DALBEATTIE Forest will be alive with the sound of running shoes and bike brakes this weekend.
The eighth annual Dalbeattie Hardrock Challenge takes place on Sunday, with the junior version of the duathlon taking place 24 hours earlier.
So far 196 seniors have signed up, with 95 athletes set to compete in the junior event that kicks things off on Saturday morning.
There are two categories, with the 8-11-year-olds getting underway at 11 am and the 12-15-year-olds setting off at noon.
The first race sees youngsters battle it out over a 500m run and a 3km bike ride, with the second featuring a 3km run and an 8km ride.
The event starts and finishes at Richorn Trailhead car park and events for the junior event can be taken on the day. The prizegiving will be held as soon as possible after the end of the race.
The senior event also starts from the car park on Sunday, but there are no on-the-day entries.
Competitors must tackle a 10 mile run before a 16-mile bike ride through Dalbeattie Forest.
The action gets under way at 11am although early arrival is advised to sign in.
The prizegiving will take place in the Kings Arms Hotel in Dalbeattie shortly after the end of the race.
Last year saw the end of husband and wife Steven and Rennell Brennan’s dominance of the event.
Teenager Jack Taylor prevented Steven from taking his fourth successive win, while Kerry MacPhee ended Rennell’s similar winning run in the ladies race.
Jack needed two hours, 21 minutes and 45 seconds to complete the course and land the Kinnairds Cup.
Steven’s reward for finishing second was retaining the Neilson Cup for first male vet.
Kerry’s time of two hours, 50 minutes and five seconds in the ladies race was a new course record and helped her win the Ronald Murray Shield.
Second place Alison Wilson won the Dalbeattie Forest Partnership Shield after she came home second, with Rennell holding onto the Hardrock Challenge Shield for first female vet when she took third.
Other winners included Ally Wight, who once again won the B Smith Cup for first local Stewartry man and the Fraser Cup for first Dalbeattie competitor.
Shirley Sing was top female supervet, with Jim Stevenson taking the supervet prize.
The Bell Shield for the team prize went to Steven Smith and Paul Crotty, who narrowly beat Joasia Zakrzewski an Ross Green. They won the RuariWebster Shield for Mixed Teams.
Ross also won the Robertson Gemini Prize for fastest bike time, with Tom Lill the fastest runner.
The quickest women’s team and winners of the Auley Webster Shield were Crinan Gould and Sam Hill.
Quickest vets were Graeme Cross and Sam Sherwin, who won the James Murray Cup.
And Marion McPhail and Steven Pope won the Howard Shield for the team with the highest combined age of 110.
The junior event also saw fierce competition with William McCartney coming out on top of the 8-9-year-old boys section. Alex Livingstone took the girls title.
In the 10-11-year-olds Laughlin Young took victory, with Anna Brown winning the girls event.
The longer 12-13-year-olds event saw success for Craig Gault and Katherine Malone.
And it was Cameron McLean who won the 14-15-year-olds competition, with Jenna Fenwick top girl.
The top team in the 8-11-year-olds was Farrel O’Sullivan and Adam Goodfellow.
And the 12-15 team winners were Alexander Craig and Adam Hughes.
The event would not be possible without the support of sponsors and this year’s generous organisations include: Austins Solicitors, Castle Douglas Cycling Centre, Dalbeattie Finance Company, Dalbeattie Forest Lodges, Dalbeattie Lions Club, ETB Technologies, The Galloway News, Howie Forest Products, The Kings Arms Hotel, Kinnairds Supermarket, Robertson Gemini.