Runners get the wind in their sails

Windfarm races stages around giant turbines

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Over a thousand people descended on the UK’s largest onshore windfarm last weekend to take part in a one-of-a-kind running event.

Run the Blades, held at ScottishPower Renewables’ Whitelee Windfarm in East Renfrewshire, took place on July 20-21, with more than 1200 competitors taking part in a 10km run, half-marathon and 50km ultramarathon around the giant turbines.

Organised by Breaking Strain Events, the event was sponsored by ScottishPower Renewables, and received additional funding from EventScotland, part of the VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

Originally starting with 44 competitors, Run the Blades has grown rapidly since the inaugural event in 2015.

The designated routes took runners through the moorlands and around the rare wildlife which inhabits the windfarm, as well as weaving around the 215 steadily spinning turbines that populate the site.

Families and attendees were able to partake in activities at the windfarm, as well as support the runners, including running in a family mile. Participants were rewarded for their efforts with medals and other commemorative memorabilia.

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Lindsay McQuade, chief executive of ScottishPower Renewables, said: “Welcoming so many runners, families and spectators to our windfarm over the past few days has been an absolute delight. We were thrilled to throw our support behind Run the Blades and it’s been a pleasure to be a part of such a fantastic event. Congratulations to everyone who took part and we’re already looking forward to welcoming next year’s contestants to Whitelee.”

Lee Peyton, director of Run the Blades, said: “It has been an incredible couple of days in what has been the biggest and best Run the Blades yet. The runners have all been fantastic and I would like to thank everyone who took part, ScottishPower Renewables and EventScotland for making this such as fantastic event.”

Gordon Smith, regional director for VisitScotland, said: “I am delighted to hear that Run the Blades has enjoyed its busiest year yet and very pleased that EventScotland’s support helped this happen. This unique event highlights the area’s offering and shows why Scotland is the perfect stage for events.”

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