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Athletics: Touler 10k ready to return after two-year absence

Touler 10k returns on June 19 for the first time since 2019. (Photo supplied by Touler 10k)
Touler 10k returns on June 19 for the first time since 2019. (Photo supplied by Touler 10k)

The Touler 10k, which takes place in Tomintoul and the Glenavon Estate, returns on June 19 for the first time since 2019.

The race, which is sponsored by Tomintoul Distillery, was first held in 2015 but had to be postponed in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tony Birchall, the event organiser, is hoping for a good turnout upon its return, with entry currently open to all levers of runners.

He says that while the 10k is challenging, with one third of the course being hard trail and the rest road, it is a unique opportunity to run in scenic surroundings.

The current men’s record is 34mins and 31 seconds which is held by Gordon Lennox, while Victoria Needham boasts the women’s record with a time of 39mins 46secs.

Birchall said: “This is an event for everybody, it is a race for all levels and categories.

“Obviously you’d love to get a Mo Farah or somebody like him come along, but we have a lot of really good runners up here.

“Hopefully one of them can break the race record and get themselves an extra cash prize.

“I’d never tell anyone that it’s a nice easy flat course, because it’s not, but it is an entertaining course with lovely scenery.

“It’s hard work – any race is hard work irrespective of how good you are – but people always enjoy it and have a good time.”

Giving back to the community

It is an important event in the village and local area, as money made from the entry fees is put back into the community.

The race also helps boost local businesses and tourism as people from afar travel to Tomintoul to participate.

Birchall said: “The race doesn’t only benefit the runners and the people who organise it, but it helps everybody in the community and local area.

“We’re trying to make it even more pleasant for the people who live here and for visitors.”

Online entries for the Touler 10k are open until June 17, while participants can also enter at the course on the day of the race.

For more information email touler10k@gmail.com or visit their website.

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