OUT OF TIME

Lennox Herald - - NEWS -

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.”

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