity she now intends to seize with both hands.
Sally, who lives in Archiestown, said: “Scarlett got in touch with me and said it would be a shame for the area to lose an independent running shop, it’s one of only two in Scotland.
“Everybody in the area knows it’s the place to buy your quality running equipment. You have to go to Inverness or Aberdeen otherwise.”
What changes can runners expect from Outrun shop in Fochabers?
The new shop, which will open before the end of the year, will be rebranded as Skedaddle Speyside.
Opening hours are still to be confirmed, but Sally doesn’t anticipate it being a six or seven-day operation.
However, she expects to still offer expert advice about people’s running techniques using video that has been popular at Outrun.
She said: “It’s got such a great reputation locally, I don’t want to change too much about it.
“The main thing I want to do is develop a bit of a community around it like we have done with the Skedaddle social runs.”