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Head to Haddo for cross country fun & a great cause

Runners of all ages and abilities looking to get muddy for a good cause should look no further than Sunday’s (26 January) GEF Cross Country Races at Haddo House.

This is the fifth year the Gathimba Edwards Foundation, founded by Scotland middle distance runner Myles Edwards and Kenyan international Gideon Gathimba, has organised the event at the historic home near Ellon, Aberdeenshire. This year’s event is also co-sponsored by NorDan and Newburgh Dunes Running Club.

As always, funds raised through the GEF Cross Country Races will be used to support the mission of the charity: to help give disadvantaged kids in Kenya a good start in life through the provision of shelter, education, clothing and sustainable food solutions.

Founder Myles Edwards told runABC Scotland online: "The GEF Haddo XC races are a great day out for the family in beautiful scenery. There’s always a great atmosphere thanks to our volunteers, marshals and supporters, so when the going gets tough there’s always someone there to encourage you."

On Sunday, children aged 5–8 will be able to ‘Try a Trail’ over a distance of less than a mile in a fun and relaxed atmosphere, while U11, U13, U15 and U17 (3 mile) boys and girls will compete for their prizes over longer distances based on their age.

Adults will have a choice of a three-mile or six-mile route around the grounds of the stately home and country park.

There will also be an all ages one-mile ‘fun walk’ added to the programme of events for the first time.

The cost of entry to the event is a donation to the GEF, and runners are also encouraged to fundraise.

As the GEF notes, a little can go a long way in Kenya: just £5300 a year will support over 200 children with some of their basic needs to allow them to attend school. The money runners raise on Sunday will help GEF continue to provide sanitary towels, books and uniform to children whose families do not earn enough to provide these essential items.

Funds from last year’s event provided the Cheerful Special Needs Children’s Home in Karatina with four months worth of maize flour and also allowed a disadvantaged young girl named Cecilia to enter secondary school, where she hopes to further her dreams of becoming a doctor.

Full race and entry information is available via the GEF Haddo XC 2020 entry form.

On the day entries will also be available up to 30 minutes before each race start time.

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