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RunSpeyside gets into the spirit of Whisky Festival

Runners invited to enjoy a virtual tour of Speyside over the early May Bank Holiday weekend

RunSpeyside are continuing their partnership with the Spirit of Speyside festival by hosting their first ever virtual running challenge. While in previous years the pair behind the running tour company, Jenny Gillies and David Weir, offered festival participants short runs based around the distilling history and natural beauty of Speyside, the move to a virtual event this spring has necessitated a change in approach.  

This year, runners can complete their choice of 5k, 10k, half marathon or full marathon routes over the weekend of the festival, either outside or on the treadmill, wherever they live in the world. Meanwhile, back in Speyside, Jenny and David will be running the real-life marathon route over the early May bank holiday weekend (1 & 2 May) and sharing the sights, sounds, tastes and smells they experience over social media.

While they won’t be revealing the exact route of their challenge until the first day of the festival, the pair will be stopping into distilleries and local businesses along the way, learning more about the history of Speyside and its most famous product, and perhaps even enjoying a dram or two. 

Jenny and David hope that their travels will help give the virtual festival a ‘physical presence’, as well as make participants around the world – who might have planned to visit Speyside in more certain times – feel more connected to the home of Scotland's most famous export. 

To further build that connection, Jenny and David warmly encourage runners taking part in the virtual challenge to join RunSpeyside’s Strava club and share their own run experiences and photos online – in addition to following them on their 'real time' journeys through whisky country.  

At the end of the festival, Jenny and David will host a short online session to share some of the best photos that have been submitted and ‘raise a dram to a weekend well spent’. 

They’ll also no doubt be toasting the start of the launch of RunSpeyside’s 2021 programme of guided runs, which starts on Monday, 3 May with a 10-mile exploration of Moray’s Bin of Cullen and grounds of Cullen House. 

Entry to this spring’s Spirit of Speyside (29 April to 2 May) costs £15, which offers access to dozens of online events, including tastings. From there, entry to the virtual run costs £5, with the option for UK residents of adding on a bespoke neck gaiter – as modelled by Jenny above – for another £12.50.

RunSpeyside also plan to continue their partnership with the Spirit of Speyside festival by offering anoteher programme of whisky and history themed runs when it returns to a ‘real life’ format this November.  

Image courtesy: RunSpeyside

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