15:00 - 17:45 - Registration
18:00 - All runners & walkers start
NOTE: We will email you a specific registration time between 15:00 - 17:45 a few days before the event. Please be prepared to arrive from 15:00 if you are given an earlier registration time.
Start Grid Layout
The start grid will be sectioned into three areas: Race/Run/Walk
Racers aiming to finish in the top 10% can position themselves at the front, general runners in the middle and walkers at the back.
Introduction (please read)
Registration (entry) and payment is online via Eventbrite only. No new registrations on event day. On event day you must go to registration with your printed PDF ticket and you must show official photo ID (passport or driving licence).
You must be 18+ years old on the day of the event.
We don't issue refunds, but if you contact us we can arrange to swap your place if you have a replacement. We do not accept swaps or replacement in the last week before the event.
Creating a team
You can ‘create a team’ when you first register through Eventbrite. Alternatively you can log back into your Eventbrite account later and create a team then. Once you have created a team you can invite others to join.
NOTE: If you create a team, remember to join that team yourself!
There is no limit to the size of your team. The race results will include your team name, and you will be able to see your individual as well as your combined team time.
Swapping your place
Please contact us if you want to arrange to swap your place if you have a replacement runner/walker. We do not accept swaps or replacements in the last week before the event.
Deferring your registration
Unfortunately we cannot accept deferrals to next year’s event.
Registration cut-off date
You must be registered and have made all team changes 1 week before the event.
You will receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite confirming your registration. You MUST print and sign the attached PDF ticket and bring it to registration at the event along with your photo ID.
Changing your details after registration
Log into your Eventbrite account and edit your details whenever you like up to 1 week before the event. The only detail you cannot change is the name of the participant. If you would like to arrange a swap or replacement runner please contact us.
Not receiving emails?
We’re sorry you aren’t receiving our emails. We’ll make sure this is corrected as soon as possible. Please check your spam folder, and if our emails aren’t there then please contact us and we’ll resend any information you may have missed.
Please check your spam or junk folders!
Documents you must bring (please read)
How to register at the event
When to go to the registration desk
We will email you a specific registration time between 15:00-17:45 a few days before the event. Please be prepared to arrive from 15:00 if you are given an earlier registration time.
ILLUMINATOR Registration Fees (excluding Eventbrite bookings fees)
8 January (midnight)
29 January (midnight)
26 March (midnight)
10 September (midnight)
1 October (midnight)
22 October (midnight)
What the cost includes
What the fee is spent on
Our aim is to provide you with only the best services, safety cover and event experience. We very much hope you find it good value and that you will want to come back every year! We always welcome your feedback on this.
Here are some of the things the fee covers:
Atmospheric lighting, van and trailer transport, insurance, first-aid and paramedic cover, water and food stations, licensing and stakeholder liaison, route marking and signage, professional event staff, venue hire, facilities hire, vehicle hire, car parking hire, sound system hire, timing system hire, event photography, post-event clean-up.
We don't issue refunds, but if you contact us we can arrange to swap your place if you have a replacement. We don't accept swaps or replacements in the last 14 days before the event.
Raise money for Braemar Mountain Rescue Association
Volunteers from BMRA will be at the race to support the event and you!
Find out easy ways to raise money for Braemar Mountain Rescue Association here.
Running - compulsory equipment and clothing
Participants must be self-sufficient for running at night on rough trails WHATEVER the weather. Random spot checks will be conducted at registration and on the start line - you must have ALL the equipment listed below. The following items are COMPULSORY:
Race clothing and footwear
Walking - compulsory equipment and clothing
Participants must be self-sufficient for walking at night on rough trails WHATEVER the weather. Random spot-checks will be conducted at registration and on the start line - you must have ALL the equipment listed below. The following items are COMPULSORY:
Clothing and footwear
What else to bring
The following list is for items that may also be useful before, during and after the event. They are non-compulsory items, but please consider them carefully:
Pre- & post-event equipment
Optional event equipment
Running - training tips
The race requires sufficient aerobic endurance to complete a 25km / 15 mile run on rough terrain, including considerable ascent and descent in the dark. In addition you must have the physical strength and resilience to look after yourself on exposed ground at night in inclement weather. Be prepared!
If you are new to running or are intending to increase your training load then it is a good idea to visit your doctor for a medical or health assessment, particularly if you smoke, have a medical condition, are overweight, or if there is a history of heart disease in your family.
We strongly advise that you test your head torch whilst trail running at night (outwith street-lit areas). Make sure the light is strong enough for you to run confidently over rough terrain and that is lasts long enough (remember to take spare batteries!).
Allow plenty of time to prepare yourself for the Illuminator. Slow and steady wins the training race. Regular shorter runs a few times a week are more productive than one big run a week. Indoor treadmills or elliptical trainers can be useful if the weather is horrible but nothing beats the real thing!
Running with experienced like-minded people can really help you train successfully. We recommend the Deeside Runners as our local friendly club. Scottish Athletics and Scottish Hill Racing can help you find your local club if you live further afield.
Walking - training tips
Walking the Illuminator requires sufficient stamina to complete a 25km / 15 mile walk on rough terrain, including considerable ascent and descent in the dark. In addition you must have the equipment and resilience to look after yourself on exposed ground at night in inclement weather. Be prepared!
If you are new to walking or are intending to increase your training load then it is a good idea to visit your doctor for a medical or health assessment, particularly if you smoke, have a medical condition, are overweight, or if there is a history of heart disease in your family.
We strongly advise that you test your head torch whilst trail walking at night (outwith street-lit areas). Make sure the light is strong enough for you to walk confidently over rough terrain and that is lasts long enough (remember to take spare batteries!).
Allow plenty of time to prepare yourself for the Illuminator. Build up your distance slowly.ﾠ Regular short walks a few times a week are more productive than one big walk a week. Indoor treadmills or elliptical trainers can be useful if the weather is horrible but nothing beats getting outside for a brisk walk!
Walking with experienced like-minded people can really help you get outdoors and gain the skills, experience and confidence necessary for upland walking on your own. We recommend the Stonehaven Mountaineering and Hillwalking Club as our local friendly club. The Mountaineering Council of Scotland and British Mountaineering Council can help you find your local club if you live further afield.
Illness and injury
If you feel unwell or become injured at any point during the build-up to the event, stop and get medical advice immediately. Once you have the all-clear from your doctor to return to training remember that you CANNOT catch up on what you may have missed by training to excess.
Return to exercise slowly and build up your distance gradually.
We wish you a speedy return to health and wellbeing! Happy trails.
Eating and drinking
Drink & snack station
Drinking water, hot fruit juice and high-energy snacks are available approximately halfway around the course. Hot tea, coffee and a snack are awaiting you at the end.
How difficult is the route?
This depends on how fit you are and how hard you push yourself! The route is 25km long and includes steep ascent and descent on rough vehicle tracks and paths. Severe weather conditions (high winds, rain, sleet, hail, snow) at night may well add significant difficulty. You will need to be ready for a challenge that requires stamina, some aerobic fitness and lots of mental determination.
GPX Route File
This file is for upload onto smart phones, GPS watches or other GPS-enabled devices. It may assist you to track your progress around the route. If you don’t have one of these devices don’t worry! The course will be well way-marked and distance markers will tell you how far you have travelled.
Instruction for Garmin devices:
Download GPX File
1st Male 1st Female
2nd Male 2nd Female
3rd Male 3rd Female
NOTE: You can be in a team and still win the fastest individual prize!
Prizes will include some fantastic outdoor equipment, exact details coming soon!
A prize giving ceremony will take place at approx. 22:00 on the evening of the event.
How is the race timed?
The event is timed with electronic timing chips. A small chip given to you during registration at the event should be attached to your ankle or walking boot. Your start time and finish time is recorded and your overall time is then calculated. Results will be immediately available on finishing and will be posted on our website and social media shortly after the event.
Race results are posted on our website the morning after the event has finished.
Fabulous finisher’s mug
We like to do things a bit differently! Instead of a cold metal medal we give you a steaming hot mug of tea or coffee in your very own Illuminator-branded mug. There will be a tasty snack available to accompany your drink.
Professional photographers will be snapping away all night. Pictures will be available online after the event on our Facebook page – they are free to download for personal use only. We can’t guarantee to get a shot of everyone but we’ll do our best!
Taking your own photos
You are very welcome to take images of the event, but to protect the interest and viability of the professional photography team please do not offer to sell them online or through any other means.
Please note there is no access for spectators along the route in Glen Tanar - but there are good photo opportunities around the start and finish.
Press & media
We welcome all media coverage. Please contact us for more information.
Is the race safe?
Due to the nature of the event, the exposed route, terrain and location there is an inherent risk to your wellbeing. Whilst it is impossible to guarantee your safety, we do consider it paramount. Detailed arrangements will be in place to ensure everyone enjoys an adventurous and challenging experience. Professional event staff and first-aid providers will be located at intervals around the course (please read our Terms and Conditions and Medical Disclaimer downloads - see bottom of page).
To ensure the safety of all participants and staff at the Illuminator we will be operating a strict cut-off time. All participants must reach the light zone / water station at the halfway point by 22:30 latest. There is an additional cut off 4km from the finish - all participants must reach here before midnight. If you are timed out, our staff will look after you and ensure you are safely transported back to the event centre.
What happens if I can’t complete the course?
If you feel you are unable to complete the course please inform one of our marshals and they, or a support vehicle, will assist you. However, you should expect to be self-sufficient around the course and prepared for bad weather and other challenges! (Please let us know of any medical issues).
If you need medication please carry it with you around the course and ensure you have declared this on your registration form. If you have further questions regarding the event please contact us.
Parking is completely free in the Community Centre car park and surrounding streets. Please park with respect to local residents.
Please help us reduce traffic and carbon emissions by car sharing.
Glen Tanar has several luxury self-catering cottages that sleep 2-11 people. Each house has its own special qualities be it Rowan Cottage, a little stone bothy, or West Millfield, a traditional granite cottage. All are furnished to a high standard. Glen Tanar is the perfect place to relax and explore Royal Deeside.
The Boat Inn has eight new ensuite bedrooms, many with panoramic views of the River Dee. Wifi, TV, tea & coffee making facilities, walk-in showers and orthopaedic mattresses come as standard. Freshly prepared and locally sourced meals including game from Glen Tanar Estate will make your stay a culinary delight.
Visit Scotland has more information on local accommodation.
Where to leave valuables
Please leave anything in your vehicle that you don't want to take with you. You can access the car park after registration. There will be no key or documents drop.
There is a limited number of showers available in the Community Centre.
There will be plenty of toilets close to the start line including disabled access toilets.
There is disabled access into the event base in Aboyne Community Centre and parts of the start line area. There is no access for spectators along the route in Glen Tanar.
Food & drink
All participants will receive a snack after the event. There is no food for sale at the event for participants or spectators.
The Boat Inn will provide meals for participants who book in advance until late in the evening. Freshly prepared, locally sourced meals, craft ales and spirits will end your evening with a culinary delight. Phone: 013398 86137 to book your table.
Spectators are welcome at the event base and start/finish line area. Please note it may be very cold so be prepared. There is no food for sale at the event.
There is no access for spectators along the route in Glen Tanar.
Sorry, please leave the mutts at home. The event base is based at a Community Centre where dogs are not allowed.
Children are welcome to accompany spectators at our events. The Illuminator, however, happens at night and the weather may be cold and wet, so please take that into account.
Event Terms and Conditions
During online registration you agree and consent to the following event terms and conditions by ticking a box:
Your entry to and participation of your selected event (‘the Event’, ‘Illuminator’ or ‘Illuminator half marathon’) is provided to you by Firetrail Events Limited, a company incorporated under the Companies Acts (Registered No. SC423552) and having its Registered Office at 28 Balnagowan Wynd, Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, AB34 5GY (‘us’, ‘our’ or ‘we’), subject to these terms and conditions. References to the Event include all aspects of the Event organised by us including access, parking, the venue and the activity. By entering and participating in the Event you understand and accept the following terms and conditions:
Nature of the Event, Risks and Your Responsibilities
- You knowingly and freely assume and accept all such risks, both known and unknown, and take full responsibility for your participation in all elements of the Event. You have familiarised yourself with the information about the Event shown on our website and in the description below.
- The Event is designed to be challenging and participants’ resilience, fitness and mental toughness will be tested. You can run or walk solo or as part of a team. The objective is to complete the route you are registered for.
- The Event will typically be held in challenging outdoor environments that might include: extreme cold; adverse weather conditions such as snow, ice, fog, humidity and rain; involve extreme changes in elevation; demand significant and prolonged physical effort; and involve an inherent risk of contact with hazardous flora and fauna. The Event is a hazardous activity that presents a significant physical and mental challenge to all participants.
- You acknowledge, accept and understand that the route, roads, trails, paths and all terrain involved in the Event are physically and mentally challenging and hazardous, and due to the nature of the Event, there is an inherent risk of acute illness, injury or even death.
- You understand that hazards within the Event may be magnified due to the fact that the Event is often conducted under what may be extreme conditions and circumstances.
- You recognise the inherent risks associated with the Event and consider yourself physically and mentally able to take part in the Event.
- You are responsible for your own safety throughout the entire Event and you are taking part in the Event entirely at your own risk.
- You will adhere to any instructions given to you by the organisers, officials and marshals before, during and after the Event, and we may stop you from taking part in the Event at any time.
- You agree to (i) behave appropriately at all times; (ii) act respectfully towards all people, equipment, property and facilities; and (iii) participate in the Event with a cooperative and positive attitude.
- You will notify the organisers, officials and marshals as soon as possible if you believe or become aware that any aspects of the Event route, facilities or equipment are unsafe or pose unreasonable risks to yourself or others.
- You accept full and sole responsibility for the condition and adequacy of all personal equipment that you bring to or use at the Event.
Payment, Entry and Registration Pre-Conditions and Liabilities
- For safety reasons all participants MUST bring official photo ID to event registration. Acceptable forms of ID include passport, driving licence, firearms licence or other forms of national photo ID.
- You will be at least 18 years of age on the date of the Event.
- Your entry fee paid to Firetrail Events is non-refundable.
- Your entry is not secured until the Event entry fee is received by us.
- We are not responsible for loss of or damage to property or for any additional costs you may incur in connection with the Event.
- You will pay us and any persons or organisations acting on our behalf for any damages, loss or costs caused by any of your negligent or destructive behaviour during the Event.
- We reserve the right to cancel or close down the Event if we consider there is an unacceptable risk to the participants, our staff or the general public. In this highly unlikely happening (e.g. extreme weather) we will do our utmost to reorganise the Event for another date but cannot guarantee a replacement and we will not be able to refund the entry fee or any other costs associated with the Event.
- You must register on the date and time as specified by the Event Organiser.
- Participants must display their timing chip provided at Registration at all times and agree to be skin marked.
- The Event has insurance cover; however, we recommend that participants have appropriate insurance cover for their personal health, equipment and event cancellation.
- If you wish cover for personal injury you must make your own arrangements.
- Each participant accepts full responsibility for any fees or costs incurred or arising from the need for repatriation within or outwith the UK.
- Firetrail Events Ltd. reserve the right to refuse entry to the Event to anyone with inappropriate equipment or clothing.
- Participants must ensure they adhere to the Eventﾠ ‘compulsory equipment’ ﾠrules – these will be strictly enforced.
Rules of the Race
- You will not give your Event entry to anyone else, pretend to be anyone else or swap any participant identification methods during the Event.
- You must follow the instructions provided by Event Officials, Marshals and Event Organisers at all times.
- All volunteers and staff involved in the Event will be clearly identifiable. The marshals do not have the authority to stop motorists; they are there for your safety and that of other road users. It is the responsibility of each participant to take the correct course.
- Participants will be set off in a mass start.
- If you see anyone who requires additional help or medical assistance you will help to the best of your ability and report the situation to an Event marshal as soon as possible.
- You must not deviate from the official Event route which will have directional signage throughout.
- The marking of the route does not necessarily indicate that the road, trail or path is free from hazards and the participant is deemed to make their own decision about whether it is safe for them to proceed.
- Firetrail Events Ltd. insist that you use the route shown. If you choose a different route you do so entirely at your own risk.
- Firetrail Events Ltd. reserve the right to shorten or alter the published route at any time. Participants do not have the right to claim a refund if the route is changed.
- If you retire from the Event or leave the route at any point you will inform the nearest marshal or staff member as soon as possible and follow their directions as to the safest return route to the start/finish area where you must inform Event HQ of your retirement and return your electronic timing chip.
- A backmarker will follow the last participants on the route. Any participant we consider unable to complete the route within a reasonable time will be asked to either get in a support vehicle and be taken back to the event base or the participant will be moved forward on the course.
- The Event Organiser will make every effort to provide participants with a race time but is not responsible for any electronic timing issues.
During online registration you agree and consent to the following medical disclaimer by ticking a box:
- You understand and acknowledge that participation in the Event may cause injury or injuries that may be categorised as minor, serious or catastrophic (see below).
- Minor injuries are common and may include but are not limited to: scrapes, bruises, sprains, nausea and cuts.
- Serious injuries are less common but do sometimes occur. They include but are not limited to: property loss or damage, broken bones, torn ligaments, concussion, exposure, cold or heat-related illness, mental stress or exhaustion and infection.
- Catastrophic injuries are rare; however, we feel that our participants should be aware of the possibility. These injuries can include permanent disabilities, spinal injuries and paralysis, stroke, heart attack and even death.
- In the event of an accident or illness whilst taking part in this event, you hereby give permission to our staff and contracted first aiders to initiate first-aid treatment, any necessary medical transportation and to inform your next of kin.
- You understand that you are taking part in the Event in a remote and rural location at night where there may be a longer medical response time in the event of emergency.
- You agree to take part in this Event at your own risk and you will not hold us or our contractors responsible in the event of acute illness, injury or death.
- You have submitted true and accurate information of your medical history and present condition that may affect your participation or medical treatment in any part of the Event.
- You will inform us if any medical conditions have changed between submitting this information and the Event happening.
- We strongly recommend that you get personal health insurance for the Event.
- We will hire professional contractors to provide first-aid assistance who will have their own insurance. We take no responsibility for the actions of contracted services involved in the Event.
- We strongly recommend that you consult a doctor before undertaking any strenuous exercise, training programme or participating in the Event.
- Throughout the Event, you acknowledge and accept that you may be checked for suitability to continue on grounds of capability based on your state of health. If any of the marshals and medical staff believe that your safety is compromised by continuing to participate, they reserve the right to ask you to stop. If you continue in the Event you will no longer be officially participating in the Event and we take no further responsibility for your participation.
Your Personal Data
During online registration you agree and consent to the following data disclaimer by ticking a box:
- You may request access to, change or delete personal data held by us at any time.
- We may occasionally email you information regarding future events. You may opt out of this at any time.
- You give permission to use personal data provided by you (including medical information) and collected by us through entry and participation at our events. This will be used for administration, research and publicity of our events only. You also consent to your personal information being provided to third party providers who perform services on our behalf such as first-aid providers, marshals and safety staff. The information provided to these companies will be only such information which is strictly required for performing their service. In particular, you specifically acknowledge the necessity for us to provide those engaged in providing first aid and marshalling services with the medical information that you provide to us, in order to ensure your welfare during the Event.
- We may use your name (and that of organisations you represent), voice, written text, photographs or film taken during the event you are competing in for the publicity of our events (e.g. online, print or broadcast media).
- You give us permission to share your personal data with the nominated event charity. This will be used for administration, research and publicity of the nominated event charity only. This information may include your name (and that of organisations you represent), voice, written text, photographs or film taken during the event you are competing in for publicity purposes (e.g. online, print or broadcast media).
- The phone numbers of your next of kin and medical information will not be used or shared with any third party, except with medical services during the event you are taking part in.
We take the view that everything we do has an impact on the environment. Our aim is to reduce any negative impact of this event as much as possible whilst promoting responsible use of the natural environment.