THE world's fastest man in a kilt will try to retain his title next month on what has been described as the world's most beautiful 10k route.

Toby Tanser, a former international athlete based in New York, will travel across the Atlantic to Balmoral estate to defend his unofficial title.

The Tartan 10k is the main event on the day's race card on April 30 with up to 2000 runners expected to participate for the chance to win a trip for two to a race in New York.

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The winner of the trip will be selected at random, providing he or she is wearing a standard or medium weight kilt.

"We don't want men, or women for that matter, stealing a march on the competition by wearing a mini, " quipped Quentin Macfarlane one of the event organisers. "All running attire will be closely inspected to make sure it conforms with regulations."

Tanser set the unofficial world record for a kilted 10k with a time of 30 minutes and 54 seconds a decade ago in Stockholm. He is not exuding confidence about his chances, though. "I'm a bit past my sell by date and I'm sure there'll be quite a few guys capable of beating me, but running in a kilt is fun and I'm looking forward to it."

One of his main challengers is likely to be Alan Reid, from Peterhead Athletic Club, who won a similar event at Fettercairn two years ago, but a number of top local runners have also set their sights on the record.

This year's race is being organised by Balmoral Road Races Ltd, a partnership of local interests established when the future of the event was put in jeopardy after the previous organiser pulled out when the BBC withdrew its coverage.

The estate was keen to keep the race at Balmoral and together with Aberdeenshire Council and other supporters they reorganised the event.