Runners across Scotland and around the UK are getting ready to take part in the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run, an event that celebrates runners of all ages and abilities as they take on their own personal challenges across a two day festival of running in the city on the 28th and 29th September.
Proud partners Bank of Scotland are celebrating their 11th year in partnership with the event. Staff are once again supporting Mental Health UK with almost 350 colleagues taking part across the weekend, many running for the charity partnership which aims to promote the vital work Mental Health UK is doing to tackle a range of mental health challenges faced by communities right across the UK, including communities around Scotland.
Tara Foley, Managing Director Bank of Scotland, said: “2019 marks our 11th year as title partner of the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run, a longstanding association we are particularly proud of. Since 2009, we have seen this fantastic event become one of Scotland’s biggest and best running events. The weekend of family activities and elite races, gathers runners of all ages and abilities in a true celebration of running and community spirit. I’d like to wish all the participants over the weekend, the very best of luck”
From toddlers taking on their first running strides in the crowd-pleasing Toddler Dash, to budding athletes in the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run Family Mile and Junior events, Saturday in George Square will be a fun filled day of activity for the whole family. Races will be started by the inspirational Scottish athlete Eilidh Doyle, and entertainment will be provided in the form of the ever-popular mascot race which see’s giant characters from some of the cities best known charities and organisations compete for glory in full costume.
Sunday will see world class elite athletes line up for the half marathon distance alongside ordinary runners taking on the 10k or half marathon challenge. Both courses take runners on a sight-seeing tour of the city before they experience the exhilarating finish line feeling for themselves as they pass under McLennan Arch and head down the home straight onto Glasgow Green, motivated along the way by music, pipers, charity cheering points and enthusiastic crowds of spectators.
Television and Radio presenter and keen runner Jenni Falconer will be on hand to start the race alongside Olympian and Athletics legend, Sally Gunnell.
At the head of the half marathon field Chris Thompson will aim to become the first British athlete to win three Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run titles when he takes to the streets of Glasgow on Sunday morning.
Thompson’s winning streak started in 2017 when he saw off the challenge of Callum Hawkins and beat Commonwealth champion Mike Shelley in 2018 to seal back to back victories. Now Thompson is targeting a unique treble in Scotland on a course he knows extremely well.
“I’m looking forward to defend my title up in Glasgow. No Briton has won it three times in a row so it would be nice to get that record.
“I know the course well now so hopefully that’ll give me an edge, and what I also know is that the support on the streets will be as good as ever.
“Glaswegians really know their sport and they always turn out in force to support the athletes, which makes this race a special one to come back to.”
The Briton is going to need to lean on his experience as he faces off against strong competition, with Kenyan trio Stephen Kiprop, Micah Kogo and Timothy Torotich also announced for Scotland’s biggest running event. New Zealand’s Zane Robertson will also be in contention to remove Thompson from the throne.
In the women’s race, Edith Chelimo will be the one to watch in a race won last year by Mare Dibaba. The Kenyan raced to victory in last year’s Cardiff Half Marathon in 65.52 which placed her in the top ten all-time half marathon rankings.
Compatriot Nancy Kiprop will provide competition. The veteran athlete, 40, will arrive in Glasgow in good form having won the Vienna Marathon this year. Ethiopia’s Askale Merachi, having won the LA Marathon earlier this year will also be challenging for honours in the famous race.
On hand to help mark this weekend’s event, Chris and Edith were joined by New Zealand record holder for half and full marathon, Zane Robertson and a number of amateur runners all taking part in in this year’s Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run.
A team of colleagues from Bank of Scotland who are taking part to support Mental Health UK, 71 year-old Stewart Jameson aiming to complete his 37th event in a row, 21 year old Sabrina Lawson-Mcdowall, a student in Aberdeen who uses running to maintain her mental health and the Shaw family from Cumbernauld, who are donning their kilts to cross the finish line of the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run Family Mile helped pose for pictures at this weekend’s finish line.
The 10K and Half Marathon events will be streamed live from 11.15-13.15 on the BBC Sport Website. The whole weekend will be covered in a highlights programme on Monday 30 September at 7pm on BBC Scotland.