What a delight it was to have the first race walking event on Scottish soil in about 30 years (or so we think).
On Wednesday 26 June 2013, in Clydebank, just west of Glasgow, history was made when 4 race walkers completed the Clydebank 5k road race (organised by Scottish Veterans Harriers Club).
It was a night of firsts:
- First time most runners had ever seen race walkers 'in the flesh,' so to speak.
- First-ever race walk race for Gillian Donald and Jenny Law.
- First race walk race on Scottish soil in about 3 decades (please correct us).
Although it was not a judged event (Scottish Officials out there . . . . want to become a race walk judge?), it was with much excitement that we started 5 minutes ahead of the runners (this was pre-planned thanks to the willingness and acceptance by the SVHC race organiser, Peter Rudzinski, and SVHC President, Alastair Macfarlane: You're stars!) around the 3-and-a-half lap course.
It was great because the runners cheered us on, as they sped past us: Thanks for the words of encouragement everyone!
So this is the start to firmly putting race walking back on the Scottish Athletics map.
As you can probably well imagine, there are many things to address to get all things race
walking really growing in Scotland.
But most of all we need you: Join us! Have a bash or spread the word for us:
- Race Directors, such as Robert Rogerson (Race Director for many Kirkintilloch races): Invite us in, especially for races from 1500m to 10 miles, initially (although any track or road race will do).
- Clubs: Cater for us / Engage with us / encourage / organise races for us: It's a win-win situation for everyone (just like it is for Falkirk Vics).
- Coaches: Help me to coach the increasing numbers (there were 4 race walkers competing at Clydebank.
We have already added 6 names since then, folk from Edinburgh, Linlithgow, Glasgow and Perth)
- Scottish Athletics: Help us / support us
- Ex-race walkers out there: Get in contact: We're back!
- Athletes: Good athletes / Injured runner / Athletes that say: "I'm no good at running" / Athletes wanting injury-free cross-training
Ultimately, though, we need races.
Race walk races, that is. Or running races officially catering for race walkers.
At present, any Scottish-based race walker wanting to take part in any race walk event, needs to head off to England: Not a great way to encourage participation or healthy competition.
We want / need Scottish races for Scottish race walkers on Scottish soil . . . help us make that
For the record, the official race walkers' results for the Clydebank 5k:
Andrew Fraser (Portobello & YRWC) M47 25:55
Gill Donald (unattached - Edinburgh) F40 33:54
Ian Donaldson (now Falkirk Vics & Lancs RWC) M58 35:25
Jenny Law (unattached - Edinburgh) F30 39:48
At present, we have coaching in the Grangemouth area every Tuesday evening 18h30 and in Edinburgh or Meadowbank area every Wednesday evening 18h30.
We have started to meet immediately after the Strathclyde park run in Glasgow every second Saturday.
Ad hoc training takes place as organised amongst ourselves.
Join us: You'll be made very welcome.
Feel free to contact the Scottish squad on firstname.lastname@example.org