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ACVO News June 2024

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Jul 4, 2024

New Route Unveiled for Mel’s Union Street Mile at Celebrate Aberdeen Festival

Gathimba Edwards Foundation (GEF) is thrilled to announce an exciting new route for the Mel’s Union Street Mile races, a highlight of the Celebrate Aberdeen festival. This year’s event which takes place on Saturday 31st August, will allow runners take in several of the city’s iconic landmarks on this unique course.

Originally held at Aberdeen Sports Village (ASV), Mel’s Mile found its new home on Union Street in the second year, thanks to the support of Celebrate Aberdeen. This change has allowed runners of many ages and abilities the rare opportunity to run down Aberdeen’s main street.

The 2024 Mel’s Union Street Mile will start at Holburn Junction on Union Street, turning left along Union Terrace, passing His Majesty’s Theatre (HMT), descending and ascending Schoolhill, turning right past Marischal College, and finishing on Broad Street. This new route is necessitated by road closures for one year only and offers participants a fresh perspective on Aberdeen’s cityscape.

Organised this year in association with Celebrate Aberdeen by Myles Edwards and his colleagues at GEF,  the race is named Mel’s Union Street Mile, in memory of Myles’ dad Mel who passed away in 2019.

Myles Edwards said, “Prior to my dad’s passing, he had spoken about how wonderful it would be to have an event in his memory,” said Myles. “The mile is a distance with great history but one which is not run very often. I know he would be delighted to think that a special mile race down the main street of his home city was to be named in his memory. We are hugely grateful to everyone at Celebrate Aberdeen for this opportunity and look forward to a fantastic event.”

This year’s race is sponsored by leading Scottish law firm Burness Paull, whose Marischal Square office overlooks the race finish line. Lynne Gray, partner at Burness Paull said: “We’re very proud to sponsor Mel’s Union Street Mile in association with Celebrate Aberdeen. The race is a fantastic opportunity for the local community and visitors alike to get together for a family friendly sporting event while supporting a charity that has a such positive impact on the lives of children here in the north-east and in Kenya. 

As a firm, working together and connecting with clients and our local communities is intrinsic to who we are, and coming together for a good cause is something Aberdeen as a city does so well. Mel’s Union Street Mile is a legacy that continues to create positive impact in Aberdeen and beyond. I hope everyone who takes part has a brilliant day.”

The iconic Mel’s Mile has 3 races for adults, Secondary 1-6 and Primary 3-7 children.  They form one of three races in the GEF Safari Series races licensed by Scottish Athletics, giving runners the chance to compete over three different distances whilst also receiving a Kenyan safari animal medal at each event. 

Since the Safari Series began, it has raised £12,347, which has been instrumental in supporting over 650 children in Kenya and north-east Scotland and building 59 houses for 262 children and their families in Kenya. This year, the foundation aims to surpass last year’s total of £5,312, continuing their vital work in improving the lives of under-privileged children and their families in Kenya. 

The 2024 series saw the Hazlehead 5k and kids 1k take place on Saturday 22nd June and will be concluded with the Prime Four 3k and kids 1k on Sunday 6th  October. Entries for Mel’s Union Street Mile and the Prime Four 3k/kids 1k are open on Gathimba Edwards Foundation’s website www.gathimbaedwardsfoundation.org/safari-series/

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