A unique outdoor event held at the UK’s largest onshore windfarm is aiming to become Scotland’s biggest trail running event following support from VisitScotland and ScottishPower Renewables.
Run the Blades, held at Whitelee Windfarm in East Renfrewshire, will take place on 20th and 21st July and is expected to welcome over 1200 competitors with the help of a £4000 award from EventScotland, part of the national tourism organisation’s Events Directorate, and funding from headline sponsor and leading wind energy developer, ScottishPower Renewables.
Organised by Breaking Strain Events, the endurance challenge consists of a 10km run, half marathon and 50km ultra-marathon. The variety of distances available ensures the event makes trail running accessible to people of all fitness and experience levels.
All three of the routes cross through mixed moorland and trees, passing wind turbines that tower 140 metres above the trail. Participants are also likely to spot many of the hundreds of bird species, adders or deer that live within the site boundaries. ScottishPower Renewables’ Whitelee Windfarm uis well known for its 130 kilometres of trails available to be explored on foot, cycling or on horseback.
Established in 2015, the inaugural year attracted a modest group of 44 competitors but has since grown substantially and it is hoped over 1200 people will sign up this year and make Run the Blades the biggest event of its kind in Scotland.
The EventScotland funding will support Breaking Strain Events in their marketing, entertainment costs and ensure they are able to improve both the competitor and spectator experience at the Event Village.
This is the event’s first year of funding through EventScotland’s National Programme Fund and is one of 12 events from across ten local authorities in Scotland which have benefited from nearly £100,000 of funding in the programme’s 37th round. The National Programme Fund plays an integral role in developing domestic tourism across Scotland by helping grow the country’s diverse events portfolio.
With many young people participating in the running challenge, it is particularly apt as we celebrate the Year of Young People. The latest in the Scottish Government’s themed years, it has been inspiring Scotland through its young people aged 8 to 26, celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally
Lee Peyton, Director of Run the Blades, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive support from EventScotland and ScottishPower Renewables. Run the Blades is a totally unique event held at a site which offers a real feel for the great outdoors. Everyone at Breaking Strain Events is very passionate about it and this funding boost will help us achieve our goal of making it Scotland’s biggest trail running event.
Gordon Smith, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “I am delighted to see that Run the Blades was one of the 12 events across the country to be supported by EventScotland. Hopefully this help and support will allow the event to enjoy its best year yet.
“Held at a unique and visually stunning location, the event will showcase East Renfrewshire as a destination for visitors. VisitScotland works closely with businesses to highlight the rich assets, hidden gems and local stories of every region in Scotland.”
Lindsay McQuade, CEO of ScottishPower Renewables, said: “Run the Blades is a wonderful event that brings runners, families and the local community together for a great couple of days of fun and exercise. We are proud that Whitelee Windfarm provides the setting for this and hope watching the turbines steadily turn helps the runners to keep moving with the blades.
“Run the Blades is a great example of how windfarms are so much more than a source of clean, renewable energy, and we would like to encourage anyone who fancies a run with a difference to sign up and bring the family along to enjoy the site. We are delighted to provide our support to what will be a brilliant couple of days.”
Enabling existing events to expand what they offer visitors, extend their marketing reach and enhance the on-site experience of attendees are just some of the ways that National Funding Programme support is used to help regional events continue to flourish and grow further. This in turn strengthens Scotland’s overall events portfolio – a major contributor to our national economy.
Whitelee Windfarm which is located on Eaglesham Moor just 20 minutes from Glasgow, is owned and operated by leading wind energy developer, ScottishPower Renewables and generates 539 megawatts of electricity, enough to power just under 300,000 homes*. The site, which has free parking, consists of 215 turbines and a free to enter interactive visitor centre and café. For more information visit scottishpower.co.uk/whitelee
To find out more about, or sign up for, Run the Blades go to www.breakingstrain.co.uk/run-the-blades/
For more information about VisitScotland’s Event’s Directorate go to www.visitscotland.org/about_us/our_structure/directorates/eventscotland.aspx
For more information about Whitelee Windfarm visit www.scottishpower.co.uk/whitelee
Notes to Editors
- Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
- VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
- The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
- This will be supported by five overarching strategies: Marketing, Events, Quality and Sustainability, Inclusive Tourism, International Engagement.
- The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
- Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP
- For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
- Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
- For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com
- For information about business tourism in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com
2018 Year of Young People
- The Year of Young People 2018 will be the next of the Scottish Government’s series of themed years, following the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.
- The Year of Young People (YoYP 2018) will inspire Scotland through its young people aged 8 to 26, celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally
- Central to YoYP 2018 will be a celebratory events programme that puts young people at the heart of its development and delivery, creating new and valuable experiences for young Scots and the wider public, with links to the inaugural 2018 European Championships.
- Over 200 young people throughout Scotland are currently being recruited to become YoYP 2018 Ambassadors. Ambassadors will ensure that people and organisations in their communities know about what’s happening and will lead on projects and activities to create events and opportunities to celebrate young people.
- The Year of Young People will have six themes which were developed in co-production with young people themselves:
- oParticipation – looking at how young people can influence public services and decisions which affect their lives
- oEducation – creating a stronger role for young people in shaping their learning
- oHealth and Wellbeing – supporting young people to lead healthier, active lives and have opportunities to learn about and improve their mental health and resilience
- oEquality and Discrimination – broadcasting the value of young Scots, challenging negative perceptions of young people, and supporting young people to take leading roles in challenging discrimination in all its forms.
- oEnterprise and regeneration – celebrating young people’s role in innovation, entrepreneurship and the Scottish economy as well as making Scotland a greener and more pleasant place to live
- oCulture – celebrating young people’s talent and contribution to Scottish culture and arts.
- Further information on what’s happening and how people can get involved can be found on the new website www.yoyp2018.scot or @YOYP2018 on Twitter.
EventScotland is working to make Scotland the perfect stage for events. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors. For further information about EventScotland, its funding programmes and latest event news visit www.EventScotland.org. Follow EventScotland on Twitter @EventScotNews.
EventScotland is a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, the national tourism organisation which markets Scotland as a tourism destination across the world, gives support to the tourism industry and brings sustainable tourism growth to Scotland. For more information about VisitScotland see www.visitscotland.org or for consumer information on Scotland as a visitor destination see www.visitscotland.com.