OUT OF TIME
This year’s Run Loch Lomond has been postponed until September, with organisers admitting that it may not go ahead at all in 2020.
The 10k, new for this year 5k, and fun run was set to attract thousands of runners and spectators from across the country to the Bonnie Banks in June — with members of the Lennox Herald even in training in preparation to take to the streets.
However those plans are now on hold until September 5, with organisers set to review the event’s chances of going ahead based on government advice nearer the time.
A West Dunbartonshire Council statement said: “We have identified a potential date in September to reschedule the event, however, we need to continue to follow government advice and this will inform our decision-making.
“We have communicated with all registered participants, who have the option of running in September, deferring their place until next year or receiving a full refund.”
After being re-branded as Run Loch Lomond last year, the race — previously known as the Vale of Leven 10k — saw a huge spike in entries, with the number of runners more than doubling from the usual 400 to 850.
And the organisers believed that they were on track to smash that total again this year, with the appeal of the Loch Lomond name hitting the international distance running scene.
Entries from across Europe and beyond had already been received, with the introduction of a 5k route for the very first time proving especially popular — especially with first-time competitors.
And 1970 Commonwealth Games 10,000m gold medallist Lachie Stewart, who is one of the event’s biggest supporters, was on hand to provide advice to anyone training to take part.
He told the Lennox: “A lot of people who take part in these races are not professional runners. They are people who go out running to keep fit.
“So I would say to anyone thinking of taking it on to try and get some training done.
“Trying to get out three days a week is a good plan for training.
“And try to take a friend with you as they will spur you on.
“It’s a great route which takes in lots of lovely scenery on Loch Lomond. It’s a fantastic area and it’s great that the run is now incorporating parts which people will enjoy.”
Angus MacDonald, sport development co-ordinator at West Dunbartonshire Leisure Trust, hopes that the altered route used for the first time in 2019 will help convince more people to take part, whenever the event gets the green light.
He said: “Our new beautiful route is flat and fast with stunning views of Loch Lomond.
“The route uses paths in Balloch Castle Country Park as well as the cycle path along the River Leven providing a relatively traffic free race.
“We are hopeful that the new name will encourage even more people to sign up and come and enjoy the views while they take part in the run.”