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Family research on the run for couple


By Kyle Ritchie


A trip to the north-east for a running couple will see them take on a 10k run and and opportunity to do family history research in Portsoy.

Runners from more than 20 countries beyond the UK will be lining up on the start line for next month’s Great Run Aberdeen half-marathon and 10k.

And while the majority are from elsewhere in Europe, some are travelling from as far afield as Canada, Australia, the United States, and Costa Rica.

Among them are Canadian 10k participants Debra Brown and her husband John Harper (68) whose family originally came from Portsoy.

Canadians John Harper and Debra Brown are travelling from Victoria, British Columbia, to take part in the Great Run Aberdeen 10k and will travel to Portsoy to research family history.
Canadians John Harper and Debra Brown are travelling from Victoria, British Columbia, to take part in the Great Run Aberdeen 10k and will travel to Portsoy to research family history.

"Visiting Scotland is a lifelong dream for me,’ said Debra (62).

"We have three very full weeks planned and when I searched online for a fun run we could schedule into the trip, up came Great Run Aberdeen — we couldn’t resist."

The couple live in Victoria, British Columbia, and are both retired after working in local government.

"Now we have time to do some of the travelling we’ve been looking forward to,’ she added.

"John’s family comes from the Portsoy area. He’s visited a couple of times and is looking forward to following up on some ancestry research.

"My mother was born in Glasgow and I grew up listening to so many stories of our family and home, and her sadness at having to leave when she was very young."

As well as Great Run Aberdeen on August 25, their whistle stop tour of Scotland will also see Debra and John take in the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow and the Edinburgh Tattoo.

She added: "We’re heading in as many directions as we can."

"We’ve both been wearing our Great Run training gear for the past few months and getting some very positive feedback.

"We have both completed some local 10ks — our longest race to date has been a half-marathon. If we finish the Aberdeen 10k in 80 minutes, we’ll be very pleased.

"I’m coming back from injury, so just finishing and enjoying the day is the plan — soaking up the sights and sounds and making a Great Run memory."

The Great Aberdeen Run event includes a family run open to everyone over the age of three, as well as the 10k and half-marathon.

Runners will take in the sights of Union Street out to the coast where they can enjoy views across the North Sea.

There will be bands playing at the event along with members of the public cheering on participants along the route.

More information about the event can be found at greatrun.org



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