There's just over four weeks until autumn racing in Scotland gets off to a flying start at GO! Festival Ayr, the event billed as 'Ayrshire's first mass participation half marathon'. In addition to the feature 13.1 mile race, the Saturday 7 September race card includes a 10K and the 'Men in Pants' 5K challenge.
Local entrants will be warming up for the big closed road half marathon with a glut of August 10ks including the rescheduled Dundonald 10K, Marymass 10K and NAAC 10K. And both local and visiting runners will be looking forward to a unique race experience on 7 September.
The race start times - the 10K is off at 4.20pm and the Half Marathon at 5.00pm - will mean a special race atmosphere as runners enjoy superb sea views as the 'gloamin' approaches. They'll also appreciate an historic route with a seafront start and Arran as a backdrop; stretches beside the town's golf courses; Burns Cottage, Rozelle Park, Brig o'Doon and the coastal stretches passing eerie Greenan Castle towards the finish.
In a nice touch, organisers have created imaginative GO! Festival medals that glow in the dark – bound to be popular with racers who lover their bling!
The atmosphere, the route and the medal will combine with the early evening air display and fireworks on the beach to create a unique event that organisers hope will become a fixture on the Scottish racing calendar.
There is also an event village, a family cycle ride and the charity 5k (in partnership with Ayrshire Cancer Support) PLUS pipe band, DJs and much more so lots happening over the course of the afternoon and evening.
In addition, Ayr is a busy town with lots of great cafes and bars so plenty of places to relax after your race. Organisers are actively encouraging runners to make a day of it, or even a weekend, and bring the family.
Places are filling fast for all three events – Half Marathon, 10K and 5K. Organisers have announced a deadline date of 25 August for entrants to receive a postal race number and to be guaranteed all the mementoes available for each package. After this date participants will need to collect race numbers on the day.
The GO! Festival Ayr event team has issued a call to local businesses, public services like the police and NHS and sports teams (not running clubs) to take up the various team challenges and show their rivals they're the best in town. The rewards are an eye-catching trophy to display in your workplace or club and lots of bragging rights.
Go Festival Ayr organisers have also created a volunteer programme and are inviting members of the local community and local groups to get involved and help make Saturday 7 September a huge day in Ayr.