The Deeside Way

The Deeside Way, also known as The Royal Deeside Line, currently runs from Aberdeen to Banchory with additional sections from Aboyne to Ballater and in the Blackhall Forest, on the outskirts of Banchory. Ultimately, the aim is to join these sections with a final uninterrupted route of approximately 45 miles from Aberdeen to Ballater. The Deeside Way starts at the Polmuir Road entrance to Duthie Park, just behind the David Welch Winter Gardens. The route runs through Aberdeen, Peterculter, Drumoak, Banchory, Kincardine O’Neil, Aboyne, Dinnet and Ballater and passes close to Crathes Castle and Drum Castle.

The track is now part of the National Cycle Network, as National Route 195.

History

The Deeside Railway Line opened in September 1853, running between Aberdeen and Banchory. This was extended in December 1859 to include Aboyne, and, in 1866, to Ballater.

“The line was planned originally to end at Braemar but Queen Victoria was afraid her privacy would be disturbed by hordes of tourists at Balmoral so she bought land along the route between Ballater and Braemar to prevent this.”(http://www.cyclegrampian.co.uk/trail/deeside.html)

Like so many other railways, the 1963 Beeching Report sealed the fate of the line and it closed to passengers and freight in 1966.

The D33 Ultramarathon

The D33 Ultramarathon was first run in 2010, from Duthie Park in Aberdeen to the outskirts of Banchory and back. This out and back race of 33 miles in duration is an increasingly popular event and is often the first ultramarathon that people run, myself included. At just 5 miles over the 26.2 miles of a marathon it is a great ultra for first timers and seasoned ultramarathoners alike.

The humorous race instructions from the D33 website:

“The concept is simple, turn up at the Duthie park car park in Aberdeen and register and run the first section of the Deeside way to Banchory, check in with marshall, turn round and run back. Total distance out and back is 33 miles. No entry conditions apply, if you think you can then enter and do it. If you get half way and find you can’t, phone registration with your race number, tell them you are a loser and take the bus home. Support, there is none required but if you want your mum to meet you half way with a jam sandwich then thats ok with us. Checkpoint at 1/4 way, half way and 3/4 way, roughly 8ish miles, 16 and a half miles and 25ish miles. Get to half way turn around point, then run back. You get water at the checkpoints, if drop bag needed at the checkpoints clearly mark your bag with your number or carry yourself or get from your Mum. Cut offs – This is a race for runners it’s not for walkers so lets be sensible, I want to be in the pub at a reasonable hour so run as fast as you can.”

Deeside Way Route Maps

Resources

The Deeside Way

Did you know that the D33 route is only a portion of The Deeside Way? I certainly didn’t until today when I researched The Deeside Way for inclusion in the routes section of the website.

The Deeside Way is an, as yet, incomplete route of 45 miles, stretching from Aberdeen all the way to Ballater. The majority of the route exists but there are, unfortunately, sections which have yet to be completed. A 45 mile ultramarathon from Aberdeen to Ballater certainly sounds interesting!

The next D33 is scheduled for 16th March 2013 with entry opening on 1st January. At 33 miles, it is an excellent stepping stone from marathon to ultramarathon distance and, as such, is a highly popular first ultra for many people, myself included. It was my first ultra back in March 2010 and I have to be thankful that it was ‘only’ 33 miles. I still remember crossing the line feeling as if there was a huge hole where my stomach once was. Nutrition was not my strong point on my first ultra.

The D33 is the first race of the Scottish Ultra Marathon Series and, if training has been lacking, serves as a timely reminder in time for longer SUMS races such as the Fling, Cateran and West Highland Way Race.

Hopefully see you all in March.

D33 Ultramarathon 2013

The D33 will be back for the 4th time on 16th March for ’33 miles of no frills racing’. It’s a great event that has gone from strength to strength over the years and is an excellent step up from a marathon for anyone considering their first ultra. I will hopefully be back for my 4th go at the distance (2012 race report) and, hopefully, I can get another PB.

From the D33 Website:

“Total distance out and back is 33 miles. No entry conditions apply, if you think you can then enter and do it. If you get half way and find you can’t, phone registration with your race number, tell them you are a loser and take the bus home.

Support, there is none required but if you want your mum to meet you half way with a jam sandwich then that’s ok with us.

Checkpoint at 1/4 way, half way and 3/4 way, roughly 8ish miles, 16 and a half miles and 25ish miles. 

Get to half way turn around point, then run back.

You get water at the checkpoints, if drop bag needed at the checkpoints clearly mark your bag with your number or carry yourself or get from your Mum.

Cut offs – This is a race for runners it’s not for walkers so lets be sensible, I want to be in the pub at a reasonable hour so run as fast as you can.”