After 40 years of running on the same course as the original 1969 race, Shettleston Harriers have been forced to change their route for the 2009 Allan Scally Road Relays this Saturday, October 31.
This change has been forced on the club due to the withdrawal of Police support due to football matches at Celtic Park and Firhill and an Orange walk taking place in the city on the same day. The Police offered starting time changes, but for various reasons these were not suitable. The event has enjoyed excellent support from the Police over the years which had allowed the race to be run through some busy road crossings on the old course but in the interest of the safety of the runners the old route could not be used without the Police in attendance.
The new route will be run in the Mount Vernon/Sandyhills area of the east end of the city. Changing will be at Bannerman High School as usual and there will be signs to the new start 600 metres west of the school. The start will be at the Barrachnie running track the home of Shettleston Harriers prior to moving to the all weather track at Crownpoint Road.
Inevitably, the new trail will have some parts of running through residential areas but there are some longish uninterrupted stretches which will allow some fast running and virtually the entire course has pavements to run on. There is a stretch of 1.5 miles on the road circumnavigating Sandyhills Golf Course and several other stretches between 0.3 and 0.5 miles.
The trail which will have no dangerous crossings and the whole course will be supported by stewards at every corner and crossing. The organisers have attempted to get the distance as close to the old distance as possible and today's athletes will have the opportunity to set new records, individual and team, as the race moves into the next 40 years.
Shettleston Harriers wish to thank all the clubs who have supported the race over the years and it is hoped that those taking part will see this as a new challenge and compete in the 41st running of the event.