Runners taking part in the 5k race

APOLLO DUATHLON READY FOR LIFT OFF - 22 April 2015

Apollo Managing Director Jon D'Arcy and Business Development Director Jonathan White will lead a team of 24 runners and cyclists taking part in the duathlon which their company is sponsoring at Balmoral on Sunday.

Jon and Jonathan were delighted to enter their own event, which has attracted a capacity entry, but then decided they may as well embrace the spirit of the whole Balmoral weekend by bravely signing up to take part in ALL the main r...aces.

So, they will run in the ConocoPhillips 5Km and the Stena Drilling Tartan 10km on Saturday before tackling the Apollo duathlon on Sunday morning followed by the Glacier Energy 15 mile trail race in the afternoon.

Jonathan said:"We are absolutely looking forward to it. In fact there's four of us planning to do all the races. Ryan Menzies, our Operations Director, and Steve Leaper, our Business Support Director, will join us for the challenge.

"We have 24 people in the duathlon, some of whom come from mainly a cycling background, while others are runners. The cyclists have been doing more running training because they see it as more of a running event, while the runners have been doing cycling training because they think it's primarily a cycling event."

Jonathan is upbeat about the challenge he Jon, Ryan and Steve have given themselves. He said: "We have done lots of training and have been doing it diligently, so hopefully it will be fine. I think the order of races is about right in that it starts with the shorter ones then progresses to the long ones on Sunday. I'll have to pace it just right, but I must admit I'll be looking forward to reaching the finishing line of the 15 miler."

The others in the Apollo duathlon squad are Mike Bland,Mike Spalding,Ewan Murray,Titus MacTavish,Sarah Osborne,Toby Green, Lucy Green, Ellis Carter,Fraser Taylor, Chris Burnett,Sam Blackburn,Matthew Woods,Graham Cook,Robert Bacon,Steve Leaper,Phil Westmorland,Richard Bell,Donald McFarlane,David Jamieson,Gary Clark and Damien Shine.

The Apollo duathlon is the newest event on the Balmoral programme. Competitors will start with a 5km run before transferring to mountain bikes for a 20km ride over a spectacular route through the royal estate then finish off with another 5km run.

Two potential favourites, double Highland cross duathlon champion Rob Brookes (Cosmic Hillbashers) and Braemar duathlon winner Ashley Pearson (Fleet Feet), have pulled out, leaving the destiny of the men's and women's titles wide open.

Ron Gauld (Stonehaven Running Club) would normally be expected to be a strong contender, but the Portlethen man, who won numerous north east road races in 2014, is battling back to full fitness following injury.

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